My Astroworld Experience

I had never been to a concert before Astroworld, so I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was four long hours alongside my dad and others to get our spots at a heavily packed performance. These hours were spent with so many people that it was hard to avoid separation from my dad.

 

Despite it being such a long wait to get in, no one was being inspected before going through; bags along with Covid symptoms and vaccinations were not checked thoroughly. There were people scattered everywhere setting up camp, sporting their new souvenirs, and singing different songs from Travis Scott’s discography. When we got to the pit with a few hours left before the concert, I took the time to bounce back and forth between exploring the area and returning to my spot. 

The stage, from afar, before the show started.

The hours spent before were like a mirage; they couldn’t have been real. One scene held a surge of people rippling through the air. They were packed tightly, fighting to get through the VIP entrance. Their faces blurred together, and all I could pick out was the variety of six foot no-care-for-anything looking 20-year-olds who were at the head. Security was outmanned. 

 

Even the merchandise line (which I stood in for a quick two hours) was packed. I kept getting pushed, squished, shoved, and there wasn’t much I or anyone else could do. As I was being shuffled around by all of these people, I kept my focus on the $50 minimum souvenirs ahead, like the shirts that read: Travis Scott, See You On The Other Side. In just a few hours,  lines like that would have much more meaning than simply being a song title. 

 

Another view from before the concert started.

At the minute countdown for Scott’s entrance, the audience had already been transformed into an untamed sea of anxiety. We were all being pulled under without a viable way to get to the surface and out. 50 seconds30 seconds10 seconds– then, with the lights fading to blue right before an ignition of flames, the thundering of Scott shouting, “LET’S GO!”, forced the entire crowd into a current of uncontrollable excitement. There was no going back. 

 

A picture taken during the performance.

The chaos of the people, fireworks, and flames escalated in less than an instant. I even saw one guy pass out from a little ways ahead. The people around him tried to lift him in order to help, but they couldn’t, and the paramedics had to come to help them. There was a girl right next to us who could easily get mixed up in the crowd. Her boyfriend had left her on her own despite her size because he was claustrophobic. My dad and I stayed near her on the rail of the barricade to make sure she was okay and didn’t get sucked into the crowd. 

 

Thankfully, my dad had made sure that we were in a section of the audience that didn’t have as much pushing and shoving as we saw in front of us. Part of us not being as affected as others may have been due to the fact that we were positioned right behind a camera man. My dad also made sure that I was okay after every song and made sure I was drinking a bunch of water so that I didn’t pass out. Either way, it was really lucky we had ended up where we were.

 

This is a map of the way the performance area was organized. The blue star represents where Cuauhtemoc and his dad were in the audience.

Despite not being able to see everyone getting pulled under and being hurt, I was able to see a lot of people trying to jump out of the crowd. From what I could tell, they were doing this because they couldn’t breathe leading up to and throughout the performance. Because I was so unaffected by everything going wrong and didn’t want to think about the idea that anything worse could have happened that night, I wasn’t aware of the deaths until I saw the news the next morning. It was a shock to say the least.

 

Looking back on it, as much as people are blaming Travis Scott for the casualties from that night, I don’t think it was all his fault. The whole place was too short staffed to manage the number of people that were at the festival. I saw Scott make attempts to get people help during the show, however, there just wasn’t enough staff to keep everything in order. No matter whose fault it was though, the idea that something this bad could happen during an event that was supposed to purely be fun was very eye opening, and I know that it’s something others and I will think of the next time we go to a performance like this.