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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Ten dead and over 300 injured at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston

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Wura Ogunnaike
Emilia Bordage (‘23) watches Travis Scott’s music video for “Sicko Mode”.

On Friday, November 5th, a violent crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas resulted in the deaths of ten people and the injuries of hundreds more.

As of November 17th, the 10 victims are Danish Baig (27), Jacob Jurinek (20), Franco Patino (21), Axel Acosta (21), John Hilgert (14), Briana Rodriguez (16), Rodolfo Pena (23), Madison Dubiski (23), Bharti Shahani (22), and Ezra Blount (9).

Popular among many Webb students, Travis Scott’s tracks are often played at events like the Welcome Back Dance and homecoming. Mirroring numerous internet forums, the Webb community also differs in opinion about who is responsible for this horrific event.

“I think me and everyone else did not expect the concert to become that wild,” said Parker Tanyawong (‘24), a longtime Travis fan. “Being onstage with 58,000 fans, it must be pretty tough to spot any injured fans from that far. However, I feel like he should issue a more genuine public apology.”

Unlike Parker, many students feel that it was in fact Scott’s fault that the concert resulted in mania and casualties.

“It’s his event’s disorganization… I also think it’s probably the people who went in without a ticket, the people who hopped fences,” said Laura Li (‘22), whose favorite Travis song is “90210.” “I also think it was Travis. People were jumping on the stage and telling him to stop the show. But he told them that this is what they came here for and went on with his performance. Kylie [Jenner] posted on her story, but I think her message was ignorant and it was mainly for their image.”

Similarly, Jordan Granda (‘22) shares his thoughts on the safety precautions of the Astroworld Fest.

“Travis Scott’s Astroworld Fest has become synonymous with moshes in the past,” Jordan said. “With that being said, most artists, concerts, and venues would increase safety measures, like implement[ing] emergency vehicle lanes, a simple feature that almost every concert has.”

According to an Astroworld attendee, the festival seemed understaffed on security personnel, especially considering the partition breech in 2019. The first come, first-serve festival seating arrangement made moshing and overcrowding easy to occur. With a performer like Travis, the crowd was bound to get excited and out of control fast.

Travis Scott held the third iteration of Astroworld Music Festival, named after his 2018 album “Astroworld.” Astroworld 2021 had a new creative theme called “Open Your Eyes to a Whole New Universe” which was supposed to “bring back the beloved spirit and nostalgia of the legendary Astroworld that Scott visited as a child.”

Around 50,000 people attended the two-day music festival.

Prior to the event, organizers came up with two emergency plan documents covering protocol in case of extreme weather, active shooting, riots, and medical responses. According to the report, fences and barricades were stronger than they were in 2019, and security guards were given signs to check if an attendee was on the verge of needing medical care.

The medical plan included two emergency room physicians, six registered nurses, two paramedics, and nine emergency medical technicians. The main tent had 30 cots, and there were smaller tents stationed around the venue.

Despite all of the preparations, the number of people needing medical care overwhelmed the staff even before Scott began to perform. At about 8:15 p.m., staff claimed that they were unable to document patients because so many people needed help.

Many attendees needed naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Allegedly, people in the crowd were being stuck with needles and injected with an unknown substance. One of the victims included a security guard who lost consciousness while trying to aid someone else.

In a press conference held by Houston and Harris County leaders, Houston Fire Department Chief Sam Pena said the surge began at around 9:00 or 9:15 pm, when the crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage. HFD transported 17 people to hospitals, 11 of which were in cardiac arrest. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo confirmed that eight people were dead, including a ten year-old.
Those in attendance described people being crushed; they were not able to breathe, and saw others who collapsed getting trampled by the crowd. On Instagram, a user named @seannafaith described her experience in the crowd.

“I saw the cameraman, eyes glued to the stage, elevated on a platform. A platform that looked directly into the crowd. I climbed the ladder and pointed to the hole, telling him that people were dying. He told me to get off the platform and continued filming,” Seanna wrote. 

In a video, Seanna Faith and another man can be seen begging the cameraman for help, while he waves them off.  

“He became angry, he called someone else up…The other man said he would push me off the 15 feet platform with no sides if I didn’t get down.” 

