It’s no secret that Travis Scott enjoyed a particular kind of atmosphere in the audience of his shows.
Unfortunately, that atmosphere led to the tragedy at this past weekend’s Astroworld Festival. As we’ve been reporting, eight people died and hundreds more were injured when the 50,000+ person crowd became chaotic during the rapper’s set on Friday night. In the aftermath, fans and onlookers have been stepping back to understand the context within which such an event could occur.
Related: ‘Distraught’ Travis Issues Refund To Astroworld Attendees, Cancels Future Shows
One piece of the puzzle is a resurfaced GQ video from 2015 entitled “How to Rage with Travis Scott.” In it, the Sicko Mode artist explained his ideal concert scenario, saying:
“Since I was 6, I wanted to be a f**king wrestler. … So in performances, I always wanted to make it feel like it was the WWF or some s**t.”
He went on:
“You know, raging and having fun and expressing good feelings is something I plan on just like, doing and spreading across the globe. I just need air and a mic. I don’t need a stage to f**king perform, no. We just need something to stand on — it could be somebody. I just need a platform. We don’t like people that just stand, you know, whether you’re Black, white, brown, green, purple, yellow, blue. We don’t want you standing around, like, this is a no-stand zone.”
Kylie Jenner’s baby daddy encouraged audience members:
“You find anything you’re gonna use to consume to get you, like, lit, anything you gonna use that’s gonna get you just like, ready to go, whether it’s your drugs, or it’s your water, or it’s your orange juice and your alcohol. Whatever you want to do, man, get it in and you just have fun.”
“When you’re with Travis, or if you’re raging, let’s say you’re not with me… when people go out, there is no going home, man. It’s like, we’re gonna spend the night, and we’re gonna party all the way ‘til the f**king sun comes up. … At the end of the night, you should be f**king throwing up.”
Related: Astroworld Security Felt Unprepared With Lackluster Training Before Tragedy
Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with moshing when it’s done in relative safety. There’s nothing wrong with modeling a performance off of wrestling, either — but WWE matches are coordinated and staged professionally so that no one gets truly hurt. Travis’ trouble is his history of disregarding safety concerns, including two prior charges in 2015 and 2017 for disorderly conduct after inciting chaos at his shows.
Plenty of “ragers” have ended without casualties. But Travis will surely want to re-examine the environment he has fostered at his performances in light of this heartbreaking situation.
[Image via WENN/Avalon]