Travis Scott speaks out in first interview since Astroworld tragedy
Travis Scott is speaking out in his first interview since the Astroworld music festival tragedy that left 10 people dead.
He described the aftermath of the massive crowd crush at the Houston festival on Nov. 5 as an “emotional roller coaster” in a nearly hourlong sit-down interview with Charlamagne Tha God posted on YouTube Thursday.
Scott said he didn’t know about the deaths until “minutes before the press conference” held by local police.
“It gets so hard because, you know, I always feel connected with my fans. I went through something and I feel like fans went through something and people’s parents went through something. And it really hurts. It hurts the community, it hurts the city,” he said.
“It’s been a lot of thoughts, a lot of feelings, a lot of grieving,” the rapper said. “Just trying to wrap my head around it. I really just want to be there. Wish you could just hold everyone, talk to them, have conversations.”
Charlamagne Tha God asked Scott why the concert continued for another 40 minutes after officials declared it a mass casualty event. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner last month said that some people started “going down” at 9:30 p.m.
“They told me, ‘Right after the guests get on stage, we’re gonna end the show.’ And that’s what we did. Other than that, there was no communication,” Scott said.
“They didn’t say, ‘Stop now?'” Charlamagne Tha God asked.
“No,” Scott replied.
Kylie Jenner, who is pregnant with her second child with Scott, said in an Instagram post after the chaos that she and Scott weren’t aware of any fatalities until news came out after the show.
“We … in no world would have continued filming or performing,” she said in the post.
His litigation attorney, Edwin McPherson, previously said, “Travis Scott didn’t know that there was a mass casualty event that was called.”
“Nobody told him, nobody told his crew. When finally somebody communicated something to his crew that this was the last song that was about 10:10, Travis said ‘OK, last song’ and he stopped it when he was told to stop it,” McPherson said.
During the interview with Charlamagne Tha God, Scott was asked about “raging” culture at shows and if it contributed to the crush.
“Nah, it’s something I’ve been working on for a while of just creating these experiences … as artists we trust professionals to make sure that if things happen, people leave safely,” he said. “In concerts, we’ve grown it to be an experience of having fun, not harm. It’s about letting go and having fun.”
Asked if he feels any responsibility over the festival tragedy, Scott said: “I have a responsibility to figure out what happened here. I have a responsibility to figure out the solution. Hopefully this takes a first step for us as artists, having more insight about what’s going on.”
However, he reiterated that as an artist he’s behind the creative aspects of concerts, and trusts professionals to “control what they can in the crowd.”
The Blount family attorney, Bob Hilliard, said in an email to Scott’s attorney last month that while he has no doubt Scott has remorse over Ezra’s death, the artist “must face and hopefully see that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy.”
Speaking on those rejected offers, Scott said: “All things are understandable. At the time they’re grieving and trying to find understanding, they want answers. I’ve got to just continue to show up for that.”
He revealed he was able to speak with some of the families who lost loves ones at the concert and was “thankful” to even have those conversations.
He offered a message to the families of victims saying: “I’m always here. I’m in this with you guys and I love you. I’ll always be there to help you guys heal through this.
“It’s not just a right now thing, it’s a forever thing. These people who came to the show, they are my family. I’ve always had that connection to people who listened to the music or came to my shows. And that’s why it’s really hard on me,” he continued.
“I just want to always be there for them,” he said, promising to be “a number one voice” for concert safety moving forward.
Over 300 lawsuits have been filed since the tragedy.
Scott denied allegations laid out in several lawsuits against him and requested they be dismissed in documents filed Monday.
Representatives for Scott said the filings are a standard response to lawsuits in denying legal liability.
All those lawsuits have been consolidated and will be handled by one judge as the cases proceed through the court system, according to a Tuesday order issued by the Board of Judges of the Civil Trial Division of the Harris County District Courts in Houston, The Associated Press reported.
“This consolidation will promote the expeditious and efficient administration of justice,” the two-page order said.