It was bound to happen.
Travis Scott is in the spotlight this week after a tumultuous experience that occurred during his AstroWorld Festival in Houston. Firsthand accounts suggest that mosh pits, crowd surges, barricade breaches, and even injected narcotics are responsible for an intense day that left eight festival goers dead and hundreds injured. While police are still determining what exactly caused the casualties, there are things about the rapper’s past that could point a lot of the blame at him.
The “Sicko Mode” rapper is no stranger to incidents happening at his shows. The problem seems to stem from his own encouragement of behavior that is obviously dangerous. Something that is problematic in the ever-needing culture of hip-hop concerts to be out of control in order to have fun – which is a sad and absurd proposition.
In 2015 during Scott’s performance at Lollapalooza in Chicago, the Houston native told the audience to ignore security and jump over the barriers in front of the stage. This prompted security to pull him off stage after performing for merely five minutes. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Later he apologized and said he “learned a lot from this.” But he didn’t.
Just two years later in 2017, several security guards and fans were injured when Scott once again incited the audience to evade the barricade and get on stage at a concert in Arkansas. He was arrested with charges of endangering a minor, disorderly conduct, and inciting a riot. Just a year later in 2018, he plead guilty to the charges.
During an interview with GQ around that time, it became evident that he was all about fans raging during his shows. He mentioned this in his answers to a lot of the questions asked.
When asked about the overall energy of the show, he said, “I never knew this many people with the shit. And down to rage.”
About his show in New York City?
“They were so ready to rage and so ready to go H.A.M. It was dope.”
About letting fans on stage?
“I wouldn’t say I let them come up, but I just want kids to do them. I just try to put myself in the fan’s shoes, and it’s all a rage. Sometimes, the kids are just so into it that it just comes out of them. I always am just surprised by the things that happen at the shows.”
In his 2019 Netflix documentary Look Mom I Can Fly, the 2017 riot at the Arkansas concert is addressed. He did say that he felt bad about “kids getting hurt, yet it is somehow portrayed in a positive light as if positioning Scott as this unbelievable, must-see and vibrant performer. A fan in crutches is shown excitingly saying, “I survived, I survived! It’s all good!” It gave the sense that his extremely danger-driven events were balanced out by excitement and energy.
Also in 2019, there was an incident during his AstroWorld Festival just like this year. Fans were trampled as a stampede ensued when gates opened to the festival grounds and a big section of barricade and fencing was overrun. This sent three fans to the hospital and promoters admitted that the event was understaffed and they were not ready for large crowds.
When the 2021 edition of the AstroWorld Festival was announced on social media, the promotional video (seen below) also used the craziness of unsafe behavior and fans trespassing without passes as a way to attract fans to attend the festival.
When the show was announced, Scott also took to Twitter to tweet, “NAW AND WE STILL SNEAKING THE WILD ONES IN!!!” That tweet was deleted yesterday after the tragic event unfolded.
There is a video on YouTube that compiles all the times that Travis Scott calls out his own crowd for not being unruly enough. It even shows him calling fans “scared, m’fers” for not … raging. He also brings fans onstage to just jump back on the crowd and crowdsurf. You can watch it below.
What happened last night was a culmination of things. It was so predictable that it was also so preventable. Throughout the entire day, people were being tended for injuries from the raging that occurred during all the sets at the festival. This is a result of the career of an incredibly successful and talented artist that never truly learned the lesson.
(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)