Few things set the world on fire and united everyone for a cause quite like Black Lives Matter. It gave the movement a lot of fuel and visibility after the world saw how George Floyd was killed by an officer who knelt on his neck and then we found out about Breonna Taylor’s house raid which killed her.
Such an event was #FreeBritney. If you don’t know Britney Spears has spent her last 14 years in a conservatorship. A conservatorship is usually seen as a last resort for the elderly, people who have ailments like Dementia or Alzheimer’s, who cannot care for themselves, not being able to run basic daily tasks. Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan are just two of the most famous cases among conservatorships.
Britney’s case caught on fire because of a podcast called Britney’s Gram, featured a voicemail from a paralegal who worked on her case who heard their latest episode, who told them that Britney refused to take her prescribed medication during rehearsals for the Domination tour, which her father then canceled. Her team set themselves up, and created companies off of Britney’s back, examples being TriStar Entertainment founded by Louise M Taylor, the alleged mastermind of the conservatorship and CrowdSurf, the company who managed Britney’s social media and to several other celebrities, like Backstreet Boys.
Fast forward to when her lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III resigned and she got the right to choose a lawyer to better represent her, former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart back in July 2021. Since then, it took ‘’Rosendaddy’’ as fans started to nickname him, around 5 more months to get the judge to terminate the conservatorship on 11/12/2021. It was a hugely celebrated day, but it really was thanks to her fans who reviewed and analyzed each court document and shared insight online, organized protests etc. That’s what one can accomplish with proper support. Fans updated the hashtag to #FreedBritney, who said on Instagram that it was her ‘’best day ever’’.
Another event that heated optic fibers around the world has been Astroworld Festival. It ran between 5-6 November, which is organized by rapper Travis Scott in Houston Texas. This year’s one has been a tad different, because the crowd – a staggering 50,000 – ‘’ surged toward a stage and were crushed against each other’’ (CNN, 2021). The death toll rose to 10, after a 9 year old child died in hospital.
Attendees reported to CNN that they ‘’started screaming for help … I felt so scared, like I was going to die.”(Emily Munguia) while Amper realized ‘’that people were dying’’. So, this wasn’t a regular festival, one that came after a long lockdown which WeForum called ‘’the largest psychological experiment ever’’. That pent up excitement to attend a live concert led to this.
People were seen in various clips posted online climbing the stage and screaming for help, that people are dying. It is clear that the event organisers have done an extremely poor job, considering the festival’s history, where in 2019 people were trampled in the rush of others to get into the festival, so it could have been avoided. Many suffered internal bleeding, spinal injuries and more.
The worse part for me has been finding out that Travis Scott teamed up with Better Help to offer a free month therapy for the attendees. A month free won’t solve trauma. Better Help is known to have sold data to 3rd parties like Facebook/Meta. To date, there are 177 lawsuits filed against Travis Scott, Drake, Live Nation and others, with one rising to $2 billion, and another of $750 million. Travis Scott stayed in his mansion to avoid facing the public, presumably the advice of his legal team.
Barker and Gray, 2019. #FreeBritney special emergency episode. Viewed [11/24/2021]. Available from: https://britneysinstagram.libsyn.com/75-freebritney
Cheyenne Roundtree, 2021. Inside Travis Scott’s Strange Post-Astroworld Partnership With BetterHelp, the ‘Tinder of Psychotherapy’. Viewed [11/24/2021]. Available from: https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-travis-scotts-strange-partnership-with-betterhelp-the-tinder-of-psychotherapy
Elke Van Hoof, 2020. Lockdown is the world’s biggest psychological experiment – and we will pay the price. Viewed [11/24/2021]. Available from: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/this-is-the-psychological-side-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-that-were-ignoring/
Hanna, Brown and Flores, 2021. At least 8 dead and many injured after crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, officials say. CNN. Viewed [11/24/2021]. Available from: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/11/06/us/houston-astroworld-festival/index.html
Hatfield, Mycah, 2021. 177 lawsuits filed two weeks after deadly Astroworld tragedy. ABC13.com. Viewed [11/24/2021]. Available from: https://abc13.com/astroworld-festival-travis-scott-houston-concert-deaths-live-nation/11255030/