LOS ANGELES (AP) – Travis Scott’s energetic performances are known for being chaotic and fun shows with concertgoers encouraged to take part in the bustling nature, including mosh pits, crowd surfing and stage diving.
Welcome to Scott’s Astroworld, where concertgoers can be rebellious.
Sadly, the Grammy-nominated rapper’s spirited show was fatal this time around after at least eight people – between the ages of 14 and 27 – were killed during a crowd wave. at his Houston Music Festival on Friday night. A sizable group of 50,000 in attendance moved towards the stage at NRG Park when a timer clicked to kick off the show before the chaotic scene began to flare up.
People in the crowd reported being pushed and pushed during performances before Scott’s performance – this is normal for Scott’s performances. He often encouraged fans to bypass security and rush off stage, but none of the previous situations were fatal.
“The whole Travis Scott aesthetic is rebellion,” said HipHopDX Editor-in-Chief Trent Clark, who attended several of his shows. “There is a lot of noise in the show. With the death of punk rock, hip-hop has truly embraced and become a model for a new generation of moshpits. It is not uncommon to see crowd, rage or wild behavior at a Travis Scott concert. ”
Scott is an eight-time Grammy-nominated rapper and is the biggest young music star ever. The Houston-based musician founded his festival in 2018 following his chart-topping Astroworld album, topped by the contagious song Sicko Mode. He also has a 3-year-old daughter with Kylie Jenner, who announced in September that she is pregnant with her second child.
“Travis Scott is legendary in the hip-hop community for his energetic performances, where he really tries to piss off the crowd,” said Noah Shachtman, editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone. “It makes the show really fun and can lead to a couple of scary incidents.”
In a tweet posted on Saturday, Scott said he was “absolutely devastated by what happened last night.” He pledged to work “with the Houston community to heal and support families in need.”
Wherever the investigation ultimately leads, tragedies like the one at Astroworld have been happening for a long time. In 1979, 11 people died while trying to get to The Who concert in Cincinnati, Ohio. At a football stadium in England in 1989, clashes with people killed about 100 people. In 2015, a clash of two crowds during a Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia resulted in more than 2,400 deaths, according to a tally of media reports and comments from Associated Press officials.
But due to the fact that Scott has had problems in the past two concerts, Shachtman thinks that the rapper will get a “tough second look.”
In 2017, Scott was arrested after urging fans to bypass security and rush onto the stage, injuring a security guard, police officer and several others during a concert in Arkansas. In another incident, he was sentenced to one year of judicial review after pleading guilty to charges of reckless behavior stemming from the 2015 Chicago incident at the Lollapalooza music festival.
At the time, Chicago officials said Scott encouraged fans to clear the safety barriers. However, no one was hurt.
“In terms of energy, he wants the energy he gives off onstage to be met with little opposition from the audience,” said Julian Kimble, who reviewed Scott’s 2018 Astroworld performance for the Washington Post. He called the rapper one of the most incendiary performers he has seen.
“I’ve seen him say to people like, ‘Don’t listen to the guards. Forget security. This is for all of you. This is for the fans, ”he continued. “As for last night, this is an example of how something can go wrong. There is a lot of negligence all over the place. I don’t think there is one bad guy or a culprit. What happened is a major structural failure. “
Shachtman expressed hope that the tragedy will help change Scott’s approach to his show. He loves the rapper’s performances, but needs a safer environment in which people can still have fun – especially for those looking to enjoy live performances during a pandemic.
“I expected them to take more stringent measures so that concertgoers could have a great time, but do it without getting killed,” said Shachtman, who grew up with New York City hardcore rock music. He said he is no stranger to mosh pits, but adds that “there is a big difference between mosh pits, even gigantic ones, and a life-threatening situation.”
Scott will be headlining Day N Vegas next weekend. But any performance with Scott could be subject to some scrutiny for crowd control and other security considerations.
“Concert organizers pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect both private and public (events),” Shachtman said. “It has to be properly deployed. Or we’ll see another of these incidents. “