Let’s tackle the root cause of Astroworld’s tragedy. It’s bigger than Travis Scott

Let’s tackle the root cause of Astroworld’s tragedy.  It’s bigger than Travis Scott

Promoter Monique Taylor told the Portland Mercury a year earlier that so many black hip-hop clubs have closed in Portland, Oregon in the past decade, she can’t keep up with them. She described “constant police surveillance of her parties and discriminatory club policies that she has not checked by law enforcement.” Once, when she asked an officer why he was often outside a hip-hop club, she told the Portland Mercury that his response was, “‘We don’t like hip-hop. We don’t want all these ghetto black people in here.'”

It is sentiments like those of the officers that turn any conversation about greater restrictions in the name of public safety into a race issue requiring legislation applied equally to protect all concert crowds. Keith Still, a visiting professor at the University of Suffolk and a crowd safety expert, said: The Washington Post “Unfortunately, the music industry has learned nothing” from its decades-long history of concert stomping. In 1979, 11 people were killed when thousands packed the exterior of a Cincinnati music venue in hopes of destroying British rock band The Who, the After reported. In 1991, three teenagers were killed when an AC/DC mob in Salt Lake City stormed onto the stage and crushed the children.

Still, suggested looking at an artist’s history during the safety planning process. “You have to look at the kinds of issues in events that are similar in nature and design a safety system around those risks,” the professor said. The After cited Scott’s charge of disorderly conduct, leading him to plead guilty in 2018. The rapper, who is from Houston, was featured on video encouraging a fan to jump off a second-floor balcony during a concert on April 30, 2017 in Manhattan, rolling stone reported. He has been known to encourage fans to run up the stage and form mosh pits and as NPR noted, Scott is known by some as hip-hop’s “King of Rage.” However, he is not the first musician to encourage a concert fan to act recklessly, nor is he the only one to receive a criminal conviction.


New York Times music critic John Rockwell posed the question in 1979, “Is Rock the Music of Violence?” The journalist wrote of Who guitarist Pete Townshend that he is “an outspoken mystic, a follower of the late Meher Baba, the Indian guru.”

“In the days after Cincinnati, many thoughts raced through Mr. Townshend’s mind, including the idea that ‘the whole point of a rock concert is for people to forget themselves, lose their egos in the crowd and disappear—a temporary kind of escape’” Rockwell wrote. “It’s an enticing idea, and one that helps explain not only the positive connection between rock and violence, but also the Who’s own seemingly split image as the band who, on the one hand, introduced ritualized destruction to the rock stage – the crushing guitars and drum kits — and on the other hand created a whole “rock opera” about transcendental experience in ‘Tommy’.”

Ultimately, Rockwell recommended both giving rock concerts “in a way that encourages young people to act responsibly” and “a danger of overreaction” by dismissing rock as violent.

He wrote: “It seems that so-called ‘festival’ seats of the kind used in Cincinnati – unreserved tickets leading to a throng of impatient fans at the gates, followed by a frenzied sprint for the best positions when the hall finally opens its doors. doors — will be curtailed. And legislation can be passed to ensure a decent degree of concert security.”

It didn’t, according to the report by Paul Wertheimer, nicknamed “the Marshal of the moshpit” and chief of staff of a task force to investigate the 1979 stampede. He told The Washington Post in a recent interview that despite his calls for stricter national standards and a mandatory crowd management plan for concert organizers, there are no such rules for managing large crowds.

“Overcrowding and crushing crowds is the original sin of event planners and promoters,” Wertheimer told the After. “The crowd in Houston should never have gotten this big and dense. It was an avoidable tragedy that happened because security measures were ignored – and ignored time and again because there are millions of dollars to be made here.”

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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