Just over two years from the anniversary of the Astroworld tragedy, rapper Travis Scott (real name Jacques Webster) has opened up about the devastating event that saw 10 concertgoers killed in a crowd crush as the rapper performed in Houston.
In a recent interview with GQ, the SICKO MODE hitmaker opened up about how the mass deaths during his show affected his new music on his latest album UTOPIA.
“Making music, you think about things that go on in life and things that happen in your life, and you dial in on things,” Scott told the publication.
“That moment for families, for the city, you know, it was devastating. I was just overly devastated”.
He went on to say, “Yeah, I always think about it. Those fans were like my family. You know, I love my fans to the utmost. It has its moments where it gets rough and…yeah. You just feel for those people. And their families.”
The tragedy occurred while Travis was on stage at around 9:00 p.m. on the evening of November 5, 2021, when the crowd had “began to compress toward the front of the stage,” said Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said during a news conference held on November 6, 2021.
“At the start of the mass casualty incident, when it was triggered … We transferred 17 patients to the hospital,” Peña added.
In the end, 10 people lost their lives, eight of which died on the night of the concert: Mirza Baig, 27, Rodolfo Peña, 23, Madison Dubiski, 23, Franco Patiño, 21, Jacob Jurinke, 20, John Hilgert, 14, Axel Acosta, 21, from and Brianna Rodriguez, 16. Bharti Shahani, 22, and Ezra Blount, 9, died in the following days in hospital.
Despite calls for the rapper to be charged over the deaths, District Attorney Kim Ogg announced on June 30, that “no single individual was criminally responsible” for the disaster,
“In this instance, the grand jury of the 228th District Court of Harris County found that no crime did occur, that no single individual was criminally responsible,” the DA said.
“It is tragic that 10 innocent people were killed while trying to enjoy an evening of music and entertainment, something many of us do routinely and without a second thought to our safety. But a tragedy isn’t always a crime, and not every death is a homicide.”
“This grand jury’s determination has no impact on the many civil lawsuits pending.”
Multiple lawsuits from the victims’ families have been filed against Scott and other organisers, including the entertainment company Live Nation, though both have denied any allegations of negligence in relation to the promotion and planning of the festival.
“While waiting patiently for the District Attorney’s decision to not file charges, Travis Scott has been inaccurately and wrongly singled out, despite stopping the show three separate times and being unaware of the events as they were unfolding,” Scott’s spokesperson Ted Anastasiou told CNN in June 2023.
Earlier this month, it was revealed by The Blast that Scott is also facing a new lawsuit from a company called Ceremony of Roses — a global media, branding, design, and events company that was hired by the rapper and Live Nation to provide “carnival-style games and amusements on Festival grounds.”
According to legal documents obtained by The Blast, the company is suing Scott for “substantial financial harm” due to his “negligence and willful misconduct in connection with the Festival.”
The company also said it was understood that Live Nation and Scott would “ensure safety and professionalism”, and that the concert “would be conducted in a top-notch, safe, and secure environment with professional business practices.”
“At the very minimum, Defendants owed COR a duty to exercise ordinary care in maintaining a safe and secure environment for COR’s business activities and Festival attendees. Defendants negligently and willfully breached this duty in numerous respects,” the lawsuit read.