Astroworld Concert Results in Tragedy

On the evening of Friday, November 5, the third Astroworld Music Festival was well underway. Held at NRG Park in Houston, Texas, the annual event is the brainchild of rapper Travis Scott, born from his childhood love for the now obsolete amusement park across the street, Six Flags AstroWorld. 

Of the attendees interviewed, one description kept on coming up:

It was like a concert from hell,” said one.

Little did we know, all hell was about to break loose,” said another. 

And a young woman whose fiancé saved her life only to lose his own that night had this to say, “I am in Hell.


Must the Show Go On?

At about 8:30 p.m. that fateful night, a 30-minute timer began to count down for the main act, Travis Scott himself. Attendees reported experiencing a shift in the crowd, an intensity that escalated in the minutes before Scott took the stage. People, more than 50,000 strong, began pressing tightly together, with many finding it difficult to breathe and some even falling unconscious. In the chaos, bodies began piling on top of one another, trapping some underneath.

The ensuing crowd surge, or crowd crush, wherein the sheer force of people literally stops one’s ability to breathe, resulted in hundreds of injuries and 25 hospitalizations, as well as eight fatalities, all under 30 years old, the youngest being a 14-year-old boy.

At 9:38 p.m., during Scott’s performance, “a ‘mass casualty event’ was officially declared.” Two minutes later, first responders began to arrive. Yet the concert was not stopped until a full 37 minutes later, after Scott completed his set and walked off the stage. According to Houston’s chief of police, Troy Finner, this was done to prevent “potential rioting” from an already volatile audience.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner touted the “robust security operation” of “505 event security staff, 91 armed private security officers, and 76 [local police] officers.” Said Turner, “We had more security over there than we had at the World Series games.” (Three days previous, about eight miles away at Minute Maid Park, the Atlanta Braves had beat the Houston Astros for the Major League Baseball championship title. Minute Maid Park seats approximately 41,000.

But at least one concertgoer thought otherwise: “There wasn’t enough security guards and there wasn’t enough EMTs and people helping out the crowd. The paramedics couldn’t even reach the crowd.”

The second day of the two-day festival was canceled, and all attendees are receiving a full refund. Scott protested ignorance of the situation, but that didn’t stop fans from pursuing 14 different lawsuits against those responsible for the festival, Live Nation Entertainment, ScoreMore, and the musician himself.


Gone Cold

While the investigation into the tragedy continues, many have taken to social media and news reports to offer their own theories as to the cause, from “needle spiking …, a growing trend” in which victims are injected with a drug that renders them unconscious before “being assaulted,” to “satanic ritual,” a viral Tik-Tok conspiracy that posits the eight lives lost were a blood sacrifice. The concert’s overtly occult features and promotional material, including a tagline that read, “See you on the other side,” has only added to the hype. 

Others have attributed the frenzy to yet another side effect of the pandemic. People, tired of restrictions, snatched up Astroworld’s 100,000 tickets “within an hour.” Then, Friday afternoon, hundreds stormed through the festival entrance, breaking down barricades, climbing over fences, and leaving hapless security officers in the dust.

Still others have pointed to the “wild, chaotic energy” Scott tends to conjure from his fans, including his inciting violence at previous concerts.

The signs were certainly there, yet the warnings were not heeded.

There are signs given in the Bible that speak to this very day and age, to this society and mentality: “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12); “in the last days … men will be lovers of themselves, … without self-control, brutal” (2 Timothy 3:1–3).

“I looked around and just saw people stare and others continuing to enjoy themselves as if these people meant nothing,” one concertgoer said. People were dying. But love of pleasure (2 Timothy 3:4) had eclipsed compassion for their fellow men. And those who did care were helpless to save the dying—or even themselves.

But did you know these signs of the times actually show us that there is Someone who can save, Someone who can save all of us? Jesus Christ is coming soon. When we see such miseries come to pass, we are to know that His coming is “at the doors” (Matthew 24:33). Pastor Doug Batchelor’s presentation “Plagues, Pestilence and Prophecy—Signs of the Times” speaks to this very time in earth’s history.

The signs of this wretched world, heavy with grief, drenched in bloodshed, are crying out for the advent of our Savior. Don’t ignore them like the world so carelessly does. Christ has given us hope in His Word and purpose in His call. All who believe in His name are instructed to preach “this gospel of the kingdom … in all the world as a witness” (v. 14), “as a light that shines in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19). Shine, brothers and sisters, shine as the “children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Philippians 2:15). Point the lost to “the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Bid them look and live, to “lift up [their] heads, because [their] redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). 

Kris W. Sky
Kris W. Sky is a writer and editor for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.
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