I don’t know what it is about Astroworld that makes this all so surreal and profoundly disturbing. Maybe it's the simple fact that it could’ve happened to anyone. Most of the people who traveled to Houston that weekend were college-age students like you or I.
All of the red flags were there –– the lack of crowd control and security, inadequate medical staffing and, of course, the dynamics of a raging performer, whose intentions I now believe to be questionable at best.
I should start this by saying I'm not a conspiracy theorist, nor am I an expert in crowd management, so the events that took place this past Saturday are just as much a mystery to me as they are to you. It’s all just conjecture. Conspiracy theories are usually rooted in people’s incapacity to accept that, sometimes, bad things happen without reason.
But, I do know this: I attended Travis Scott's concert at Rolling Loud two years ago, and the energy of the crowd at his concerts is different than anything I’ve ever witnessed. It seemed as if people attended his shows for the sole purpose of having an excuse to beat the sh*t out of each other.
They're jumping so hard that their bodies fling off of one another, and the only thing you can see in front of you is the bobbing of heads slashing through the air. You have no control over which way your body moves, so you're basically at the mercy of the crowd. Your senses are bombarded with music so loud that you can only hear the screeching of the speakers. So much body heat radiates off of the crowd, you could practically fry an egg from space.
Needless to say, the complete lack of regard for the health and safety of his fans has gotten Travis Scott into some pretty hot water. Rumors have surfaced regarding his alleged affiliation and obsession with the devil, and thousands of conspiracy videos have amassed millions of views across TikTok and Twitter.
Scott's fans have now sounded the alarm on some of his more questionable graphics as well as his misuse and degradation of religious symbols. Particularly, fans were disturbed over imagery depicting an upside-down cross, burning dove and imagery linked to the Illuminati. Thousands of videos have emerged of people begging for help while being crushed to death as Travis Scott performs in the background.
An Instagram story, which Kylie Jenner has since taken down, showed an ambulance attempting to push through the crowd while people climb on top of it. The imagery, combined with the fact that Travis Scott continued to perform, even after Houston police had claimed the concert to be a mass casualty, has led some to believe he was performing a ritualistic, Satanic sacrifice.
Scott was slandered on social media, with people picking apart his entire career for evidence of this alleged “sacrifice,” desperately searching for warning signs that could’ve told us this was going to happen.
Regardless of rumors of Satanic rituals, what happened in Houston that night highlights broader ideas of the potential danger of these types of concerts and points to the fact that rules and restrictions need to be enforced more heavily.
Having 50,000 attendees at a concert is already an uncontrollable crowd. Combine this with a severe lack of security, poor crowd control and a performer who has been internationally known for his crazy concerts, it's a recipe for the mob mentality.
During incidents of mass tragedy, it's natural for us to try to seek answers to those questions that may seem to have none. After events that change us with seemingly no logic, it's natural for us to want to believe something, anything that could make sense of the unthinkable.
We all want to believe that Travis Scott’s concert was part of a much larger, calculated plan, that concerts are a safe place, and that this was just all part of an individual’s behavior, rather than an indicator of our own carelessness. We always look for someone else to blame.
But is Travis Scott a Satanist? Probably not. Is he an irresponsible performer that needs to be held accountable for his (lack of) action? Absolutely. And if this doesn’t sit right with you, it shouldn’t. What happened that day was a tragedy that no one could have predicted, but it was avoidable.
It wasn’t supposed to happen, but it did. If it makes you feel better, though, both Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner issued apologies with surprising backlash, as disturbing videos continue to surface as Scott watches as limp bodies are carried out of the show.