Travis Scott and Live Nation Face Lawsuits as the Astroworld Investigation Gets Underway


    Travis Scott and Live Nation Face Lawsuits as the Astroworld Investigation Gets Underway

    At least 11 lawsuits were filed in the wake of eight deaths at the Houston rapper’s signature music festival.

    On Friday night, eight people died and hundreds more were injured in a crowd melee at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston. In the following days, authorities began investigating exactly what transpired and the names of new victims continued to emerge. At least 11 lawsuits have now been filed against Scott and Live Nation, the entertainment company that staged Astroworld.

    One of these suits also names Drake, who performed alongside Scott on Friday, as a defendant. In a lawsuit filed in Harris County court on Monday, Kristian Paredes said that he was at the front of the general admission section on Friday night, which was separated from the VIP section by a metal barrier. As Scott’s performance started shortly after 9 p.m., Paredes’s suit says he felt “an immediate push” and that “the crowd became chaotic and a stampede began,” leaving Paredes “severely injured.”

    “Many begged security guards hired by Live Nation Entertainment for help,” the suit said, “but were ignored.”

    Scott has built a career closely intertwined with his charismatic live performances, and he has long attracted a physical presence at his shows. He has typically described the energy on display in mosh pits and stage dives at his shows as “raging,” with the word becoming a recurring feature of his public presentation. At least two of the new lawsuits highlight instances of danger at previous Scott concerts. In 2017, he was arrested for allegedly inciting a riot at an Arkansas concert. He initially pleaded not guilty, and the charges were dropped in a plea deal in which, as the Springfield News-Leader reported at the time, Scott pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and paid roughly $7,500. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to charges of reckless conduct after he encouraged fans at Lollapalooza in Chicago to climb over security barricades and onto the stage. Prior to November 5, Paredes’s suit said, Scott “had incited mayhem and chaos at prior events. Defendants knew or should have known of” Scott’s “prior conduct.”

    Drake “helped incite the crowd” and “continued to be on stage performing” with Scott, the suit continued, “as the crowd became out of control.”

    “There is every indication that the performers, organizers, and venue were not only aware of the hectic crowd but also that injuries and potential deaths may have occurred,” the Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry, who is representing Paredes in the suit, said in a statement on Sunday. “Still, they decided to put profits over their attendees and allowed the deadly show to go on.”

    Scott and Drake couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the lawsuits, but Scott said in a statement on Saturday, “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life. I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need.” Live Nation didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the lawsuits but said in a statement on Saturday that it would “continue working to provide as much information and assistance as possible to the local authorities as they investigate the situation.”

    Scoremore, a Texas-based concert promotion company that worked on Astroworld, is named alongside Scott and Live Nation in a suit filed by another attendee, Manuel Souza, on Monday. The filing claims that Souza’s injuries were the “inevitable and predictable result of Defendants’ conscious disregard of the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers that had been escalating since hours earlier,” and alleges that earlier on Friday, Astroworld attendees “breached a security gate around the park, stampeded into the premises, and trampled over one another.” (Scoremore could not immediately be reached for comment on the lawsuit but, like Live Nation, has said in a statement that it is cooperating with an investigation by local authorities.)

    Nine more lawsuits were filed against Scott and Live Nation by the Houston law firm Roberts Markland on behalf of festival attendees in Harris County court on Monday, eight of which alleged that “conditions were created and consented to by the festival organizers that caused several stampedes” and that the defendants “failed to provide the proper safety planning, security, and medical personnel.” (The ninth suit has not yet been made public.)

    Published at Tue, 09 Nov 2021 00:14:09 +0000

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