The Claim: The episode “The Simpsons” from three years ago referred to Astroworld
Travis Scott’s performance at his Astroworld festival left 10 people dead and hundreds injured after a sudden increase in crowds.
While a criminal investigation into the outbreak is underway, social media users say the event was featured on a long-running TV show three years ago.
“Why no one is talking about it, the Simpsons know,” reads the text superimposed on an image resembling parts of the Astroworld festival and featuring characters from the popular TV show “The Simpsons.” The image, posted to Facebook on November 9, was shared nearly 400 times in three days.
Caption claims the image, which depicts Lisa and Homer Simpson walking through a giant gold head bow similar to Scott’s face, was featured on the show in 2018.
The fatal outcome of the music festival led to the spread of a series of false claims and misinformation across multiple social media platforms. And this is just the last example, because it implies that the show predicted the festival and its outcome years before it happened, telling readers, “Open your eyes and really know how it all unfolds.”
Special access for subscribers! Click here to sign up for our fact-checking text chat
However, the image in the post was created by a New Zealand graphic designer. This is not part of an actual episode of “The Simpsons”.
USA TODAY has contacted the user who posted the complaint for comment.
Image is digital fan art
Claims that “The Simpsons” predicted actual events are not new.
He has been credited with predicting the results of the Super Bowl, the January 6 riot, the presidency of Donald Trump and even the holding of Vice President Kamala Harris’s inauguration day.
However, just like those claims, the claim that the show referred to the Astroworld Festival in one of its episodes years before it happened is false.
The image shared on social media was actually designed in 2018 by Liam Ayson, a junior designer in New Zealand.
Checking the facts: False claim that “hundreds” died in Astroworld festival tragedy
Ayson posted the image, which received over 1,500 likes, to his Instagram page on August 4, 2018. Ayson wrote in the caption that the illustration, which he created using Procreate, was his “Simpsons versions of (Travis Scott’s) #astroworld cover.”
Ayson told USA TODAY that he had just bought an iPad at the time and wanted to create digital artwork, but didn’t know where to start.
“Astroworld just came out and I wanted to make it a version of The Simpsons and Astroworld,” he said in an email.
Scott’s album “Astroworld” was released on August 3, 2018, according to information at the time. In a tweet Announcing its release in July 2018, Scott posted the image that ended up being the album cover, and ultimately served as inspiration for Ayson.
The album cover shows an apparent family entering Scott’s golden head, just as Lisa and Homer Simpson are pictured in Ayson’s illustration. Ayson also adapted other elements of the original cover to match the style of the cartoon, including the man raking in the background, the rocket, the car, and the two characters pictured in the foreground.
Ayson said he received numerous social media messages from users asking how he “predicted” the Astroworld festival, which he said “is just ridiculous.”
“I really don’t like it going around the internet for that reason,” Ayson said. “People should look around to see who is really responsible and not if ‘The Simpsons’ predicted it.”
The image refers to the album, not the Astroworld festival
When a social media user commented on Ayson’s Instagram post asking what prompted him to “draw in 2018 the exact event in 2021,” Ayson clarified that his illustration was based on the cover of the film. album that had just been released, and not on the Astroworld Festival like some social media users. are now claiming.
The timeline of the social media claim doesn’t match either: the festival hadn’t even been announced at the time of the album’s release and Ayson created his image.
Scott’s music album “Astroworld” was released on August 3, 2018, the day before Ayson released his cover image illustration. Scott announced the first Astroworld festival on Twitter August 10.
The 2018 performance became the inauguration of the annual festival, which was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Checking the facts: Post falsely claims the Astroworld site had a maximum capacity limit of 20,000 people
The festival was created to “bring well-deserved recognition to Travis’ hometown of Houston, the place that made him both the man and the creative artist he is today,” said Scott manager David Stromberg told Billboard in 2018.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we are evaluating FALSE the claim that an episode of “The Simpsons” three years ago referred to Astroworld. The image was not part of the TV show. It was a 2018 image digitally created by a Travis Scott fan, who took inspiration from the cover of Scott’s music album “Astroworld”. The image is not related to or based on the Astroworld festival.
Our sources of fact-checking:
USA TODAY, November 14, 10th Astroworld victim: 9-year-old boy in coma from injury dies
USA TODAY, November 10, What happened at Astroworld? A minute-by-minute visual account of how the chaos unfolded
USA TODAY, November 7, “Pure chaos”: Criminal investigation opened after 8 deaths at Astrowrold festival in Houston
PolitiFact, November 9 No, the Astroworld tragedy was not a satanic ritual
USA TODAY, November 11 Fact check: Post falsely claims Astroworld site had a maximum capacity of 20,000 people
USA TODAY, January 22, Fact Check: The Simpsons and Kamala Harris’ Similarities at the Inauguration Are a Coincidence
Behance, accessed November 15, Liam Ayson
Liam Ayson, August 4, 2018, Instagram post
ABC 13, July 13, 2018, ‘Astroworld’: Travis Scott announces album release on August 3
Travis Scott, July 31, 2018, Tweeter
Liam Ayson, November 16, email exchange with USA TODAY
Travis Scott, August 10, 2018, Tweeter
Houstonia, November 16, 2020, don’t worry Houston, Travis Scott’s AstroWorld will be back in 2021
Billboard, August 10, 2018, Travis Scott announces the very first Astroworld festival in Houston
Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app, or e-journal replica here.
Our fact-checking work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact Check: “The Simpsons” Did Not Refer To Astroworld