- Lauren Schifley, Art Director
Beyond the Dome: Astroworld Festival death toll rises to nine
Officials confirmed a ninth death due to the crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival that occurred Nov. 5. The Astroworld Festival, founded and headlined by Travis Scott, injured hundreds of fans and killed nine of them due to a combination of excitable fans, a lack of staff and overall poor management. To add to this, according to The Independent, there are now 58 lawsuits filed against Scott and the event promoter Live Nation. These lawsuits definitely hold some weight, as Scott has been arrested in 2015 and sued in 2017 the harm caused during his performances and how he encourages this behavior with his “rage” mentality.
A crowd surge is when a large group of people move chaotically, mostly in one direction, within an area that doesn’t allow an opportunity to easily escape. The force of this crowd pushing in on people restricts their breathing and can sometimes cause heart attacks due to chest compression. Some concertgoers have even reported being so swept up in the crowd that they were still moving forward despite their feet no longer being planted on the ground.
There is criticism that the event should have been cancelled or postponed when earlier that day there was a stampede of fans that entered the venue without tickets or proper safety protocols: these extra hundreds of people are thought to have brought more danger into an already full crowd.
Other theories as to what happened at this performance are druggings in the crowd and demonic sacrifice. Chief Finner of the Houston Police Department said in a press conference that, “Some individual was injecting other people with drugs.” One of these alleged victims is a security officer who was on duty, who had to be administered Narcan after feeling a prick in his neck while trying to restrain a citizen.
The theory of a demonic sacrifice is far less grounded in reality, but just as popular on TikTok nonetheless, with users citing”‘evidence” such as Scott’s promotional material, Scott’s t-shirt that night and how he supposedly “sold his soul to the devil” in order to become this popular, just to name a few.
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