The Astroworld situation brings back memories of a great day out of tragedy

ASTROWORLD – As the tragedy of the Astroworld situation continues to unfold, we are reminded of similar accidents that took place at the since obsolete concert event, The Big Day Out in Australia. What should have been a taste of freedom has become a tragedy. Eight people lost their lives. A 14-year-old boy and seven others aged up to 27 were among the victims. In addition, over three hundred people were injured while at least twenty-five people are in the hospital. One person, a 9-year-old boy, is currently in a coma, according to XXL Magazine.

So how does the Astroworld situation relate to Big Day Out? There are two identical factors; a crowd crush and drugs. What makes some music festivals so deadly is the lack of crowd control and how difficult it is to police with thousands of people.

Moreover, concert organizers usually do not learn their homework until something terrible happens to them. What’s more is that if they try to get better, the tragedy will continue to happen until it becomes unbearable. That is why we are trying to raise awareness of how out of hand these types of events can get.

What happened at Big Day Out 2001? – Share one

Jumping back in time to The Big Day Out, it was one of those huge events most preteens dreamed of going to when they were old enough. However, there was one thing they were not aware of; fabric cultures. In addition, it was a rite of passage for many young music fans. It’s their version of Woodstock.

For Jessica Michalik, she was a 16-year-old girl who lost her life prematurely. She attended the 2001 Big Day Out event with her best friend, Liza Ryan. They had planned to watch Grindspoon, Jessica’s favorite band play.

Liza remembers a lot of “angry male energy” that day, which happened to be Australia Day, according to Paul Donoughue, Gabrielle Burke and Mike Williams from ABC’s Double J in October 2019. The audience had switched after Rammstein finished playing at an opposite stage. But at 9:23 p.m., security guard Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit said to stop playing. At the front of the stage, problems began to arise.

However, the band did not stop playing as they were asked, said Vivian Lees, a co-founder of Big Day Out, as stated in the aforementioned ABC / Double J article.

Liza remembers seeing how people struggled to get out of the crowd. Back on stage, Fred Durst criticized the promoters. When security did their best to bring people to safety, Lees jumped on stage and took over the microphone, asking people to take care of those around them.

What happened at Big Day Out 2001? – Part II

While it worked to some degree, but when the set started, paramedics were tasked with pulling unconscious people out of the wave.

Seven minutes after Fred Durst is told to stop playing, Jessica Michalik is pulled out of the crowd and she is unconscious.

Liza remembers that the last two memories of her best friend she had were from Jessica in the moshpit she had let go of her hand. After Jess was not at the venue, Liza called Jessica’s parents, and when she got home, she discovered that her friend had been driven to the hospital.

It was later discovered that after Jessica had been removed from the crush, paramedics had taken her to the first aid area, where they had not been able to find a pulse, nor did she breathe.

Jessica died five days later at Concord Hospital on January 31, 2001.

Jessica’s parents did not want the big day to end, and Fred Durst is set to explode

Despite losing their daughter, Jessica’s parents, George and Barbara, did not want the concert event abolished as it was part of Jess’ legacy. Liza agreed with them that there were several factors involved.

As George mentioned in ABC’s Double JJ article:

Big Day Out was Jessica and Jessica was Big Day Out.

George Michalik about wanting BDO to be part of his daughter’s lasting legacy.

Meanwhile, Fred Durst came under fire for his criticism of the initiators. In the years following Jessica’s death, Limp Bizkit first returned to Australia in 2012, where they played on Soundwave, where they paid tribute to Jessica.


The coroner concluded that Jessica had died of suffocation as a result of being crushed. Founders Vivian Lees and Ken West were not punished, but they were criticized during the investigation for not doing more to maintain their crowd control. No one, however, was blamed for the crushing.

While the Big Day Out festival was loved in the media at the time, there seemed to be a shift in how people viewed it. A D-barrier was introduced to alleviate the weight of the crowd in the mosh pit.

In addition, one of the singers from one of the other bands criticized the audience for being violent. There was even one incident where a band went off stage when the mosh-pit went out of control.

Astroworld employees apparently did not care

There have been reports from people attending the Astroworld concert where they knew something was wrong. Many people tried to sound the alarm, but no one seemed to listen. Io Dodds of the Independent reported that videos surfaced on social media of people screaming for help. In addition, an article by Taylor Ardrey of Insider wrote that Paul Wertheimer, an expert on crowd safety, has said the crowd was not to blame for the tragedy. He places the blame directly on the organizers for not doing more to prevent loss of human life.

