Following the disaster at the Astroworld Festival, where at least eight people died and hundreds of injuries were reported, the first lawsuits have been filed against the organizers.
Houston resident Manuel Souza filed suit in the city’s district court against the festival’s founder and headliner Travis Scott, as well as promoter Live Nation, individuals affiliated with NRG Park and Scoremore Holdings, and several other defendants. The suit describes Souza as injured but provided no other details. In the same court, Austin resident Kristian Paredes filed suit against Scott and Live Nation, as well as festival performer Drake, alleging that Paredes ‘suffered severe bodily injuries’, some of which are characterized as ‘permanent.’
One of Souza’s attorneys, Ryan S. MacLeod, told Variety:
‘As proud residents of Houston, we are sickened by the devastating tragedy that took place on Friday night. Travis Scott has a history of inciting violence and creating dangerous conditions for concertgoers. In fact, he tweeted that he would let the wild ones in after the show sold out. He and those who promoted and supported this concert must take responsibility for their heinous actions. We intend to hold them fully accountable by showing that this behavior will not be tolerated in our great city.’
In February 2018, Scott pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after being charged with inciting a riot at one of his concerts in May 2017. In 2015, he was arrested for disorderly conduct after a performance at Lollapalooza where he was accused of encouraging fans to ignore security and hop the barriers to rush the stage.
According to the Houston Chronicle, it is predicted that many lawsuits seeking ‘hundreds of millions in damages’ will be filed against Scott and the festival’s promoters.
Questions have arisen over how the festival was allowed to continue once it became apparent that first responders and security were dealing with a mass tragedy. Indeed, the Astroworld disaster has already become one of the deadliest live music events in American history. The Houston Chronicle reviewed videos and social media of the event and calculated that people had begun to collapse by 9:39pm. Scott didn’t complete his set until 10:15pm. Phone camera footage viewed more than 8 million times on Twitter shows a woman climbing onto a camera platform, shouting, ‘Someone’s dying in there.’ The cameraman appears to ignore them, ushering them off the platform.
In a statement released on social media, Scott said that he was ‘absolutely devastated by what took place’ at the festival.
He later took to Instagram Live to say that he was reaching out to the families of the injured and deceased.’ His partner, Kylie Jenner, posted an Instagram Story wherein she offered thoughts and prayers and said, ‘I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing.’ Jenner had previously posted then deleted videos of the concert wherein an ambulance could be seen making its way through the crowd.
Kylie speaks pic.twitter.com/RZVuqzo0tr— lala🍒princess treatment only 👑 (@lateona) November 7, 2021
This morning, it was confirmed that Scott will provide full refunds for all attendees who bought tickets to Astroworld. He has also canceled his upcoming appearance at the Day N Vegas Festival, with sources describing him as ‘too distraught to play.’
Header Image Source: Alex Bierens de Haan // Getty Images