Last year December a crowd crush at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival resulted in a total of 10 deaths and multiple injuries
This tragedy was traumatic for all attending and it sent waves across the music industry, forcing everyone to be more attentive to the importance of safety at large crowd gatherings of the sort
Few months later and I feel that say that the devestating Astroworld tragedy has had a positive impact on the UK festival scene.
Having spent the past two weekends at Wireless, it was clear to see that both artists and attendees have become more conscious of crowd safety. On separate occasions you could see the crowd assisting one another when the moshpit get rowdy, helping their fellow ‘ragers’ find their phone, get some breathing space or simply keep them up from falling. There were times when the moshpits would even come to a halt for the sake of helping someone in danger, most notably during Fivio Foreign’s performance where a person, unfortunately had a seizure and needed medical attention, the crowd were quick to open space for him and signal the artist to stop performing which he quickly responded to too.
Equally, the artists took on more responsibility in the management of their crowd, encouraging them to rave safely. Multiple acts including Knucks, Lancey Foux, and Tyler the Creator to mention a few were urging the crowd to be safe, while headliner A$AP Rocky started his performance with a set of rules for the crowd, most importantly “Be safe and love thy neighbour”.
Looking back on the events of the past two weekends it is clear to see that there has been learnings taken from the Astroworld Festival and while there’s still room for improvement when it comes to crowd management, it is also important to acknowledge the progress made as a collective.
Rather than criticizing young people for moshing, let’s acknowledge how they can still be socially responsible even while seeking a good time.