Op-Ed: Travis Scott needs to be held accountable

On June 21, 2014, Travis Scott was performing as a guest opener at the Malkin Bowl with White Arrows, and a headlining band at the time, The Neighborhood. During the White Arrows performance, there was disruption throughout the crowd. This disruption started when male audience members pushed their way through the crowd to get to the front for Scott’s performance. Before Scott arrived on the stage, a large group of males audience members were punching and pushing girls to get to the front during intermission. There was no security. After Scott stepped foot on stage the chaos worsened, the crowd of girls are getting pushed and thrown. Many fans were helping people out of the barricades by pushing them. One fan that was still on the barricade begins to shout at Scott, cursing him out. She was then kicked out of the concert and the chaos continued.

Scott has pled guilty twice to criminal charges in the past, including charges of inciting violence onstage at concerts in 2015, and again in 2017 for disorderly conduct.

7 years later, on November 5 this year, Scotts’ Astroworld festival resulted in 10 people killed, over 300 injured, and over 200 lawsuits. Telemundo, a Spanish news broadcasting station said, “if it starts off in chaos, it will end in chaos.” Which turned out to be true. The Astroworld concert crush was a night where it was like “drowning in a pool filled of just people” said Sarai Sienna, an audience member who was stuck in the chaos. People began passing out, and others pushed and shoved to the ground being trampled by the crowd. Moving left and right people began falling and making “sinkholes.” If one person fell, the people around them would fall and the cycle would continue.

Many believe Scott didn’t stop the concert because it was a sacrificial ritual. Others believed it was demonic because of the stage representing the door to hell. There is controversy over the situation as many of his fans believe he didn’t realize until the ambulance arrived. Though there is video evidence of him watching someone pass out in the crowd 

The day I found out Brianna Rodriguez, an old friend of mine, had passed due to the chaos during the concert, I was absolutely heartbroken. I cried for hours knowing that she was gone, but now I am furious because I know she deserved better. Scott should have done something about the crowd going insane. During other concerts, band members will have the crowd pick them up an injured audience members and crowd surf to the front to the security to receive medical assistance. Scott, as well, could have calmed the crowd down and gotten the situation under control as he had the attention of the entire crowd.

During the concert there was no cell service to call emergency services. Many of the crowd members stepped forward and began helping the paramedics as they were untrained for stuff. They were as well understaffed and ICU nurses and doctors helped backstage resuscitating people. Many other crowd members were yelling for the show to stop. One of those people being Ayden Cruz, a student at Heights High School who climbed onto the stage with another person trying to stop the show.

Travis Scott at one point was at the highest point in the room, watching over the crowd. Specifically, a video clip of Scott humming to a person in the audience who was passed out.

Scott tweeted, “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life.”

The video felt like it was made because he has such a large audience and he makes so much money that anything but an apology would cost his reputation.

News have also been circulating that he is requesting dismissal for the lawsuits and he is denying the responsibility of the deaths and over 250 injuries. What I believed was absolute rubbish was that all of these families are suffering losses of a son or daughter, and funerals are not something you can just take out of your pocket and pay. Some funerals cost an arm and leg to pay. 

Many of his fans believe that he didn’t see anyone passing out and didn’t notice the injuries until the ambulance arrived at the concert. The issue with that argument is that he was at one point at the highest placement in the concert and was able to stop the concert at any time because he was also the most powerful person at the concert.

I’m sure many people know of the game Fortnite and those who have played it most likely went to the Scott event that happened on April 25, 2021. Fortnite made skins, an event, and many other things in dedication to him. But the event as a whole was strange. The concert named Astronomical turned out to be a great success, but the items they made, such as the skin who looked animatronic and demonic, were questionable. Recently, Fortnite removed the Travis Scott emote from the item shop.

Courtesy of @seethrunikki on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CWBuL9MPefK/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Scott should be taking full responsibility for each death as they come forward, paying funeral expenses or at least partial expenses. As well as becoming more careful with situations such as these in future concerts such as stopping the crowd from becoming to chaotic, or when someone passes out to pause the concert and get them escorted out until they are able to stand. 

Funerals are not something to take lightly as they cost a lot of money to just have one, but as well find a graveyard, buy a coffin, have a ceremony, and receive aid. They are heartbreaking and emotional, and though Scott did apologize and say, “We’re actually working right now to identify the families, so we can help assist them through this tough time,” but this apology felt scripted.

Scott should be taking full responsibility for his actions, even if many believe it wasn’t his fault. Concerts are a place of fun and happiness, not violence and death.