Students react to the Travis Scott Astroworld tragedy

Photo+courtesy+of+Getty+Images%2FErika+Goldring.+Travis+Scotts+Astroworld+Festival+2021.+

Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Erika Goldring. Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival 2021.

Rapper Travis Scott hosted his annual Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas, at NRG Park, Nov. 5 and 6, after canceling his festival in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, with Astroworld returning, precautionaries and safety protocols seemed to be neglected as many concerning incidents took place the night of Nov. 5.

Ten people died and dozens were injured after the crowd began to push and make their way towards the front of the stage. Astroworld was limited to a capacity of 50,000, but that did not stop fans from creating chaos. Travis Scott is known to perform wildly during his concerts, even supporting his crowd into participating in such disarray.

College of the Desert students Cindy Vargas and America Carlos shared their thoughts on the Astroworld Festival, Travis Scott and the incidents.

“Travis isn’t a good influence on the younger generation,” Vargas said, “Artists have such a significant role in their audience, and this may lead them into thinking that acting aggressive is okay.”

Carlos agreed. “Personally, I don’t think he is a good influencer on the younger generations,” she said. “I believe he is a very aggressive person, and I don’t believe he should have a platform.”

Vargas spoke out about the importance of precautionaries artists should take as COVID-19 remains a threat. “I believe that concerts shouldn’t be a thing because COVID is still around,” she said. “It feels as if these artists are in a hurry to sell out concerts after having a year of blown costs,” Vargas added. “If an artist does decide to throw a concert, they should implement the precautions & regulations: prove vaccination records or implement negative covid testings beforehand and always stay up to date with safety protocols to ensure a safe concert.”

Carlos expressed how choices should be made due to COVID-19 lingering and concerts beginning once again. “This pandemic is not over and should be taken very seriously,” she said. “I think artists and fans should take a step back and realize that we are still living in a world where a pandemic is still happening.”

Scott claims that he had zero awareness of what was going on in the crowd. “Travis should have listened and been aware of what was happening,” said Vargas. “He should’ve paid attention to the crowd even if he was busy trying to give a good performance.” But, video evidence claims that Scott was told numerous times about the incident taking place. “I saw videos of people entering the stage telling the production crew that people were dying,” Carlos asserted. Carlos even compared scenarios with a previous concert Scott hosted. “I even saw a video of him once when he stopped a concert because someone stole his shoe while crowd surfing but continued on his performance while individuals were fighting for their lives,” she said.

If he had a kind heart, he would have stopped the concert, but he waited until the next day and tried to damage control but failed. ”

— America Carlos

Afterward, Scott decided to acknowledge the incidents that took place during his performance. The Astroworld singer chose to support the families of those who lost a member in the festival crossfire by paying for their funeral expenses, leading to controversial conclusions. “The best thing for him was to provide aid for the family; although it does not suffice what happened, he was coached through damage control,” Carlos stated. “It wasn’t about if it were the right thing to do; it was more of a ‘what can I do to make myself appear better?'”

Now, Scott faces multiple lawsuits adding up to millions of dollars from companies and families affected during the event. However, there are mixed reactions on whether Scott is lawfully responsible or if the crowd is responsible for the deaths. Vargas stated that she would not sue Scott.

“I believe that I wouldn’t sue because, at the end of the day, I put myself under those circumstances,” she said. Meanwhile, Carlos affirmed that she would sue Scott. “I would sue, even though it was my choice to go to one of his concerts, I’d still sue,” she said. “You also have to think how artists, ultimately, can control the crowd; he could have put a stop to it but encouraged it.”

Astroworld is a prominent and well-attended music festival fairly compared to Coachella Fest held in Indio, Calif., every year. Many influencers, artists and A-list celebrities attend. Similar to Astroworld, Coachella Fest took a step back in 2020 amid COVID-19. However, Coachella Fest took a step back in 2021, unlike Astroworld. Now, Coachella Fest is set to return in 2022, sparking opinions and discussions. “There will be millions of people coming from all around the world to be in one big area, and that is quite dangerous,” Carlos said, “Maybe we should wait another year; there’s no rush.”