Astro World Festival 2021


Astro World Festival

Travis Scott looks out at the audience during his performance.

Sadie Kiefer, Contributing Writer

In today’s day and age, it is no wonder that mosh pits are something to rant and rave for. However, the recent event at Astroworld has many thinking otherwise. Travis Scott and his affiliates may have incited distress and riots amongst their crowds during the most recent Astroworld. In 2015, Travis Scott was arrested for provoking his crowds to jump over barricades. And again in 2018, for a similar instance. Playing back the Kylie Jenner video showing how there was an ambulance in the middle of the crowd within plain sight, shows just how disconnected herself and others, such as, Travis Scott, have become to his crowds’ reactions, to his outlandish suggestions (jumping over barricades, etc.). Given this information and backstory of typical Travis Scott concerts, it’s astonishing that we would even think to go near one of said artists’ concerts. However, a mass casualty event took place, despite the publics’ lack of knowledge behind Travis Scott and his typical concert demands/suggestions. Should we blame Travis Scott, should we blame anyone else besides ourselves, for going to said concert?

Disclaimer: I am by no means a Travis Scott fan and would never venture to go to one of his concerts, but the mere fact that the general public wouldn’t avoid a concert where the main performer is suggesting forbidden concert activity, is quite concerning and displays a lack of judgement, given the evidence.

In recent news from CNN, another individual by the name of Bharti Shahani, has passed away due to complications with breathing. She was on a respirator, and it appeared she had been another victim of violence from the Travis Scott concert. Ms. Shahani had attended the concert on Friday night, when at around 9:30PM, the surging crowd had caused her to suffer many medical complications. As medical examiners have taken the challenging step to release the victims’ cause of death, amongst the 9 who passed away, Shahani’s cause had been two heart attacks. This cause of death was released on November 16, 2021, just 3 days after the Ms. Shahani’s funeral.

Even though Travis Scott may not have been aware of the crowd surging and ambulance that had been stationed in the middle of the crowd, due to complications with resuscitating people. Travis Scott’s lawyer says there has been a lot of “finger-pointing,” as to the person responsible for these tragedies (i.e., Travis Scott). However, given Travis Scott’s background, inciting concert goers to jump over barricades, and further inciting reckless behavior in said individuals, it’s no surprise that Travis Scott may be found guilty. As of November 12, there have been over 200 individuals filing suit against Travis Scott. Most of said cases being represented by Attorney Ben Crump, who says, “nobody should ever die from going to a concert.” And that is true. However, given education of Travis Scott’s previously mentioned inciting behavior within his crowds, do we simply let him go? Or do we need to set best practices, just like ethics, into place, from here on out, with all concert goers and performers. I remember my boyfriend telling me of stories, where, when going to concerts/festivals, concert goers had passed out due to dehydration (mostly). However, in this instance, I think the reason for the deaths and even the individuals who were hospitalized, was more than enough evidence, to see that something suspicious was happening here at the NRG Park.

Being as though it seems that many who died and are still in the hospital, research shows that many had been asphyxiated by the amount of people pushing towards the front of the stage, which offers insight into their cause of death. However, further research showed that a security officer, who is unnamed, was trying to restrain someone from acting out. He says he was pricked in the neck, but later found out he was hit in the head. Many are saying that this instance, is cause enough to investigate (regardless of those who died) of whether there was major criminal activity going on. Since the release of this information regarding the officer being hit in the head has become a clear indicator to some, that there was indeed illicit activity happening at NRG Park. Another item to note is that one of the victims who had died that night, who went by Danish Baig, was one of the 9 (who died that night) was examined post-mortem and was found to have a contributory cause of death- cocaine, methamphetamine and ethanol.

We do not know for sure how this story will evolve in the coming months, but from what we see now and including the fact that the FBI is asking anyone who attended the concert to upload videos/photos of that night, begs the question- were there illicit activities going on here at NRG Park? First the prick in the neck, now a victim dead by asphyxiation and other illicit drug use. Another question we should be asking, is how could ALL of this been prevented?