Scott says he didn’t hear crowd’s screams at fatal concert

Southwest

FILE – Travis Scott performs at Day 1 of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Houston. Several families of the 10 people who died from injuries in the crush of fans at the Astroworld festival have turned down an offer by headliner Scott to pay for their loved ones’ funeral costs. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

(NewsNation Now) — In his first interview since the Nov. 5 Astroworld music festival in Houston, rapper Travis Scott said he didn’t hear the screams of fans yelling for help at the show that resulted in the deaths of 10 people.

Scott told radio personality Charlamagne tha God during a nearly hourlong interview posted to YouTube on Thursday that he couldn’t sense the distress in the crowd of about 50,000 people.

“This night was just like a regular show,” Scott said. “… people didn’t show up there to just be harmful. People just, I think, showed up to have a good time and something unfortunate happened. And I think we really just got to figure out what that was.”

Although Scott stopped the show a few times to “make sure everyone was OK” he didn’t learn of the deaths among the crowd until moments before the information was shared with news media, he said.

“You know, even after the show, you just kind of hearing things, which you don’t know,” Scott said during the interview. “I didn’t know the exact details until, you know, minutes before the press conference.”

Scott was the headliner and creator of the Astroworld festival, where his set turned deadly as fans surged toward the stage. The youngest victim was 9-year-old Ezra Blount. The others who died ranged in age from 14 to 27. Some 300 people were injured and treated at the festival site and 25 were taken to hospitals.

“I want them to really know that my intention wasn’t to harm their family at all,” Scott said “It’s for them to come and have a good experience.”

More than 300 lawsuits have been filed so far in Houston and will be consolidated and handled by one judge. Scott, concert promoter Live Nation and other companies associated with the event are among those being sued. Additionally, Scott and the event organizers are the focus of a criminal investigation by Houston police.

During his interview with Charlamagne tha God, Scott said he and other artists trust the “professionals” to make sure concertgoers are safe.

“Hopefully this takes a first step into us as artists having more insight of what’s going on and the professionals to kind of surround and figure out more of an intel, whether it’s tech or it’s their response — whatever the problem is — to figure out that and in the future, moving forward in concert safety, make sure this never happens again,” Scott said.

No one has been charged in connection with the festival deaths and no timetable has been set for when the investigation will be completed.

“Travis Scott, his entourage, handlers, promoters, managers, hangers-on and everyone else who enable him are the problem,” said Tony Buzbee, an attorney representing the family of 21-year-old deceased concertgoer Axel Acosta Avila, in a statement provided to the AP on Thursday. “Everything that Travis Scott has done or said since 10 people died and hundreds of others were injured at his concert has been lawyer driven and calculated to shift blame from him to someone else.”

In the interview, Scott denied that his history of encouraging fans to rush the stage or push past security contributed to the chaos at Astroworld.

“People didn’t just show up there to be harmful,” Scott said. “People showed up to have a good time and something unfortunate happened.”

Scott said he had private discussions with some of the families of the victims. He also said that he understood why some families declined his offer to pay for funeral expenses.

“I’m always going to be here to want to help them,” Scott said of the victims’ families. “I gotta continue to show up for that. I just wanted to make sure they knew that I was there for them and continue to be there for them.”

Scott said that he wants to know more about what caused the deaths and be a leader in finding ways to prevent similar tragedies from happening at other live events.

“I have a responsibility to figure out what happened here. I have a responsibility to figure out the solution,” Scott said.

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