Travis Scott has canceled his headlining appearance at Las Vegas, NV’s Day N Vegas festival following the deadly crowd surge at his Astroworld Festival in Houston, TX this past Friday, according to a report from Variety. The rapper was due to close out the festival’s schedule on Saturday, November 13th. An Astroworld attendee has also filed a lawsuit against Scott and others for their respective roles in the incident.
Sources reportedly told Variety that Scott was “too distraught to play” following the chaotic scene during his Astroworld performance, which left eight young fans dead and hundreds more injured. The same sources reportedly told Variety that Scott plans to provide full refunds to all attendees who bought tickets to attend Astroworld, which was set to continue on Saturday but was called off following the incidents on Friday.
Per various witness accounts, the main stage area began to become overcrowded when the programming at the event’s secondary stage finished for the night and the entire crowd of roughly 50,000—which had been dispersed throughout the grounds during the day—pushed in toward the main stage where Scott was due to perform. As a clock on the massive stage counted down to Scott’s arrival, the crowd pushed further forward, crushing people in the front of the audience against each other and the surrounding metal barriers and leaving them with nowhere to go.
While Scott briefly stopped the performance and called for security when he noticed an ambulance attempting to get through the crowd, the show quickly went on. In the wake of the incident, various videos have circulated of people in the crowd chanting and begging camera operators, to no avail, to stop the show and help the endangered fans. As fans were falling out in the crowd, Scott welcomed fellow rapper Drake to the stage for a surprise appearance. The entire performance—including the brief pause for the ambulance to get through—was streamed live via Apple Music.
At least one Astroworld attendee has already taken legal action in the wake of Friday’s incidents. As documented in a report by The Daily Mail, a civil suit has been filed against Travis Scott, Drake, Live Nation Entertainment, which promoted the show, and Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation, which operates Astroworld venue NRG Park by Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry on behalf of 23-year-old Astroworld attendee Kristian Paredes.
According to the suit, Paredes was at the front of the GA section of the crowd, with a metal barrier between him and the VIP section, and felt an “immediate push” when Scott’s performance began at 9:00 p.m. on Friday. The filing continues, “The crowd became chaotic and a stampede began leaving eight dead and dozens including Kristian Paredes severely injured. … Many begged security guards hired by Live Nation Entertainment for help, but were ignored.”
Paredes alleges in the suit that the injuries and deaths at Astroworld were brought on by “negligence, carelessness, and recklessness” by the “defendants, their agents, servants and employees, in the ownership, management, maintenance, operation, supervision, and the control of the subject premises.”
The suit also places considerable focus on Scott’s history of inciting crowds at his concerts. At Lollapalooza 2015 in Chicago, the rapper goaded fans to climb over barricades and onto the stage. The crowd complied, prompting the festival to cut his performance short after just three songs. Scott later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless conduct charges for his role in the incident. That same year, Complex ran a review of a performance by Travis Scott and Young Thug at NYC’s Webster Hall entitled “I Tried Not to Die at Travi$ Scott and Young Thug’s Show Last Night.” The article details an atmosphere of chaos at the performance.
In 2017, Scott faced charges of inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, and endangering the welfare of a minor when he similarly urged fans to bypass security and rush the stage during a show at Walmart AMP in Rogers, AR. The performer eventually pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge and was ordered to pay more than $6,000 to two injured attendees.
“[Scott] felt bad about anyone being injured and was always willing to pay the restitution,” one of his lawyers, Jon Nelson, told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The 2019 Netflix documentary, Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly, documents Scott’s rapid rise to the top of the entertainment world—thanks in large part to his outsize stage presence and penchant for prompting hysteria in his crowds. The documentary touches briefly on the events in Arkansas. “I just hate getting arrested, man,” Scott says in the film upon being released from jail. “I feel bad, though. I heard about kids getting hurt.”
Earlier in 2017, Travis Scott had faced civil action following a show at New York City’s Terminal 5 during which 27-year-old Kyle Green was pushed off of the venue’s balcony, leaving him partially paralyzed. According to a lawsuit filed six months later in October 2017, Green broke several bones including vertebrae in his fall. The case is still pending. A widely circulated video from earlier in that same performance shows Scott encouraging another fan to jump from the balcony.
Reached for comment on the Astroworld incident by Rolling Stone, an attorney for Green noted that his client is “devastated and heartbroken for the families of those who were killed and for those individuals who were severely injured. He’s even more incensed by the fact that it could have been avoided had Travis learned his lesson in the past and changed his attitude about inciting people to behave in such a reckless manner.”
