Festivals can be glorious celebrations of music, counterculture, and artistic achievements. But sometimes they go terrifyingly sideways and a perfect storm leads to tragic loss of life in a preventable accident. At Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, at least eight fans died and hundreds were injured. Massive overcrowding and negligent security measures led to the brutal chaos that ensued. Lawsuits and hysteria are boiling over.
Among the stories surfacing, the chief of police in Houston said that they are investigating one security guard who was injected by someone in the crowd and had to be revived with Narcan. Though no official reports have confirmed this story, it indicates that the victim was given a hot shot, or overdose of an opiate or opioid. Many are skeptical of this claim, as hypotheses abound. Wild controversy and conspiracy allegations persist in the online chatter swirling around the Astroworld tragedy. Someone running around drugging people is scary. Another story popped up from an even larger event that isn’t getting the same amount of coverage.
Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in Las Vegas went off at the end of October without a hitch, thanks to police busting an admitted terrorist who threatened to fill balloons with fentanyl and pop them in the crowd. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Abraham Hurtado-Castrejon, 30 was arrested on October 22. The police report said that Pasquale Rotella, the chief executive of Insomniac Holdings LLC, the promoter of EDC, received verbal threats. An audio message from an Instagram account belonging to Hurtado-Castrejon said, “this mother f—– didn’t send me a refund, so now there’s (obscenity) with fentanyl balloons up in that b—-. You just pop em and BOOM!”
Upon further investigation, the Instagram account had pictures of Hurtado-Castrejon holding an AR-15. When they searched his house, police reports say a suspected 3-D printed AR-15 pistol, as well as other gun parts and accessories were found.
Insomniac reportedly reached out to Hurtado-Castrejon to offer a refund, but he refused saying “Yup bit its to late to try to fix it (sic),” and a second message: “Yall had two years.” An Insomniac representative said Hurtado-Castrejon was given a full refund for the $349 ticket in May of 2020. After being arrested, he told police that he never meant to follow through with the threat, and he only said it to get more attention for his ticket refund. He was upset that he wasn’t given a refund immediately and that they suggested he use the ticket for the rescheduled festival this year.
Both of these incidents are concerning. When it comes to drugs at festivals, most people are focused on safe testing and medical facilities for people to recover from bad drug experiences or overdoses. The emergence of alleged drug-related terrorism is a new threat to be wary of. But don’t live in fear, just test your drugs and take care of each other out there so we can all enjoy music festivals safely together.