Astroworld Festival Faces Lawsuits
Iconic rapper, Travis Scott, and Astroworld Festival organisers are being sued following the disaster that’s occurred last Friday, leaving 9 people dead, hundreds injured and some needing to be rushed to hospital.
The causes of death are still under heavy investigation by Houston officials, but they believe wild crowd surges or crowd crushes are likely the cause of the tragedy. There were also concerns of needle spiking amongst the crowd which could have fuelled the crowd surges – however, officials are yet to confirm.
Crowd surges can surprisingly become extremely dangerous very quickly. Despite the NRG Stadium in Houston, TX (where the Astroworld Festival was held) having the capacity for as many as 200,000 people – the crowd surge amongst 50,000 attendees proved enough to cancel the 2-day event after the first night, following the incident.
The Houston native, Travis Scott, entertainment company and organisers Live Nation and ScoreMore Holdings are now being sued for “negligence, carelessness and recklessness”. Manual Souza, Astroworld Festival attendee has filed the first of many lawsuits against the festival and Travis Scott, taking his case to the District Court of Houston. He is seeking more than $1 million in damages.
According to Billboard, Souza described the incident as a direct result of “a motivation for profit at the expense of concertgoers’ health and safety” and the “encouragement of violence,” in a petition filed last Saturday, the day after the incident. Steve Kherkher, Souza’s lawyer states “Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner…Instead, they consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases, actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviours.”
Kristian Paredes, 23, is another individual who also filed a suit against Travis Scott and Live Nation, as well as pop icon Drake who he believes “helped incite the crowd” as he appeared as a surprise performing guest at the festival.
To date, there are upwards of 40 different lawsuits and class actions against Travis Scott, Drake and the Astroworld Festival organisers/promoters.
Houston officials are investigating safety protocols of the festival and whether or not the way the stage and barriers were designed might have impacted crowd safety. Investigations will be ongoing, and Scott has confirmed on Instagram that he is cooperating with authorities as they try to get to the bottom of the incident. He has also released rather an emotional video sending his condolences to the families of lost ones and those affected by the tragedy. Scott’s lawyer also released a statement to The Rolling Stone stating he was devastated and heartbroken for the victims and families affected by the Astroworld incident.
Unfortunately, this is not Travis Scott’s first raging rodeo. You would hope he would have learnt his lesson the first 2 times his event led to injuries, lawsuits, arrests and criminal charges. In 2015, he was arrested and charged for urging fans to jump over security barricades at the Lollapalooza Festival. In 2017 he pleaded guilty to inciting a riot after a man was left paralysed from falling from a balcony during a Travis Scott show in Arkansas.
His Netflix documentary, ‘Look Mom I Can Fly’ and video released on social media all give a highlight on the type of raging scenes at his shows from him launching into the crowd(often feet first), people crowd-surfing, crowd crushes and mosh pits.
In essence, the lawsuits are claiming that Live Nation acted negligently by failing to create and enforce proper safety protocols, as well as failing to provide adequate security and maintain proper crowd control.
While it’s likely that the concert organisers and promoters are the ones to take on the brunt of any liability because they determined the level of security, Travis Scott’s previous behaviour could be a factor for a stronger case against him.
Despite crazy claims that the Astroworld Festival incident is some sort of satanic ritual set up by the Illuminati, this isn’t the first-time crowd surges have led to lawsuits, or that the Illuminati has been blamed, for that matter.
If you recall, there was a crowd surge at Sydney’s Big Day Out in 2001 during the Limp Bizket set that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old named Jessica Michalik. After a coronial inquest no one was found to be negligent, however, it was confirmed that the crowd-control measures were reactive rather than proactive.
Similarly, in 2016, a massive crowd surge at Falls Festival in Lorne resulted in more than 70 people injured. The Victorian Supreme Court approved the settlement of almost $7 million for those injured in the incident.
This is a perfect example of negligence and if proven in the court law could result in a criminal charge, sentence or a hefty fine.