As Thomas J. Henry noted in the Astroworld civil suit filing, “There is every indication that the performers, organizers, and venue were not only aware of the hectic crowd but also that injuries and potential deaths may have occurred. Still, they decided to put profits over their attendees and allowed the deadly show to go on.” Paredes is seeking over $1 million for his bodily injuries, some of which he claims are permanent, as well as to cover medical expenses.
A report from The New York Times also indicates that local authorities were aware that the crowd at Astroworld would be difficult to manage. The report states that the Houston police chief visited Travis Scott in his trailer and shared concerns about the crowd prior to the show, including that the crowd was comprised of “very devoted fans.” It is unclear what results came of the reported pre-show meeting.
Citing the 2019 edition of Astroworld, where three people were injured in a stampede at the festival gates, concert organizers had prepared two lengthy emergency plan documents, one addressing the overall response to emergencies like extreme weather, an active shooter, or a riot, and another dealing with the medical response. According to a 56-page security plan reviewed by the New York Times, “Based on the site’s layout and numerous past experiences, the potential for multiple alcohol/drug related incidents, possible evacuation needs, and the ever-present threat of a mass casualty situation are identified as key concerns.”
The 22-page medical plan portion of the document reviewed by the NYT called for “a main medical tent with two emergency room physicians, six registered nurses, two paramedics and nine emergency medical technicians, along with people to track and triage patients.” 30 cots, twelve tables, and two wheelchairs were allocated for the event, with other, smaller medical tents positioned around the grounds.
The allocated medical resources had already been overwhelmed by 8:15 p.m., more than 45 minutes before Travis Scott took the stage. By that time, the on-site medical was already beginning to triage patients. “Many patients were last seen conscious more than 20 minutes prior to receiving any medical attention,” Astroworld field medic Sami Anjum told the NYT. Mr. Anjum said he spent roughly 90 minutes, from 9:30 to 11, “doing chest compressions nonstop” with patients laid out around him on the concrete.
In addition to the crowd surge, paramedics at Astroworld reportedly struggled to keep up with the rate of people in need of naloxone (Narcan), a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. One event security guard was also administered naloxone after reportedly being injected in the neck with an unknown substance and promptly losing consciousness while tending to one attendee.
Kylie Jenner, Travis Scott’s partner who is pregnant with their second child, was at the event with the couple’s three-year-old daughter. As Jenner said in a written statement posted to her Instagram story early Sunday morning, “Travis and I are broken and devastated. My thoughts and prayers are with all who lost their lives, were injured or affected in anyway [sic] by yesterday’s events. And also for Travis who I know cares deeply for his fans and the Houston community. I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing.”
On Saturday evening, Travis Scott took to Instagram to express his dismay at Friday night’s harrowing events. In a string of shorter clips, a visibly distraught Scott said, “I wanna send out prayers to the ones that was lost last night. We’re actually working right now to identify the families so we can help assist them through this tough time. You know, my fans… my fans, like, my fans really mean the world to me and I always just really wanna leave them with a positive experience. And any time I can make out anything thats going on, I stop the show and help them get the help they need. I could just never imagine the severity of [this] situation. We’ve been working closely with everyone to just try to get to the bottom of this. City of Houston, HPD, fire department, everyone to help us figure this out, so if you have any information, please just contact your local authorities. … I mean, I’m honestly just devastated and I could never imagine anything like this, just… happening… I’m gonna do everything I can to just keep you guys updated and keep you guys informed on what’s going on. Love you all.”
While the lawsuit seems to focus largely on Scott and his relationship with crowds, that is just one of many aspects of the tragic situation now being examined. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner gave a press conference on Saturday afternoon during which he explained that the situation would be under investigation for the foreseeable future. “There are a lot of unanswered questions,” he said, “and over the next several days, several weeks, could be even longer, we’ll take an in-depth look at everything that took place, why it took place, what steps we can do moving forward to mitigate an incident of this kind taking place at any other point in time.”
The investigation would look into the planning and implementation of safety, security, and medical resources at the event, the causes of the sudden surge and crowd panic, and any other factors that may have contributed to the incidents. “Perhaps the plans were inadequate, perhaps the plans were good but they weren’t followed, perhaps it was something else entirely,” added Linda Hidalgo, the top official for Harris County, which includes Houston.
This is a developing story.