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The air around NRG Park is somber

Written by on November 11, 2021


KTSU Contributing Writer

The air around NRG Park was thick with sadness as those who had been affected by the AstroWorld tragedy gathered in remembrance.

Days after the tragic crowd surge at the AstroWorld festival left eight people dead and 300 injured, a makeshift memorial was created mere feet from the scene of the tragedy.

Around mid-day, mourning patrons like Robert Ortiz reflected over the surreal atmosphere that surrounded the memorial. 

People dropped their kids off here for a few hours just to go see their favorite artist,” Ortiz said.

Robert Ortiz, attendee of AstroWorld Festival

“People dropped their kids off here for a few hours just to go see their favorite artist,” Ortiz said. 

“Even seeing it is unreal, I can’t believe that it happened.” 

For Daniela Morales, who was at the festival when tragedy struck, the surreal energy is still present, and she is only now able to speak about the events that occurred only days ago without crying.

“During the concert, I felt like the energy was just horrible,” Morales said. 

“Everybody who has passed by [NRG Park] is here because they care, and they feel some way to be here. It’s different outside than it was inside of there,” she said.  

Morales, like many others around the world, continues to question the true nature of the event’s staff and security, as well as why such a horrific event was allowed to occur in the first place.

“Obviously we’re still dealing with Covid. How were their 50,000 people there?” Morales said. 

 “Once you entered in, they didn’t care. They wanted to see the wristband you paid for and that’s it,” she revealed of the festivals’ security team.

Ortiz is also still frustrated with the way the entire event was handled and with the way Travis and his organization have addressed the situation. 

“His apology seemed fake,” Ortiz said. “He was looking down on everyone.” 

Morales hopes to contribute in any way she can to the victims’ families.

Regardless of what Travis Scott does, people like me are going to donate to the GoFundMe. I want to make sure that their next paycheck is taken care of,” Morales said.

Daniela Morales, attendee of AstroWorld Festival

Morales is giving back because she genuinely feels like Travis Scott did not do enough at the end of the day to avoid what became an ultimately deadly situation. 

“There were so many signs that the show needed to be stopped but he didn’t acknowledge or care for them,” Morales said. “He says that his fans come first but nobody came first.” 

Meanwhile, Ortiz just wants Scott to be held accountable for the events that have taken place.

“Travis needs to be held responsible for what happened. Teenagers died, when have you heard of a teenager dying at a festival? We’re supposed to be full of energy, that’s what is supposed to be happening,” Ortiz said.

In general, these two men’s sentiments echo the words and thoughts of many people throughout the world.

Many believe Travis Scott and the AstroWorld organizers did not go far enough, while others believe they bear no responsibility for the events of Friday night.

While generations will continue to raise questions, the memorial just outside NRG Park will stand as a testament to a community healing, looking back, and looking forward.