Travis Scott maintains Astroworld fan safety was not his responsibility as performer
(Credit: Frank Schwichtenberg)


Travis Scott maintains Astroworld fan safety was not his responsibility as performer

Rapper Travis Scott has maintained that it wasn’t his responsibility to organise the safety of fans at the 2021 Astroworld Festival and that he is just a performing artist, not a safety or security expert. He argues that this should vindicate him in the many ongoing lawsuits. 

After the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Astroworld Festival 2021 was held at NRG Park in Houston, Texas. It was originally scheduled for November 5th and 6th, but the second day was cancelled after ten people died, and over 300 people were treated for injuries following a crowd crush on the first night. The Harris County medical examiner’s officers declared the cause of death to be compressive asphyxiation in an accidental manner due to the crush that occurred after Scott took to the stage. 

Since that fateful night, roughly 300 suits have been filed concerning the tragedy at Astroworld, with the majority placing the blame on Scott, Live Nation, promoters, the venue itself and several security companies. Scott also established Project Heal in the aftermath.

In June last year, a Texas grand jury declined to indict Scott or anyone associated with the show. However, in September, the rapper partook in an eight-hour deposition and faced questions about what happened. 

At the time, his spokesperson, Ted Anastasiou, said the musician was fully cooperating with the process, maintaining: “Travis Scott’s deposition is typical legal procedure. What is not typical is how the media continues to focus on him despite being cleared of any wrongdoing by extensive government investigations, including by the Houston Police Department”.

On March 28th 2024, Billboard obtained court documents in which Scott maintains that he was just a performer and had no responsibility to look after the safety or security at the festival, as that wasn’t his remit. The papers, which were filed by his Cactus Jack attorneys, headed by Daniel Petrocelli, state that the rapper believes the blame lies with the event organisers and venue staff. 

“Like any other adrenaline-inducing diversion, music festivals must balance exhilaration with safety and security—but that balance is not the job of performing artists, even those involved in promoting and marketing performances,” Petrocelli argues. “Which only makes sense: Performing artists, even those who engage in certain promotional activities, have no inherent expertise or specialised knowledge in concert safety measures, venue security protocols, or site-design.”

Continuing: “When, during festival planning, concerns arose about the risk of a stampede occurring in the festival site, the Scott defendants supported festival organizers’organisers’ efforts to eliminate that risk by agreeing to remove certain rides and other attractions at the site. Then, when the Scott defendants were told to end the show after Mr. Scott’s guest performer finished performing, they did just that—ending the show as directed.”

Elsewhere, Drake’s attorneys filed a motion earlier this month to remove his name from the many Astroworld lawsuits, stating he was “not involved” in planning. Filed on March 8th, it claims that the Canadian musician was only performing when the tragedy unfolded and, accordingly, is not liable. A ruling is yet to be made.