According to footage that emerges, members of the audience had to climb ladders to get to the camera, people allegedly shaking them off, for focusing on their jobs instead of trying to prevent mass deaths. Event officials say there were about 50,000 people at the Astroworld event.

Travis Scott’s Story of Bad Behavior and The Gate Crashers

Showbiz reporter Kinsey Schofield told GBNews that Travis Scott has a history of bad behavior at his concerts and that there were gate crashers at the Astroworld festival. She said gatecrashing was all organized on the internet. She also questioned where the initiators, security and police were under this and why they did not monitor online activity to prevent a recurrence of what happened at the 2019 Astroworld event in which three people were injured.

Kinsey went on to say at the time of the 2019 incident that police had tweeted that the festival had not been properly staffed. However, the tweet had since disappeared. She also acquired Travis Scott’s ruthlessness that had led him to arrest in 2015 at Lollapalooza after he urged the audience to hurry on stage. Eventually, this was reported by Daniel Kreps of Rolling Stone at the time of the incident.

As for the incident in 2017, a man claimed he was pushed out of a third-floor balcony during a Travis Scott concert and was paralyzed.

Was the drug story made up? The police had concerns

During Kinsey’s report to GBNews, she did not bring the drug story up on Astroworld because from what she had been told, the story had been pushed by Travis Scott and the organizers to distance themselves from the chaos to make it look less tragic than what it was. She also said that the story claims that a security guard had been stunned and had fainted. She added that the deaths were allegedly condemned as cardiac arrest that could possibly be linked to drug use.

However, Kinsey also said she did not press on the narrative because of how flimsy the story is. We must say that we agree. The youngest person to die was a 14-year-old child. Who allows a child of that age to attend a concert like this?

To conclude this point, Kinsey also said that Houston’s Chief of Police spoke with Travis a few days before the event to express his own concerns.

The Drug Death At Perth Big Day Out Event 2009

Ultimately, this brings us to the second death that occurred at another Big Day Out event, this time in 2009.

Gemma Thoms was 17 years old and an alleged regular taker of ecstasy, according to a 2013 article by WA Today. She and her best friend, Cassandra Southern, were thrilled to attend the Perth section of Big Day Out as it was their first concert experience. After being reminded to wear sunscreen and drink a lot of water due to the heat of Gemma’s mother, the girls were done with their ecstasy pills when they arrived at the venture because they feared they would be discovered and taken gone.

This happened after they took one pill each while at home. Before Cassandra went into the venture, Cassandra reportedly told Gemma not to swallow the remaining tablets, but she did anyway.

While the festival organizers were not responsible, the investigation into Gemma’s death, according to a news report from Ten Perth News from 2013, found that the medical facilities were not up to standard and that the volunteer who treated her was not to blame. From what was discovered, Gemma was shut back in the crowd and that her temperature rose to the 40s. Her death was condemned as an accident.

What’s more, is that according to the aforementioned WA Today article, Gemma had lied about her age. When she and Cassandra came to the venture, Gemma was given a bracelet for areas containing alcohol. After standing by one of the amusements of the event, she collapsed. She was taken to a first aid tent before being driven to the hospital, where she died the next day.

Has Astroworld become dangerous?

The Astroworld Festival has only been around since 2018 and it has already created problems. It now appears that Travis Scott, Live Nation and a number of others are now being sued, according to Alaa Elassar of CNN. Here is the thing that makes us think. Given Scott’s history of misconduct, did he think his young daughter could have been a victim if she had been old enough to attend? It is not us who are tough. It’s just us who are realistic. How would he have felt if Stormi had been hurt? He should put himself in the place of the parents who lost children.

Of course, he has promised to pay for the funerals of all the people who died, as mentioned by Sara Nathan and Gabrielle Fonrouge of the New York Post. However, this does not bring these people back from the dead. Children died! If he and the organizers had not been ruthless, the tragedy would never have happened in the first place.

All the Astroworld promoters seem to care about is money. How many of them have children? If their children were in that quantity and were wounded or killed, would they then be upset? Yes, they would. Would they like the organizers to be held accountable? Absolutely. They need to stop thinking about themselves and what the families of the victims want them to do.

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