The tragedy that occurred at the Astroworld festival on Nov. 5 left at least ten people dead and hundreds more injured.
The large-scale event resulted in concertgoers reconsidering whether they will continue to attend music festivals or completely avoid large performances until new-safety guidelines are implemented.
Travis Scott and the public relations team at NRG Stadium will either implement new regulations to ensure safer concerts or hide from social media to allow people to forget about the events that occurred.
This should not be happening. It’s time for concertgoers to demand new regulations and refuse to attend any concerts until they’ve been applied.
The purpose of live performances is for people to attend and have a fun time with friends and like-minded people, but this tragedy has caused them to worry about their safety and if they will even make it back home.
The NRG Stadium has a capacity of 72,220 people, but many say it felt more than that.
“They could have had over 200,000 people in this venue; this venue was limited to 50,000,” said Houston fire chief, Samuel Peña to New York Times.
A large number of fans caused the concert to turn deadly when crowds surged toward the stage during the rapper’s headlining set.
People who were far from the stage were not aware of the pressure that people closer to the front were facing, so they kept pushing and shoving, trying to get closer. The chaos worsened in the crowd, Peña added.
Mosh pits are common during Scott’s concerts and were also present during his performance that night. Mosh pit behavior deserves attention, especially when more than 50,000 people are in the arena.
Some blame the music culture for reckless behavior, and there is some truth to that, but authorities in charge of the crowd also hold a huge responsibility.
“Perhaps the plans were inadequate, perhaps the plans were good but weren’t followed, perhaps it was something else entirely,” Lina Hidalgo, a top executive of Harris County, said in an interview with NPR.
Videos surfaced around the internet showing concertgoers attempting to stop the concert by screaming for help. Another video shows two attendees climbing a ladder, trying to get a cameraman’s attention to warn him about the chaos that occurred.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Troy Finner, the Houston police chief, feared that shutting the concert down would cause riots and worsen the situation.
“You cannot just close when you got 50,000 and over 50,000 individuals,” Finner told the Los Angeles Times. “We have to worry about rioting, riots when you have a group that’s that young.”
The crowd would’ve understood that lives are far more important than the performance itself, so that alone is a bad call. Events of this magnitude should have more staff in order to have control of the audience, both at the entrance and while the event is live.
Watching the fans take matters into their own hands felt very uncomfortable for me because I can’t imagine seeing a human being stepped on by hundreds of people.
As fans, if we see a person passed out or asking for help, it is our responsibility to care for them and alert medical staff. But for this to work, venues must have well-prepared medics and security to care for the patient and to control the environment.
I believe fans should get pulled out if they aren’t cooperating with the staff, to let them and others know that concerts are meant to be fun and to enjoy the music.
It is crucial for public officials, concert organizers, law enforcement, and others responsible to incorporate stricter event licensing and mandatory crowd-safety courses to avoid tragedies like these from happening again.