Astroworld Festival 2021 Spotlight
Written by Morgan Rosenbaum on October 16, 2021
Houston’s largest music festival is back again for another year.
Like every other festival, Astroworld took a hiatus last year, but Travis Scott and his brand of high-energy rap music seem to be on track for another banger in 2021. As in years past, the festival lineup hasn’t been revealed yet, so in the meantime we’re taking a look back at our coverage of Astroworld 2019:
“The forecast was perfect. 70 degrees, partly cloudy, and full of people wanting to rage. The eagerly awaited second installment of Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival kicked off at noon on Saturday, with massive crowds rushing the gates. Featuring a star-studded lineup, the day was sure to be a hit with the fans, and it was.
One of the first heavy hitters of the day, Sheck Wes, got the crowds hyped and set the tone for the rest of the day with a short set, including his hit song, “Mo Bamba.” While Wes took the stage at one of the earlier slots in the day, the fans still showed up, with crowds of people swarming the stage the second he ran out of the wings. Wes was energetic as ever; jumping around the stage, throwing water bottles, and giving the fans a taste of what was to come. After Wes finished his set, fans remained crowded around the stage, with some waiting for the next act, and others already trying to secure their spots for Scott’s headlining performance later that night.
Regardless of their intentions, those who stayed were soon greeted by the
Houston All-Stars, a rap group of local Houston legends:
Bun B, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Lil’ Keke, Trae tha Truth, and DJ Mr. Rogers. The group played through hits of their collective careers, from Paul Wall’s “Sittin Sideways,” to UGK’s “Int’l Players Anthem.” Near the end of their set, the group brought out Maxo Kream, another artist from the H. While the crowd was on the younger side, the fans seemed to appreciate seeing the Houston OG’s showing up to support the new generation of Houston rappers.
After the all stars left the stage, performances began starting later and later, sometimes up to a half hour after their scheduled time, with Gucci Mane being dropped from the lineup midway through the day. Fans seemed to get restless at times, chanting the name of the next act as the stage sat empty.
Just before 6pm, Playboi Carti took the main stage in typical fashion, waving his arms and running around the catwalk as he played through his sundown set. Carti, known for his rowdy fanbase, repeatedly told the crowds to “open it up” to form mosh pits. Sporting a red leather jacket, the rapper played through hit songs from his discography and saw the most energetic crowd yet, with dozens of water bottles and drinks flung into the air throughout his set. As Carti closed out his set, the sun dropped completely below the horizon, leaving the crowd lit only by the lights of the stage and the carnival rides scattered around the festival.
Shortly afterwards, Migos took the stage for one of the most anticipated sets of the day, and they did not disappoint. Despite starting late, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff ran through songs including their 2016 smash hit “Bad and Boujee.” At this point, nearly all of the 50,000+ attendees surrounded the main stage to see the trio perform.
On the smaller stage, a more modest crowd had gathered to see surprise lineup addition Marilyn Manson. The rocker took the stage in typical fashion, dressed in all black with his trademark makeup, as his band brought the sounds of hard rock to the festival. Fans were initially confused by his performance, with Manson himself saying “I bet none of you saw this coming.” The crowd remained apprehensive until Manson broke out with his cover of Eurythmic‘s “Sweet Dreams” at which point fans began singing along and headbanging with the music.
Just after 10pm, fans were surprised to find Dave Chappelle on stage to introduce the headliner and hometown hero, Travis Scott. Despite having injured his leg less than a month prior at Rolling Loud in New York, Scott delivered an energetic performance full of pyrotechnics, and surprise guests. At the beginning of his set, the artist emerged from the back of an ambulance on a gurney, and was rolled down the catwalk before jumping out and breaking into “Stargazing.” Scott performed the first few songs held aloft on a raised platform, before introducing a slew of surprise guests.
Fans were delighted to get another look at Migos and Young Thug, both of whom had sets earlier in the day, as well as Gunna and most notably Kanye West, who joined Scott for a song off his new album Jesus is King, as well as an older hit off Graduation. Scott closed out his near hour-and-a-half performance with his hit song “Sicko Mode,” joined by Swae Lee and a barrage of fireworks.
Despite delays and some technical issues throughout the festival, social media was awash with fans raving about the experiences they had at Astroworld. Travis Scott once again showed love for his hometown with a day full of star-studded performances and surprises, and his fanatical fan base showed up to support. While it is unknown if the festival will return in 2020, one thing is for sure: Astroworld 2019 gave fans an unforgettable experience, and cemented itself in the history books as a day to remember.”