More accounts from concertgoers paint a picture of the entire day. At the VIP security entrance, a stampede burst through the gates to get into the event. According to ABC 13 Houston reporter, Mycah Hatfield, people were trampled and only some were detained.  

Trending videos on Twitter show people jumping and dancing on top of security carts and the ambulance trying to get people to safety. One particularly disturbing video shows Travis Scott continuing to sing into the microphone, while staring at a lifeless body being carried away by a medic crew.  

Many on social media criticized Scott and his team’s handling of the event, and for not stopping the concert despite hundreds screaming for help.  

One user brought up his previous arrest at Lollapalooza for inciting crowds. 

Another pointed out that the ambulance in the crowd can be seen on Kylie Jenner’s Instagram story.  

In response to the violence that occurred at the event, Astroworld day two was cancelled. Travis Scott says he is “devasted” by what happened.  

Regardless of where the responsibility lies, the students agree that the concert causalities are devastating to the hip hop community and the fans who look up to Travis Scott. Concertgoers expected a night of music by their favorite performers but engaged in a fight for their lives. Our condolences go out to the lives lost and the hundreds of families affected by this tragedy.  

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About the Contributors
Wura Ogunnaike, Editor of Culture & Lifestyle & Social Media Manager
After spending her summer in a lab for a science research program, Wura Ogunnaike (23’) is ready to return to the Webb Canyon Chronicle as a Social Media Manager and the Editor of Culture & Lifestyle. Reflecting her earlier efforts, Wura enjoys writing for the publication because of the freedom and wide range of topics she can cover in the process. This year, aside from having fun with writing, Wura is also taking on the responsibility of a Social Media Manager by utilizing social media outreach to attract more readership and enhance the reputation of the Webb Canyon Chronicle. Outside of the newsroom, Wura is a Jameson dorm prefect, where she always demonstrates the perfect balance between enacting leadership when necessary and showing kindness to her fellow dorm residents. In her free time, Wura likes to read, hike, and listen to Taylor Swift songs. However, her favorite song is “This is What Makes Us Girls” by Lana Del Rey. In addition to developing new interests, her goal for herself is to branch out in multimedia and work on social media-related publications. Some examples include podcasts or a photo gallery, which she has already exposed herself to during her first year of journalism.  Favorite Song: "This Is What Makes Us Girls" by Lana Del Rey
Nancy Lin, Editor-In-Chief
Passionate, open-minded, and ambitious are three words that describe Nancy Lin (‘23), and with these characteristics, she is ready to lead The Webb Canyon Chronicle as the Editor-in-Chief.  Nancy is a very involved student at The Webb Schools, showcasing her strong leadership skills as vice student body president, a source of her strong leadership skills. Nancy was first born in Shanghai, China but then later moved to Vancouver, Canada where she spends most of her time away from Webb. Nancy spends her free time in many different ways: listening to a variety of music genres, practicing golf, playing the piano, baking, and rewatching for the billionth time, The Notebook. On the days she spends at home, Nancy makes sure to visit her family, spend time with friends, and most importantly, see her dog Yuanbao!  Although she likes her sweets, like chocolate, she also enjoys a nice Italian or Korean dinner. She stays up to date on school events and is very passionate about international news and global affairs. This year, Nancy is ambitious to hit the ground running as a new Head Editor, excited to publish stories about Webb and the world beyond.   Favorite song: "Runaway" by Kanye West
Eva Annabi, Co-Editor of Sports & Social Media Manager
Just like a spirited raccoon, Eva Annabi (‘23)’s lively enthusiasm and humor make it natural for her to be an amazing Social Media Manager for the Webb Canyon Chronicle. Eva lives by the quote “ride the wave”, like when she is spending time together with friends or binging shows like Love Island instead of doing her homework. Her various leadership roles as a head day student prefect and president of the Middle Eastern and Rotary clubs also allow her to discuss important topics to her, such as representation for minorities and women at Webb. Some of her special talents include wiggling her ears and rapping the fastest part in Rap God. As she steps into her role as the WCC Social Media Manager this year as well as the Co-Editor of Sports, Eva is thrilled to provide entertaining and informative media content in an effort to increase readership.   Favorite Song: "Ransom" by Lil Tecca

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