Travis Scott tries to salvage his reputation and career after the Astroworld tragedy. In 2021, around 50,000 people attended Scott’s Festival in Houston. The excited crowd rushed towards the stage, causing stampede and conditions ripe for suffocation and injury. According to a court filing obtained by NBC News, nearly 2,400 people required medical treatment and 10 people died.
As the rapper returns to live performances, he’s put a lot of effort into improving safety. In March, he announced a new safety initiative, Project HEAL, on his Instagram account. He wrote that the project will take “much needed action to support real solutions that make all events the safest spaces they can be”.
Scott also wrapped up his last performance at Coney Island on July 4th as fans climbed onto his stage gear. In video obtained by TMZ, Scott can be heard: “We need you all to calm down. Is everyone okay?” While this could be seen as a sign of improvement, it has reopened a wound in some victims who feel it is too little and too late.
Victim’s parents unimpressed by Travis Scott’s comeback
At nine years old, Ezra Blount was the youngest victim of the Astroworld chaos. According to Rolling Stone, Blount died from organ injuries sustained during the devastating crush of the crowd. As his heartbroken parents grieved in the months that followed, they weren’t interested in alleviating the rapper’s guilt or helping his comeback. As USA Today reported, Scott’s family declined an offer to pay for the boy’s funeral. “Losing a child is like a faucet with unimaginable pain that has no handle. Your client’s offer is rejected,” his attorney said in an email.
Now that Scott is back in the headlines for stopping his last show, Blount’s family has spoken out again. The same attorney spoke to TMZ and cited Coney Island as evidence Scott could have prevented Astroworld. “He knows exactly how to protect his fans during a concert,” Alex Hilliard began. “There are 10 people who would be alive today, including young Ezra Blount, if Travis realized his responsibilities as an artist went beyond trying to upset his crowd.”
According to Vulture, 4,932 lawsuits have been filed against Astroworld. Time will tell if Hilliard’s claim that this demonstrates Scott’s controlling abilities will stand up in court. “The judge will not allow his paid spokesman to sit in the witness chair and answer questions for him,” Hilliard said.
Update: A spokesperson for Travis Scott said in response to Hilliard: “This is the despicable, cynical pinnacle of hypocrisy. It’s beyond disappointing to see that — in a desperate attempt to sway potential jurors — the plaintiffs’ legal team is criticizing Travis for pausing Monday’s Coney Island show to ensure fans can safely have fun. That’s exactly the wrong message to send to the fans – and to the artists. And she completely ignores the fact that Travis has also quit his Astroworld appearance three times.”