Travis Scott yesterday urged the victims of last week’s Astroworld tragedy to get in touch by email so that he can “share his condolences and provide aid”. The announcement came as another festival-goer died from the injuries she sustained during the fatal crowd surge at Scott’s festival, meaning the total number of deaths is now nine. Meanwhile, the number of lawsuits filed in relation to the incident is approaching 60.
The crowd surge occurred during Scott’s headline set at the festival he founded in Houston, Texas. In addition to the nine people who died, hundreds more were injured. A criminal investigation is underway seeking to identify the sequence of events that led to the injuries and deaths, and to what extent poor planning or bad decision making on the ground contributed to the tragedy.
Scott has now issued four statements following last Friday’s events. The first two were initial responses on social media in which the rapper said he was “devastated” about what had happened at his festival and that he was fully supporting the Houston Police Department’s investigation.
The third committed financial support for the families of those who had died and announced partnerships with various mental health organisations for festival-goers here were traumatised by the crowd surge and what they witnessed as a result.
Yesterday’s statement urged those victims who want support from the musician to get in touch via email. It said: “Over the last week, Travis Scott and his team have been actively exploring routes of connection with each and every family affected by the tragedy through the appropriate liaisons. He is distraught by the situation and desperately wishes to share his condolences and provide aid to them as soon as possible, but wants to remain respectful of each family’s wishes on how they’d best like to be connected”. Those wishing to connect should email [email protected].
The litigation being filed in relation to the Astroworld crowd surge continues to mount up. And while the number of actual lawsuits is getting close to 60, one of the first lawyers to speak publicly about the tragedy – Thomas J Henry – has told CNN that he is now representing about 150 people who attended the festival, and anticipates that number could as yet rise to 200. Two other lawyers actively working on cases – Ben Crump and Alex Hilliard – have announced a press briefing later today to update people on their activity.
Meanwhile, the criminal investigation also continues. There have been multiple calls for an agency other than Houston PD to lead on that investigation, given that the police department was itself involving in policing crowds at the festival, and some off-duty officers from the force were also working for the private security company employed by Astroworld’s promoters.
Others have also argued that some senior Houston officials have existing connections with Scott, the city’s mayor Sylvester Turner having confirmed that he knows a number of the musician’s family members. However, police chief Troy Finner told reporters this week that he’d only met Scott twice, the second time shortly before last Friday’s performance.
Asked about possible conflicts of interest in his department leading the investigation, Finner said: “We investigate ourselves all the time”. He confirmed that he was liaising with local FBI officials too and added: “I’m not against the independent investigation when it’s warranted”. However, he went on, such an independent investigation is not currently warranted.
He then concluded: “To be clear, HPD Homicide is investigating this case. We’re taking the lead on it … those who need to be held accountable will be held accountable”.