An ordinary concert turns into an American tragedy with 10 dead and hundreds injured.
Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival concert in Houston, Texas with a crowd of 50,000 young individuals grew deadly within the first 30 minutes of the show. As people rushed to get closer to the stage, concertgoers were packed tightly together, causing people to not only have tremendous difficulty moving but also breathing. Soon, many began to collapse to the floor, people falling on top of each other.
These “Crowd rushes” are not an uncommon occurrence at concerts. “The Who”’, a popular band, left 11 dead at a concert in Cincinnati in 1979. Now, in 2021, Astroworld Festival leaves 10 dead. Victims ranging from 9 to 27, and kids to college students. The youngest being 9-year old Ezra Blount, who passed away after being placed in a medically induced coma from his injuries. Blount’s heart, lungs, and brain were damaged during the crowd rush.
Throughout the years, these tragedies keep on recurring without a solution. Travis Scott and the venue, NRG Park, should be held responsible for the deaths at Astroworld Festival because they could have been prevented if they were prepared.
According to CNN, “After being crowd surfed to safety, Madeline Eskins, ICU nurse, used her medical background to help other concertgoers in distress, but said there wasn’t enough supplies”.
She also stated that, “she saw multiple people in cardiac arrest and the paramedic had only one automated external defibrillator(AED) and one ambu bag”.
NRG Park and Scott did not have enough supplies arranged to help the hundred injured. An AED can only help one person at a time. Thus, if multiple people are unconscious and in need of CPR, not everyone will receive help, especially when CPR is to be performed four to six minutes after unconsciousness.
Eskins said, “the medics that were there to help, a lot of them hadn’t been properly trained”.
Underprepared medics who haven’t been trained will not be able to give the victims the best help. Eskins and many other trained medics that were part of the crowd stepped up to assist. If there was an appropriate amount of trained medics assigned, the tragedy could have been controlled.
Another main factor for the panic was overcrowding. There were just too many people. According to Rolling Stone, less than two weeks before the Astroworld Festival, organizers had to cancel a Playboi Carti concert due to a wild crowd at NRG Park in Houston. With this in mind NRG Park should have changed rules and the amount of people that can attend.
Carti did take in mind the crowd. According to Rolling Stone, Carti was documented to have a man say, “If you guys do not follow the rules, if you guys jump over to the floor, if you guys do anything that they consider dangerous, not two, but just one person messing up, this show is over”.
Scott handled the situation completely differently. There are clear videos of people passing out, and fans going crazy, and instead of discouraging them Scott says,“Let me see some rage”. This only made the situation worse.
Reported by New York Times, Scott also had multiple fans trying to come up on stage to tell him people were passing out and needed help. Though he stopped the concert once to ask if everyone was okay, he continued to finish the concert.
Scott has stopped concerts before for less important things, like his shoe being stolen. A new video of Scott’s concert in 2015 has resurfaced that shows Scott signaling to cut the music to go find his shoe. He had the power to cut the music and send people home. Scott could have avoided this calamity and saved the lives that were lost.
Scott and NRG Park should take responsibility for what happened. In the future, artists across the industry should take this tragedy as a personal hit and a reminder of the liveliness concerts are supposed to bring rather than the morbidity it brought on the recent November night.