CRACKPOT conspiracy theorists have sensationally claimed that the tragic deaths of eight people at Travis Scott's "hellish" Astroworld concert last week came as part of a "satanic blood sacrifice."
Scott staged the event in his hometown of Houston, Texas on Friday night, but the concert ended in tragedy when the crowd of around 50,000 people suddenly surged towards the stage, crushing some attendees.
The eight victims' ages ranged from 14 to 27 and have all since been identified.
More than 300 others were also injured. At least 23 people were hospitalized, five of whom were under 18. Eleven of those taken to hospital suffered cardiac arrest.
Local police are currently investigating the possible cause of the apparent crowd surge, assessing whether there were any "missteps" in the planning and execution of the event, officials said.
In the meantime, a series of wild, bizarre and down-right disturbing conspiracy theories have surfaced on TikTok, with many of them accusing Scott of conducting a large-scale satanic sacrifice in plain sight.
To support the ludicrous claims, conspiracy theorists are citing a series of "proofs", including so-called hidden messages on a t-shirt worn by Scott and apparent occult symbolism in the design of the stage and in promotional material for the event.
“Anyone else notice that the stage is an inverted cross leading to a portal to Hell,” asked one TikToker, whose video has since racked up more than one million views.
Read our Travis Scott Astroworld Festival live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Others pointed out that attendees entered the stage through the mouth of a large sculpture of Scott's head, likening it to the famous "Christ in Limbo" painting by Hieronymus Bosch which depicts the "mouth of hell."
Many of the conspiracies highlight that the slogan for the festival was "See you on the other side", which Satanic panickers are claiming hinted towards the "planned blood sacrifice."
“We’re all suffocating, dying, and on the screen, it says ‘See you on the other side’ along with all the Illuminati symbols and the praying hand sucking our energy from us,” one TikToker said.
“I’m 100 percent convinced that this was literally an energy harvest, that this was a satanic ritual. Travis Scott was snatching people’s souls.”
QANON WADES IN
Members of the far-right and followers of QAnon have latched on to the misplaced hysteria and are stoking the flames of the satanic conspiracies.
“Just more proof that cements this as a ritual SACRIFICE…These people are SO UNBELIEVABLY SICK, AND EVIL,” Q influencer QAnon John wrote online.
"They do things like this to mock us, because they think we don’t know any better…Also, they are laughing at our stupidity, and naivety. There is NO such thing as ‘coincidence’. Ever."
He continued: "This Satanic ritual was WELL planned out in advance, and presented to be IN YOUR FACE WICKED.”
The head of a white supremacist website tweeted that "Travis Scott did a sacrifice", adding that one of his albums featured "depravity."
Daily Wire podcaster Matt Walsh charged in a tweet that Scott was a "satanic weirdo" who encouraged his crowds to "rage" and get violent.
The topic "Astroworld Sacrifice" even became a trending topic on Facebook, while Twitter reported seeing an increase in the number of people using search terms such as "demonic ritual" and "blood sacrifice" when discussing the event.
In one tweet, a user wrote: "Bro that s*** was a concert in hell.. illuminati blood sacrifice type s**t Travis Scott sacrificed so many lives tonight by not stopping that f**king show that s**ts demonic. #AstroWorld."
"Travis Scott sold his soul to the devil. Astro World was a BLOOD SACRIFICE," added another.
"He took 8 innocent lives to pledge his allegiance to the occult elite. 'He didn't do it om purpose!' SO WHY IS HE SINGING AS THEY CARRY OFF A DEAD BODY THEN?!? #AstroWorld."
Other tweets fixated on the shirt worn by Scott during the performance, claiming a logo emblazoned across the front showed people "turning into demons after walking through a portal."
"It was literally called 'see you on the other side' and he wore a shirt with people turning into demons after walking through a portal," one tweeter wrote.
"I hope this starts to wake up the young, pop, hip hop, etc crowd to what’s happening," a user responded in agreement.
"The final fight between good and evil is coming and it being announced LOUDLY. It’s time for everyone to decide where they want to spend eternity. It’s not a game or a joke. You will be tested."
Other users called attention to what they claim are signs of Satanic rituals in the rapper's performance, including flames and a circle on stage.
Some even invoked astrology, strangely declaring the event took place during "Scorpio season", which sounds like the word "corpse."
Others cited numerology, falsely claiming that Scott and fellow performer Drake, who also appeared at the concert, “were born 66 months 6 days apart”.
GEN-Z VULNERABLE TO FRINGE THEORIES
Experts told The Guardian that the viral misinformation illustrates how young social media users are increasingly susceptible to fringe conspiracy theories.
“We have this stereotype of conspiracy theorists being older people on social media, but young people can in some ways be more susceptible,” Jennifer Stromer-Galley, a professor studying social media platforms at Syracuse University, said.
“We know that human brains really like sensational content, and teenage brains even more so because they are still developing,” she added.
Meanwhile, Scott's involvement in the tragedy has come under increasing scrutiny in the four days since.
In a statement on Saturday night, the popular rapper wrote that he was "absolutely devastated" by the deaths of eight of his fans.
"My fans really mean the world to me and I always wanna leave them with a positive experience and anytime I can make out anything that’s going on, I stop the show and help them get the help they need, you know?" he said.
The rapper, whose real name is Jacques Bermon Webster II, added that he is working with the proper authorities and is asking fans from the event to do the same.
"If you have any information, please just contact your local authorities. Everyone continue to just keep your prayers.
"I’m gonna do everything I can to keep you guys updated and keep you guys informed on what’s going on," he added.
Meanwhile, his girlfriend Kylie Jenner said she's heartbroken, writing: "Travis and I are broken and devastated. My thoughts and prayers are with all who lost their lives, were injured or affected in any way by yesterday's events.
"And also for Travis who I know cares deeply for his fans and the Houston community," Jenner continued.
"I want to make it clear we weren't aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing.
"I am sending my deepest condolences to all the families during this difficult time and will be praying for the healing of everyone who has been impacted."
LAWSUITS PILE UP
Scott is reportedly facing numerous lawsuits following the disaster at The Astroworld festival show.
According to Billboard, a festival attendee, Manuel Souza, filed a petition in Harris County District Court against Scott, organizer ScoreMore and concert company Live Nation.
The lawsuit alleges that Scott and his producing partners placed emphasis on “a motivation for profit at the expense of concertgoers’ health and safety."
The plaintiff's attorney, Steve Kherkher, wrote: “Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner.
“Instead, they consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors."
Alongside Drake, Scott has also been accused of "inciting mayhem" during the Friday night incident.
In light of the mounting lawsuits, Scott canceled a planned appearance at the Las Vegas festival Day N Vegas this weekend.
He has also offered to pay for the funerals of all of the victims and will be partnering with online therapy provider BetterHelp to supply one month of free one-on-one therapy for festival attendees.
"Travis remains in active conversations with the city of Houston, law enforcement and local first responders to respectfully and appropriately connect with the individuals and families of those involved," Scott's spokesperson said in a statement.
"These are the first of many steps Travis plans on taking as a part of his personal vow to assist those affected throughout their grieving and recovery process.
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