Did Heat Aggravate the Stampede at the Ll WeezyAna Festival?

09:44 September 10, 2019
By: Liv Arriviello

The 4th annual Lil WeezyAna Festival was held on the grounds of the UNO Lake Front Arena on Saturday Sept. 6th. Following Meek Mill's performance at 8:30 concert goers ran in stampede like fashion towards safety as those in the crowd claimed to have heard gunshots. Primed by the trauma of the shootings seen daily on American T.V the attendees hardly overreacted in their fear driven attempt to flee in search of safety. In the search, however, people tumbled over barricades, got pushed, tripped, fell down or got trampled. Medical tents were overwhelmed with the influx of patients far past the normal drunk tank atmosphere. After the triggered panic had subsided, a panicked crowd tore to the concession tents raiding registers and tip jars and pouring themselves cocktails with the booze left within the bars.

In might not solely be the opportunity that overtook the crowd and resulted in the sweep of concession stands after the panic; in fact, it could be heat. The instance of crime and heat is a largely researched area of social science. The university of Southern California found that days with a high of more than (or equal to) 85 degrees spurred a 2.2% rise in general crime and a 5.7% increase in violent crimes. This research suggest that at levels of "extreme" temperature (note: none of those researchers have ever spent an August in New Orleans if 85 degrees is considered extreme), people spending time in the heat tend to act more deviant or aggressively than they normally would when not faced with such uncomfortable climate. This data was further corroborated by the Philadelphia police department and the U.S Bureau of Justice who noted higher rates of crime during the summer months in all respective U.S. cities.

The average temperature in New Orleans which is typically recorded around 90 degrees in the first few weeks of September, was stagnant this weekend with a heat index of about 100 degrees. Lil WeezyAna festival goers can attest to this defeating heat. Attendees complained that there was no shade to be found at the festival nor did it provide free water stations as some festivals do; water bottles were, however, being sold for $4.00 per 16-ounce bottle.

Over the past 32 years, the average temperature in New Orleans has increased by 1.57 degrees as a result of a changing climate. It begs to question whether the drinks taken from vendors or tips nicked from the jars were witnessed, in part, due to the unprecedented temperatures festival goers faced this Saturday. The festival which has persisted without issue for 4 consecutive years has suddenly taken a more dangerous turn. Could global warming make our world a - slightly - more criminal place to live?

Crime: https://nypost.com/2019/06/18/high-temperatures-can-lead-to-more-violent-crime-study-finds/

General Lil WeezyAna Festival Information: https://www.nola.com/archive/article_37ea93fe-b432-5566-8869-7748fbbc11cf.html

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