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1. “Travis Scott Didn’t Stop the Show Early”
Understandably, Travis Scott is at the center of this controversy. It was his show, after all. And one of the earliest narratives around Astroworld is that Travis Scott performed his set as normal instead of ending early.
This isn’t true, however. Scott ended his set somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes earlier than planned. Seemingly, this was in reaction to early reports of people getting injured.
Now, the juicier question, and one that remains unanswered, is why Scott didn’t cancel even earlier. The singer maintains it is because he didn’t know how bad things were getting, but some fans dispute that claim.
2. “Travis Scott Didn’t Stop and Help People”
Another persistent Travis Scott rumor is that he didn’t stop and help anybody. This creates a powerful narrative of a rich and out-of-touch singer who continues to perform while people are dying. A bit like Nero playing his fiddle while Rome burns.
Once again, though, the truth is a bit more complex. One bit of concert footage shows Scott stopping the show to help a fan who passed out during the show. And a source told Us Magazine that Scott interrupted the show at least three times to ask what had happened. On one hand, this means he was more concerned than some critics think. On the other hand, if he frequently paused and asked for information, it’s confusing why he didn’t know what was going on.
To further muddy the waters, there is additional footage where Scott told fans during a break, “Who asked you to stop? Y'all know what y'all came to do - chase me, let's go." This is part of Scott’s sometimes problematic history of encouraging fan behavior.
3. “There Was No Way To See This Coming”
There are certain magic words that every media outlet likes to pin on major tragedies. Words like “unprecedented” or “unforeseen.” What they want to do is reassure people that there was no way to see this tragedy coming.
But that simply isn’t the case, with either Astroworld or with Scott himself. At the last Astroworld event in 2019, three people were sent to the hospital after hundreds of fans decided to rush the barrier. Nobody died, but afterward, fans complained about the poor event planning that would allow such a thing to happen.
Two years later, it seems like the planning was worse than ever. And this has led to some heated debates about who is more to blame for this tragedy: Scott or the people organizing and promoting this event.
4. “Why Didn’t They Just Get Out of the Way?”
A very human reaction to any tragedy is to wonder what we might have done if we were there. And when it comes to people dying at a crowded musical venue, many naive people keep asking the same question: “why didn’t they just get out of the way?”
The answer is both scientific and scary. If you’ve been tightly packed at a concert or other venue before, you may know that crowds can begin moving like a liquid in a vessel. So in the kind of fatal crowd surges we saw at Astroworld, an individual fan has no more control of the direction they are going than a drop of water when you swirl that water around in your cup.
5. “Why Didn’t Scott See How Bad It Was?”
Travis Scott maintains that he didn’t know how bad everything was until he was back at the hotel and checking on social media. However, this doesn’t sit right with some fans. Their logic is pretty straightforward: as a man performing on a raised stage, Scott would have a great view of everything going on below…right?
Not necessarily. While Scott was center stage, the stage lights would be shining directly into his face. This, combined with other stage lighting elements (like all that damn fire), could cut into his effective visibility.
Of course, sight isn’t his only sense. Some fans are wondering why Scott didn’t hear cries from help or panicked screams. However, by performing next to some giant speakers, Scott may very well have been unable to hear much of anything.
Ultimately, this is why there is so much debate over whose fault it is. If Scott is telling the truth that he could not personally see tragedy unfolding, then this may be more a failure on the part of the organizers, promoters, security, and so on.
6. “You’re Just Trying To Defend Scott!”
Whenever someone brings up how difficult it is to place blame for this tragedy, the inevitable happens. And that is when a Scott hater shows up to claim this all just a blind defense of the singer.
That is certainly not the spirit of this editorial, though. If Scott is culpable at all for this tragedy, he should pay for it. But it all comes down to how much you personally think Scott organized the event. For example, fans had busted through the security gates long before Scott took to the stage, which may point to organizational and security issues that aren’t Scott’s fault.
Of course, the city police chief did personally visit Scott and warn him about how dangerous the crowd energy level seemed. So while Scott may or may not have been able to see much from the stage, he was personally warned to be on the lookout for danger.
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