Astroworld tragedy fuels satanic ritual conspiracy theories

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Conspiracy theorists have accused rapper Travis Scott of conducting a satanic ritual at the deadly Astroworld concert in Houston on Friday.

The phrases “astroworld demonic,” “astroworld illuminati” and “astroworld upside down cross” are trending in the comments of TikTok videos of the massive crowd crush that killed eight people and injured hundreds more.

More than 34,000 people liked one comment that read: “The music industry is demonic and collects souls.”

TikTok users have become obsessed with symbols that decorated the stage in an attempt to justify their bizarre theories, including imagery of flames and burning doves.

The stage itself has been described as “an inverted cross leading to hell” on the social media platform.

Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
Conspiracy theorists have accused rapper Travis Scott of conducting a satanic ritual.
Erika Goldring/WireImage

One user falsely claimed Scott and fellow performer Drake “were born 66 months 6 days apart” in reference to “666” or the “Number of the Beast” as described in the Bible.

Drake on Monday night issued his first public remarks on the “devastating tragedy” at Scott’s Astroworld Festival, where he made a surprise appearance.

“My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering,” he wrote in a post to Instagram.

Emergency personnel respond to the Astroworld music festival in Houston on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.
Emergency personnel respond to the Astroworld music festival in Houston on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.
KTRK via AP

Wesleyan University anthropology professor Joseph Russo told the Guardian the Travis Scott conspiracy theory had similar hallmarks of QAnon.

“It is mutating and taking different forms, but it goes back to the idea there is a shadowy group of people in control behind it all,” Russo said. 

“It is super seductive, and always comes back – but it is surprising young people are following this script more and more.”

Festival goers are seen rushing into the VIP area prior to Travis Scott performing during day one of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Houston.
Several people died and numerous others were injured in a crowd surge at Astroworld while Travis Scott was performing.
Amy Harris/Invision/AP

TikTok has been contacted for comment.

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