Travis Scott, Drake and others hit with $750M lawsuit over Astroworld tragedy
Scott, his surprise guest and companies including Apple, Live Nation and Epic Records are targeted in the suit filed Tuesday in Houston.
The mounting legal fallout from the Nov. 5 tragedy at the Astroworld Festival in Houston, which resulted in the deaths of 10 people, is continuing.
According to TMZ, rappers Travis Scott and Drake, as well as companies including Apple, Live Nation, Epic Records, which is Scott’s label home, plus the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation have been sued for $750 million by more than 125 fans who attended the festival.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Houston Tuesday, alleges that Scott and the organizers of his music extravaganza were negligent in “failing to properly plan the concert, train security personnel and host a safe event.” Drake was a surprise guest, joining Scott on stage.
At least one family of a person who died at the event has joined the massive joint legal effort. Axel Acosta, 21, was reportedly crushed by an “incited, unruly and out-of-control crowd with such force that he could no longer breathe,” the suit states.
Attorney Tony Buzbee told TMZ that “no amount of money will ever make these Plaintiffs whole; no amount of money can restore human life. But, the damages sought in this case attempts to fix, help or make up for the harms and losses suffered by these Plaintiffs — nothing more and nothing less.”
“This concert was doomed from the beginning,” Buzbee told Houston news channel KHOU. “It was doomed before they filed their operations plan.”
The attorney noted that he and his team — which, among them, includes a former Houston Major Crimes lieutenant — have reviewed hours of video footage from the concert event.
“There has to be responsibility, especially those entities that stood to profit,” said Buzbee, who plans to file another suit in the coming days, he says — with an additional 100 victims.
More than 50,000 people attended the 2021 Astroworld Festival, which was founded in 2018. During the 2019 festival, three fans were injured in a similar crowd-surging occurrence. The concert was put on hold for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the 2021 event marked the return of what was set to be an annual event in Scott’s native city.
Reports have noted that this year’s show started with fans rushing the gates to enter the event space outside NRG Arena.
The casualty-causing crowd surge began approximately 30 minutes before Scott’s 9 p.m. performance.
In an exclusive interview with theGrio, body performance and injury expert Dr. Rami Hashish confirmed the hazards of a crowd surge, a sudden and rapid movement in a large crowd of people, particularly during a concert. The movement is described by him “as a surge of people moving forward trying to get in close proximity to the artists. And obviously, the problem with that is that when you have a mass of people moving together, a lot of people unfortunately get left behind. In this case, some people got obviously trampled.”
Hashish added that “the main risk is just the fundamental lack of control over your environment.”
“What happens and what they found in these corners and in these mosh pits, in particular, is that there’s this concept of group-think,” he continued, “where, essentially, somebody comes up with an idea such as the surge of the stage, and then people kind of just lose themselves in the moment, and they act on that, and they kind of fall into the pressure of doing so, even against probably their best judgment, right? And then that results — and this kind of potentially catastrophic event, like what happened in this situation.”
This article features additional reporting from theGrio’s Matthew Allen.