Travis Scott, Drake and Live Nation named in lawsuit filed over Astroworld festival tragedy
Travis Scott has been hit with three lawsuits – one naming Drake as a co-defendant – relating to the crowd crush at his festival Astroworld over the weekend, which resulted in eight deaths and hundreds of injuries.
The crush occurred during Scott’s headline performance on Friday night (November 5) at Houston’s NRG Park, when the audience began to compress towards the front of the stage, causing injuries, shortness of breath and, for some, cardiac arrest.
The eight people who died at Astroworld were between the ages of 14 and 27, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference on Saturday.
Following the tragedy, Scott posted a statement on social media, saying his “prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld” and that the Houston police department “has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life”.
Scott later posted a video message on his Instagram Story, saying that he “wants to send out prayers to the ones that was lost” on the night.
“My fans really mean the world to me,” Scott said, “I always just really want to leave them with a positive experience. Anytime I can make out what’s going on, I stop the show and help them get the help they need.”
In a statement, Astroworld festival organisers said that they “are focused on supporting local officials however we can”.
Now, Billboard reports festival attendee Manuel Souza has filed a petition in Harris County District Court against Scott, his record company Cactus Jack, festival organisers Live Nation and ScoreMore, and several other individuals and companies.
The lawsuit reportedly accuses the defendants of negligence and gross negligence, claiming the incident was a result of “a motivation for profit at the expense of concertgoers’ health and safety”.
“Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner,” alleged Steve Kherkher, Souza’s attorney. “Instead, they consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors.”
The suit also reportedly references Scott’s history of hosting intense concerts, in which he would allegedly encourage fans to “rage”.
“This kind of behavior has long been encouraged by the festival’s founder and main performer,” Souza claimed. “His express encouragement of violence has previously resulted in serious violence at numerous past concerts.”
The lawsuit is seeking at least $1million in damages and a temporary restraining order preventing the destruction of any evidence.
Representatives for Scott, ScoreMore and Live Nation did not immediately return requests for comment to Billboard. NME has reached out to representatives for Scott and Live Nation for comment.
Another lawsuit was filed on Sunday (November 7) by Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry on behalf of an unnamed Astroworld attendee. Scott, Live Nation and NRG Stadium are listed as co-defendants, as is Drake, who made an appearance at the festival.
A press release by Henry’s law firm alleges that the crowd surged at Astroworld when Drake made an unannounced appearance on stage, leading to chaos as concertgoers were pushed into one another and the crowd pressed forward.
Scott and Drake continued to perform, it’s alleged, “even as emergency vehicles arrived and responders attempted to rescue those in distress”.
“There is no excuse for the events that unfolded at NRG stadium on Friday night,” Henry said in a statement.
“There is every indication that the performers, organisers, 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,” Henry claimed.
Drake has yet to publicly comment on the events of Astroworld. NME has reached out to representatives for Drake for comment.
A third lawsuit has been filed by civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump on behalf of another Astroworld attendee, Noah Gutierrez, who is said to have helped affected members of the crowd in the VIP section.
“We are hearing horrific accounts of the terror and helplessness people experienced – the horror of a crushing crowd and the awful trauma of watching people die while trying unsuccessfully to save them,” Crump wrote in a statement.
“We will be pursuing justice for all our clients who were harmed in this tragic and preventable event.”
In his statement, Crump said he expects to be filing on behalf of other victims next week.
NEWS ALERT: @AttorneyCrump has issued a statement & is representing victims in the aftermath of the Travis Scott Astroworld concert, including 21-year-old Noah Gutierrez who described a scene of chaos and desperation. pic.twitter.com/Tfo5EA4mVL
— Ben Crump Law, PLLC (@BenCrumpLaw) November 7, 2021