“By redefining what music and sponsorships could be, Travis Scott has revolutionized popular culture and established himself as an icon of gen Z. Pretty much everyone in our school at least knows of him and some of his accomplishments. I, along with many others in the school, am more than ready for what he has in the future and what we will see from him.” – Paul Noel (writing for the JagWire, Pre Astroworld)
This was just weeks before the Astroworld incident, where 8 people were trampled in a stampede. I had no idea what was on the horizon. I didn’t see this coming from a mile away, even though I could’ve.
How has Travis Scott created a culture of irresponsibility at his concerts? How did Generation Z fall for his rhetoric so easily? Is it the fault of the internet? There are deep problems with gen z that can be traced to the internet.
When the internet works well, it can help us perform impressive initiatives. We can use TikTok hand signals to distinguish victims of abuse, we can plant 20,000,000 trees, and we can identify “John Does” on Reddit. But there are also disastrous things that people can do on the internet.
The push for quick content and likes causes people to benefit from stirring up outrage. When people are encouraged to break COVID protocols and steal from stores by the internet, you can see how irresponsible stampedes may not be that far off.
Why are people inclined to act like this at a Travis Scott concert? Well, it’s because Travis Scott is a physical embodiment of internet culture, more directly, the negative aspects of internet culture. If you ask any of the people who have engaged in mischief for “clout,” they would normally see Travis Scott as an influence, if not an inspiration.
I don’t want to bring up the lyrical content of his songs, as I believe that is not the cause of his followers behaving like this. Many artists talk about much more damaging experiences, but don’t have the same amount of violence at their shows. Travis is completely different. He has a history of fans being paralyzed, beat up, and killed at his shows.
When you combine someone with little sense of morality or responsibility when it comes to his fans, and a young, impressionable online fan-base, you will get absolute mayhem. The reflection of Generation Z has shown the reflection of all the issues we’re too scared to talk about. It showed clout chasing, irresponsibility on many fronts, and denial.