(NewsNation Now) — Incidents at past Travis Scott concerts are being looked at as Houston investigators try and piece together what went wrong at the Astroworld festival that left eight people dead and over 300 injured.
Scott’s high-energy performances are known for being chaotic, with concertgoers encouraged to take part in a raucous nature involving mosh pits, crowd surfing and stage diving.
People in the crowd reported lots of pushing and shoving during performances leading up to Scott’s set on Nov. 5 — which is normal at his shows.
This wasn’t Scott’s first time performing for an out-of-control crowd. He has in the past encouraged fans to bypass security and rush the stage.
The Houston police chief personally visited Scott before the deadly concert amid concerns about the crowd ahead of the event, the New York Times reported.
The police chief expressed his concerns about the energy of the crowd after a rowdy festival two years ago, according to the New York Times.
“Travis Scott’s whole aesthetic is about rebellion,” said HipHopDX editor-in-chief Trent Clark, who has attended several of his performances. “The shows have a lot of raging. With the death of punk rock, hip-hop has indeed adopted and patterned the new generation of mosh pits. It’s not uncommon to see a lot of crowding and raging or complete wild behavior at a Travis Scott show.”
“Travis Scott is legendary in the hip-hop community for his beyond high-energy performances, where he really tries to rile up the crowd,” said Noah Shachtman, editor-in-chief at Rolling Stone. “That makes for some really fun shows and made for a couple of scary incidents.”
Scott’s 2019 Netflix documentary “Look Mom I Can Fly” shows security guards talking about having to form a barricade to keep the audience safe.
In 2017, Scott was arrested after he encouraged fans to bypass security and rush the stage, leaving a security guard, a police officer and several others injured during a concert in Arkansas.
In a separate incident, he was sentenced to one year of court supervision after pleading guilty to reckless conduct charges stemming from a 2015 incident in Chicago at the Lollapalooza music festival. At the time, Chicago officials said Scott encouraged fans to vault security barricades.
“Festival seating — that’s standing room — is the most dangerous and deadly in live entertainment events,” Paul Wertheimer, a crowd management specialist said during an appearance on “Morning in America”. “They allowed the section where the crowd crushing and crowd surges occurred to become too dense.”
“Just because you have a lot of guards, doesn’t make the place safe,” he said.
Incidents like the one at the Astroworld Festival have turned fatal in large crowd gatherings in the past.
In 1979, 11 people died in a scramble to enter a Cincinnati, Ohio, concert by The Who. At a soccer stadium in England, a human crush in 1989 led to nearly 100 deaths. In 2015, a collision of two crowds at the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia caused more than 2,400 deaths, based on an Associated Press count of media reports and officials’ comments.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.