Yesterday morning, this blog published details about a then breaking news story – it was news of a horrific human crush which had taken place at the Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas. Since then, we’ve discovered the youngest person to have died was 14. The oldest was a mere 27 years old.
As the friends and family of the eight individuals who perished get to grips with the realisation their loved one won’t be coming home, I think the time is right to ask a lot of questions. Questions which, for everyone’s sakes, must be answered as soon as possible – something which the police in Houston are no doubt aware of.
But first, I wanted to pull up Astroworld on their official response to the tragedy. Here it is in all its glory…
What the hell was that? This response has got to rate as one of the coldest, most callous corporate responses to a disaster I’ve ever seen. It’s honestly one of the most unsympathetic, glacial statements I can recall in memory. This has the grubby hands of solicitors all over it. And founder Travis Scott’s own reply is just as dreadful.
But casting aside the PR disaster which was their official responses, there are a lot of other questions to be asked here. For starters, how many people were in the venue who shouldn’t have been? Footage from earlier in the day showed security being breached by hundreds of people – this could well have contributed to any overcrowding on the day. How many people were actually in the venue?
How long did it take for it to become apparent things were going seriously wrong at the show? What was the reason for Scott not calling the show off earlier? What were the reasons it took so long for the medical authorities to get to people, and could lives have been saved?
A number of eyewitnesses on social media claim there weren’t enough security on duty – what were the numbers on the day? Was there a specific plan in place for dealing with the possibility of an event like this? Is the allegation the medical staff weren’t even trained in basic CPR true?
Should Travis Scott have been allowed anywhere near an event like this – he has a history of encouraging a reckless atmosphere at his concerts. And isn’t it increasingly the case that Live Nation, the organisers behind all this who are currently hiding in the hope no one will notice them, are not fit for purpose?
And possibly the biggest question of them all – just how much money is it going to cost Astroworld and Live Nation to extract themselves from this? If I were Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, this one would be giving me a lot of sleepless nights…