Deadly Astroworld Festival Sparks Discussions of Demonic Sacrifice

By: Lauren Brensel


Mirza Baig, 27, Rodolfo Peña, 23, Madison Dubiski, 23, Franco Patiño, 21, Jacob Jurinke, 20, John Hilgert, 14, Axel Acosta Avila, 21 and Brianna Rodriguez, 16. Eight names of eight people who died at Travis Scott’s Nov. 5 Astroworld Festival.

Scott and his mosh-pit driven concerts have always been dangerous. In 2017, Kyle Green sued the musician and his manager after being partially paralyzed when Scott encouraged crowds to jump from a third-story balcony at a show in Manhattan. Still, the recent Astroworld festival that attracted over 50,000 people was like none of Scott’s previous shows. The words most seem to describe it with? Just different. “Within the first 30 seconds of the first song, people began to drown-in other people,” Seanna Faith McCarty, a concertgoer, took to Instagram the next day.

Reactions to the festival which also hospitalized some 300 have been mixed. Some were quick to blame Scott, especially after he audibly admitted he saw an ambulance during the show. Others are taking a much different approach: one that claims the concert was Scott’s way of performing a satanic sacrifice.

“It is mutating and taking different forms, but it goes back to the idea there is a shadowy group of people in control behind it all,” Joseph Russo, an anthropology professor at Wesleyan University, told The Guardian. “It is super seductive, and always comes back – but it is surprising young people are following this script more and more.”

Much like the plot of “Jennifer’s Body”, believers of said conspiracy argue that Scott sacrificed these lives for fame. Though the rapper, along with guest performer Drake, now face several lawsuits, young audiences on TikTok believe the violence was intentional to popularize Scott in the music industry.

The demon discussion in the field is an ongoing one, reappearing after rapper Lil Nas X released his song and music video “Call Me By Your Name” in March 2021. The song paid tribute to his toxic relationship between religion and sexuality and gay culture, in general (The 2017 “Call Me By Your Name” movie features a gay romance.) The backlash, like Astroworld, is mixed, with some also standing in that the music industry supports the devil.

Disbelievers are prompt to call out the harmfulness behind this ideology: it erases the actual lives lost in the show at the expense of a theory. Especially so when nearly every Astroworld post on social media has at least one comment about the demonic elements at play while little is known about the victims of the violent concert.

"A representative from TikTok said this content violates community guidelines and the company is working on taking action against it, “including within search suggestions.”,” Andrea Marks wrote for The Rolling Stone.

Among other criticisms following the festival is one discussing a video in which two concertgoers were seen dancing on an ambulance vehicle within the mosh of people. One of the men, Danny, posted on an Instagram story that wrote “Uh oh guys. Cancel culture at it again.”

“This is how I knew the crowd was full of butt soft a** people,” Danny continued. We rage forreal, I’m sorry you guys wanna have a sad day about it.” Afterwards, he recognized those who passed , regarding the event as “tragic”.

Another viral video shows the aforementioned McCarty climbing a ladder, alerting a cameraman to the deadly situation. “He told me to get off the platform, and continued filming,” she wrote on Instagram. “He called someone else up. The other man grabbed my arm, and told me he would push me off the 15 foot platform with no sides if I didn’t get down”. All the while, other footage shows Scott dancing the robot above a concertgoer receiving CPR.

One thing is for sure: such traumatic events make for different responses. “Other people have implied that Covid-19 vaccines — which have been shown in clinical trials to be safe and effective at preventing serious Covid infections — could be the cause of the deaths at the event,” Marks continued.

For Gen-Z, Astroworld is just one of many memorable tragedies. The Sandy Hook shooting, the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the Covid-19 pandemic are just to name a few. These events shaped their upbringing and their senses of sensitivity to current events. Though such conspiracy theories are uncharacteristic, some feel they are not absurd given the generation’s exposure to dark times.

Russo further elaborated, “In a moment in which young people feel they’re living in a really chaotic world where not much makes sense, certain conspiracy theories can feel like a security blanket, because they tell us there is actually an order underneath it all.”

“Remember through all of this, those we lost are who we fight for. Please be kind to one another. I will do all I can for the families, and if you are able to help them, do!,” McCarty captioned her post.


Display Picture: Amy Harris/Invision/AP