Following the deaths of ten people at the Astroworld Festival last month, half of the victims’ families have resoundingly rejected an offer by musician and festival organizer Travis Scott to cover the funeral costs. Scott, who is currently facing multiple multi-million dollar lawsuits over his involvement in the disaster, made the offer last week.
A lawyer for the family of 14-year-old John Hilgert called the gesture ‘demeaning and appropriate’ in a report by Rolling Stone. ‘Of all the things this case is about, that’s the least of any concern. This family is set on making change, and ensuring this never happens at a concert again.’
The family of Ezra Blount, a nine-year-old boy who died at the concert, also rejected Scott’s offer. Scott’s lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, wrote to the family following his funeral, saying, ‘Travis is committed to doing his part to help the families who have suffered and begin the long process of healing in the Houston community.’
Philip Corboy, the lawyer for the families of 21-year-old friends Jacob Jurinek and Franco Patino, said that Scott’s apology and offer via the families’ legal teams left the impression ‘that all he was trying to do was… lessen the public outcry. If he’s trying to impress upon the families that he’s sincere and has concern for them and realize that funerals can be expensive, what Scott’s team did is not the way to do it.’
Tony Buzbee, who represents the family of 21-year-old Axel Acosta, bluntly described the phone call offer he received from a local attorney as ‘bullshit.’ He continued:
‘If you gave a shit about these families, you wouldn’t have to put out a press release for everyone to see saying he’s willing to pay for a funeral. “Let the families grieve and shut up, that’s it. When something like this happens, there’s not a whole lot someone like Travis Scott could do to assuage their pain. He says he feels sorry for them but he’s quick to say it wasn’t his fault. He’s no different than any defendant pointing fingers to someone else. They don’t want funeral expenses from him. Whatever we get from him we’re going to get through the court system.’
Dozens of suits have been filed against Scott, the entertainment company Live Nation, and others following the disaster that left hundreds of people injured alongside the 10 fatalities. More than 125 people who were caught up in the crush are suing for damages totaling around $750 million. One Texas-based lawyer filed a $2 billion lawsuit. No criminal charges have yet been filed although an investigation is ongoing. While Scott insisted that he didn’t know how bad things had gotten until he left the stage, reports from the Washington Post have detailed how the concert continued despite desperate pleas of help from many in the crowd (the link includes video of the event that some may find distressing so please approach with caution.) At least seven of the 10 dead after were stuck in a small area enclosed on three sides by metal barriers according to one piece. Video filmed around 16 minutes into the concert shows what appears to be several unconscious people lying atop each other near.