Travis Scott preformed at the 2021 Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas on November 5, 2021. A night of entertainment turned deadly when a crowd surge led to the death of 10 people and injured many others, including a nine-year-old, who recently died from his injuries that he sustained while attending the concert with his dad. Scott was set to begin at 9pm, and officials estimated that there were about 50,000 people attending when the crowd began to “compress toward the front of the stage,” Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said, “That caused some to panic and it started causing some injuries.”
Jacques Bermon Webster II, professionally known as Travis Scott, was born April 30, 1991 in Houston, Texas. After he graduated from Elkins High School, he attended the University of Texas, where he resided until dropping out his sophomore year to pursue a music career. Travis released music for the first time with his friend Chris Holloway in 2008; they were known as the Graduates. When Travis moved from New York to Los Angeles, he was contacted by T.I., who is a famous rapper and the owner of Grand Hustle Records. Between 2012 and 2014, he released his full-length album, Upper Echelon, starring T.I., 2 Chainz, and Whale. In 2018, he launched his own music festival called Astroworld, which takes place in Houston every year.
As this incident continued, different concert goers shared what they experienced at the concert. They described it as traumatizing, and they saw lifeless bodies getting trampled amidst the chaos. An hour before Travis was set to perform, a concert goer named TK Tellez and his girlfriend stood near the stage in hopes to get a better look, but before Travis came out, things were already getting ugly. Those who survived had to fight their way through the crowd as the music raged on. According to Tellez, “The crowd became tighter and tighter, and at that point it was hard to breathe. When Travis came out performing his first song, I witnessed people passing out next to me. We were all screaming for help, and no one heard us. It was horrifying. People were screaming for their lives, and they couldn’t get out. Nobody could move a muscle.”
Moreover, another concert goer named Selena Beltran decided to share her horrifying experience at Astroworld. She found everything around her to tighten as Scott made his way to the stage. She quickly lost sight of her friends, and as the crowd around her began to jump, she lost her balance. “I fell backwards and it felt like it was the end of me,” Beltran stated, “To think that’s how I’ll die, I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do. It was all happening so fast…I couldn’t react. I just screamed.” Despite seeing people who clearly lost consciousness, Beltran said, people continued trampling those who were on the ground, “I was shocked to see people act so inconsiderate and feral. . .”
Subsequently, Travis Scott had been slammed with more than 150 lawsuits after the concert, including one from parents of a high school freshman who died at the Astroworld Festival in Houston who filed a lawsuit against the rapper alleging gross negligence. John Hilgert, a 14-year-old high school student, was one of the 10 victims who died at the November 5 concert that was later declared a mass casualty event. “No one should die going to a concert,” attorney Richard Mithoff, who is representing the Hilgerts, said in a press release.
The lawsuit filed the week of November 28, 2021 demands punitive damages, claiming John was mentally and physically stable leading up to his death, while his parents suffered emotional pain following the death of their child. It also wants to pursue changes in how concerts like Astroworld are organized, including improvements to security and medical facility availability. “Our sole aim in filing this lawsuit is to prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again at a live concert,” said Chris Hilgert, “There is no excuse for the poor crowd design, event execution, and lack of response that was exercised at this festival that resulted in the tragic death of my son and nine others along with scores of other people that were innocently injured.”
After the events of the concert, Travis posted a video of himself on his Instagram story stating, “I just want to send out prayers to the ones that were lost last night [and] were actually working right now to identify the families, so we can help assist them through this tough time.” He told fans that he was working closely with the police and fire department and urged fans to contact the local authorities if they “have any information.” After the video was released, people on Twitter started to react to Scott’s “gross” apology. One person said, “Travis Scott’s apology video looks like he’s trying to convince his teacher [that] he isn’t well and wants to go home.” Many others shared that same sentiment. Others were not satisfied by seeing the apology, seeing it as scripted and not genuine — more like something he was obligated to do — based on his body language in the video.
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