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The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

Travis Scott: The lasting effects of the Astroworld tragedy

Sophomore+Nina+Pinglays+photograph+from+Travis+Scotts+Utopia+tour+in+November+2023
Sophomore Nina Pinglay’s photograph from Travis Scott’s Utopia tour in November 2023

Wednesday, October 11, marked the first show of rapper Travis Scott’s Utopia Tour Presents Circus Maximus. The tour started at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, with tickets averaging about $98. In comparison, Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas, started at around $350 for general admission in 2021. Though Scott remains one of the most successful artists in the word, ticket prices for his upcoming shows have decreased dramatically since his previous tours. Many fans speculate that this is due to the Astroworld crowd rush tragedy.

On November 5, 2021 in NRG Park, the Astroworld Festival took place, showcasing artists Young Thug, Tame Impala, Lil Baby, Baby Keem, Don Toliver, 21 Savage, SZA, Bad Bunny and more alongside Travis Scott. Over 50,000 people were in attendance, eager to see their favorite musicians performing live.

“We were packed in there like sardines,” said Jordan Bryan in an interview conducted by Fox 26 Houston reporter, Damali Keith.

From behind, the crowd pushed forward as the 30-minute timer counted all the way down, and the mood of the festival turned from anxious to terrifying. 

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The timer finally reached 00:00, and all around, people were falling to the ground as the crowd stormed towards the stage where Scott’s performance had started and continued for the next 40 deadly minutes, in which 10 people lost their lives, 25 were hospitalized, and 300 plus suffered minor injuries

The controversy over the festival mostly surrounded Travis Scott’s continuation of the concert, despite the protests in the crowd. Could he not see the destruction and the pleas? Did he disregard it? Who is mainly at fault for this tragedy and what could have been done to prevent it? Here’s what CVHS thinks.

CVHS Sophomore Sebastian Zierlein, a rap and hip-hop enthusiast, was close with one of the teenage boys who passed away at Astroworld. “I know there was a whole festival going on,” he said, “but human lives were at risk and that shouldn’t have been outweighed by a concert.” Zierlein also mentioned Scott’s neglect to deliver a sincere apology, saying that, “It got turned into kind of a joke.” 

The disputes over the causes and faults of Astroworld affected Travis Scott’s career, but only momentarily. Most fans opted to forgive and forget, while few actively boycott the rapper. His newest album, released in July of 2023, has hit top marks on Billboard consecutively, even reaching number 1 several times. Currently, Utopia ranks number 13 in the Billboard 200 albums, just under SZA’s SOS. Due to the album’s success, Scott released dates for his Utopia Tour Presents Circus Maximus North American tour—the first official concert actually premiering in Rome’s Circus Maximus, a park located in Italy that was previously an Ancient Roman chariot-racing track. The fan turnout and excitement was evident from the tremors–a result of continuous upsurges in the crowd–calculated to be equivalent to a 1.3 magnitude earthquake.

It is no secret that Scott’s fans are intense in the floor section of his concerts, as they are known to “mosh” together. Those who purchase floor tickets for his concerts should know that this rowdy space could be the kind of environment they are walking into.

Carnegie Vanguard’s very own wraparound specialist, Ms. Williams, was quick to voice her concerns about this. “If you don’t know the culture, and then you come in, you could just think, “Oh, we’re just pushing people around, this is what you do.” Like, there’s actually a rhythm to it.” she said.

Although some people may think the mosh culture surrounding many rapper’s concerts is common knowledge, those who are unfamiliar or new to the community may not be aware, which could be a potentially dangerous situation for them and the people around them. Circus Maximus’ stop in Rome did not help to appease the already worried minds of Travis Scott fans after the supposed earthquake the crowd caused. Due to the lasting concern from Astroworld, many fans have made the decision to not attend the tour. Some have even expressed that they don’t think there should be a tour after the losses of lives two years ago. While the turnout currently has been high, anxiety over a repeat of Astroworld has caused ticket prices to remain as low as $8. 

When asked about his feelings about a new tour, Mr. Arredondo does not feel the Astroworld tragedy should prevent Travis Scott from continuing to perform now. “We can’t hold him to one incident. Bad things happen to good people.” Despite this, Mr. Arredondo still feels the upcoming concerts should have better organization, that they should plan for the worst. 

As more concert dates are checked off the calendar, tensions release as the tour has been incident-free thus far in North America. Still, for those planning to go, take CVHS’ advice: know mosh rules, be aware of all surroundings, and stay safe!

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About the Contributors
Charlie Smith, Staff Writer
Charlie Smith is a Sophomore at CVHS. Charlie would describe herself as loud and amazing. She loves the color purple, specifically Lilac. Although she wouldn’t describe herself as a fan of any specific person, she would “ jam “ out to anything playing. She runs cross country, track, and dance (which is her favorite). She says she feels most calm, “like another person”, when she dances. Her go-to closet staple is her low-rise, deep blue jeans. She commonly goes for a 90s look when she puts her outfits together.
Nina Pinglay, Staff Writer
Nina Pinglay is a history buff sophomore at CVHS. As an outdoors enthusiast, she has been hiking for so long she can not remember exactly when she started. Her favorite season is spring, and on the weekends you can find her curled up in her favorite sweater with a YA or mystery novel, watching a horror film, or grabbing her go-to Buc-ee’s order (candied pecans and olives) with friends. Bold, confident, and a risk-taker, Nina loves experiencing new things to give her an adrenaline rush. 
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