Unforgivable Actions by Travis Scott Entering Coachella
Travis Scott, a famously-known American rapper has recently faced a severe downfall in his professional career as an artist. Dating back to 2018, Scott has been holding his annual music festival titled Astroworld, held in Houston, Texas. On November 5, 2021, a mass casualty occurred with a total of 10 deaths, and far more injured because of overall disorganization and Scott’s encouragement for chaos commonly found at his festivals. After the tragedy took place, the rising question of whether or not Scott should be allowed to perform at all in music festivals has been debated.
Specifically, the controversy over if Scott should headline Coachella, after previously being chosen in 2020, sparked a conversation. Coachella is one of, if not the biggest, music festival held in California, with a total estimate of 250,000 people attending each year. Many saw Scott performing in general at this festival as an issue, including Sendero Secreto, who launched a petition on change.org to remove Scott as a performing artist. Secreto expressed, “With the recent tragic and unnecessary death at Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert, due to Scott’s own gross negligence and sheer lack of compassion for human life, we ask AEG, Paul Tollet, and Goldenvoice to remove him as performer at all of their festivals” gaining 63,000 signatures drawing attention to the valid concern.
Personally, I was never a huge fan of Scott to begin with, only hearing one song here and there while respecting him as a human. However, after hearing about the Astroworld tragedy back in November, I had lost all respect that I once contained. In Scott’s interviews and apologies post-Astroworld he stated that the casualties were not his fault nor “responsibility” and he was not aware of what was happening until after the festival ended. Although this can be used as an argument, there is almost no physical possibility that Scott did not see how close his fans were to each other, along with the few ambulances who managed to submerge into the crowd in an attempt to save who they could. It was noted and recorded that fans were chanting out for help, and when Scott did notice, he dismissed his fans and continued the show. With that being said, I do not think that anytime in the next year at the minimum Scott should be seen at any festivals, or big concerts in general. Especially Coachella – one of the biggest festivals there is to go to. Having Scott perform would be putting a mass amount of people in danger and encouraging the kind of behavior seen at Astroworld.
As of January 12, 2022, the headliners for Coachella have been released, and it was published that, according to Billboard, Coachella notified Scott’s agent that Goldenvoice will even be paying a “kill fee” to have Scott no longer perform. In November 2021, sources of famous artists and performers noticing fans having health issues and assisting them gained attraction. One being Billie Eilish. The singer-songwriter is now being noticed as Scott’s replacement headliner, and I believe Eilish will exceed expectations with keeping fans and festival-goers healthy while also providing a revolutionary experience for them. I am beyond grateful that Goldenvoice listened to fans and removed a potentially dangerous performer from their headlines even if it meant that the company would lose a fraction of income and face an inconvenience trying to find replacement artists.
There are many instances where celebrities or individuals in the public eye will make a mistake or get “canceled” by the media and never forgiven. The topic of whether or not these famous people should be forgiven is commonly discussed with the upcoming generations’ awareness and intolerance to inhumane public figures. In this case, Scott held a festival where several people passed away, and more who had to face injuries, and even more who are now traumatized. There are things that he could have done differently to prevent the majority of casualties from occurring, and instead of admitting this, in recent interviews Scott has publicly stated, “As an artist, you just do the creative. And this to be my festival, I got to bring artists, creatively produce it. We just trust the professionals to make sure that people are taken care of and leaving safely”(Billboard). By Scott expressing this, it shows that he has not taken into consideration his own faults of the matter, but rather accusing the people hired for the entire tragedy in a way to prevent the burden onto himself. If the media or big companies that host festivals were to forgive Scott too soon, or even at all, he may continue this behavior (due to the fact that he saw nothing wrong with what he did), and put thousands of more people in danger in upcoming years.