Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, staff photographer
Travis Scott knows how to organize a festival.
His second annual Astroworld Festival is a blueprint that others should follow. Perfect season. A varied, fresh cast. A successful mixture of local nostalgia and current culture.
THE WHOLE STORY: See more photos, videos, and a summary of the Astroworld Festival
And he lets people guess. The lineup, a diverse mix of genres, was released just before Friday lunchtime and included shock rocker Marilyn Manson, Pharrell Williams and the Houston All Stars rap collective. That meant it was at the forefront of social media trends by Saturday.
It was great to see two women, Megan Thee Stallion and the Spanish singer Rosalía, who split testosterone – even though they were both relegated to the smaller second tier. The opening party of last year was exclusively for men.
The tickets were sold out in September, but more were released on Friday. More than 50,000 people were expected to attend the NRG Park on Saturday across the street from the old Astroworld site.
Scott often mentioned the legendary amusement park, where locals were entertained with roller coasters, a water park, and an outdoor concert hall. He named the festival, an album and a tour after him and used the old Astroworld footage as a promotional tool.
Astroworld was opened on June 1, 1968 and closed on October 30, 2005. Sylvester Turner has vowed to bring it back. He tweeted last month to expect an announcement before the end of the year.
Until then, Scott's extravagance is a solid substitute. Apart from the music, carnival rides and games were on the program. Some opted for Funhouse with warped mirrors and mazes. Others gathered in an old arcade with skeeball, air hockey and a price crane.
A large silver skull resembling Scott greeted the fans as they entered the gates. It replaced last year's Gold Scott head. Lines for food and rides grew fast. Several young men ran around with several bags of Astroworld merchandise, including hoodies and sweatpants.
This year's edition was overcrowded much earlier. Some fans even lined up on Friday night to be the first. The excited crowds first overwhelmed the staff, broke through the gates and hurried to the entrance. Three people suffered leg injuries during the onslaught and were rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital, according to the Houston Fire Department.
The Houston Police tweeted on Saturday that they "work together to support the largest music festival in Houston" and "work closely together" the festival to ensure the public safety of all visitors to the event.
The fans raced in between the stages throughout the day to catch Migos, Pharrell Williams, Young Thug and Sheck Wes, who closed his explosive-filled set by telling the fans to "hold on" Your dreams. "With the exception of Scott, whose final set was 75 minutes, each act got 30 minutes.
Even before the "Htown Hottie" entered the stage, the crowd was filled with songs by "Megan! Megan! "It's no surprise that Megan Thee Stallion is one of the biggest new stars of the year, and her buzzword" Hot Girl's Summer "became a national obsession, with a slightly later date when Gucci Mane was mysteriously deleted from the lineup.
Megan stalked the stage with a leopard bodysuit and braid over her knees, packing her set from dancers to spectators, bringing several people to the stage to attend the twerk festival. [ShewasherelastmonthtoseeaheadliningshowattheReventionMusicCenterbutthisperformancefeltrougherandmoreaggressiveshehasanexcitingenergyassherapsandleadsthecrowdthroughseveralsongsincluding"Realer""SimonSays"and"HotGirlSummer"Nextyear
the stallion earns a nocturnal appearance on the main stage.  The Houston All Stars had a large crowd on the N Afternoon, which blew her H up. Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Lil Flip, Trae Tha Truth and Bun B. Slim Thug thanked the "lil homie Travis Scott" for the festival.
Maxo Kream, a newer name among local legends, brought a boost of energy, causing the crowd to form a Mosh Mine. He was dressed in Oilers Blue and Red to further enhance Htown's mood.