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Travis Scott’s “Ragers” Have a History of Violence
In 2015, Travis Scott told a crowd of 50,000 people to give a “middle finger up to security,” starting a chant of “we want to rage.” Dozens of fans swarmed the stage. After just five minutes, organizers shut down the show. Scott left quickly, but was later arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
Travis Scott’s shows have a history of violence. The performer calls his fans “ragers” and regularly encourages them to act recklessly. He encouraged one fan at a 2017 show to leap off a balcony, saying, “They[sic] gonna catch you… don’t be scared!” A man named Kyle Green was left partially paralyzed after the same show, stating that fans pushed him off an upper-deck balcony.
These precursor events make an unspoken, yet poignant statement regarding the events that occurred during Scott’s recent appearance at his Astroworld Festival in Houston, which left eight dead and dozens more injured. They could also play an essential role in the lawsuits being filed against Scott, Scoremore (the concert’s promoter), and entertainment company Live Nation in the wake of the catastrophe.
What Happened At the Astroworld Festival?
Around 50,000 people attended Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival on Friday night, November 5th, 2021. As a countdown to Scott’s set appeared, the crowd began to surge forward. TK Tellez, a concertgoer, stated, “The crowd became tighter and tighter, and at that point it was hard to breathe. When Travis came out performing his first song, I witnessed people passing out next to me.”
Another attendee, Selena Beltran, said that she was “shocked to see people act so inconsiderate and feral. It was insane to see so many just run others over like wild animals.”
Amidst the panic, fans could be heard chanting “stop the show.” The Houston Chronicle reported that people began to collapse around 9:39 pm, and the show’s promoter agreed to stop the performance soon after. Despite stopping the show at several points to call on security, Scott continued to perform for around 36 minutes.
Videos of the festival show attendees struggling to breathe at the packed venue, and security vehicles and ambulances struggling to make it through the packed crowd – one recording even reveals a man dancing on an ambulance attempting to transport an injured attendee to safety. Another depicts a woman trying – and failing – to get a camera operator at the event to stop filming Scott’s performance. Other eyewitnesses state that security officers and other event organizers ignored their pleas to pause or stop the show.
Warning: The following videos are first-person accounts of the events at Astroworld. The videos may contain imagery that viewers may find graphic or disturbing.
More than 60 city ambulances responded to the event. When all was said and done, eight concertgoers had died, at least 25 were hospitalized – 11 of whom suffered from cardiac arrest – and more than 300 had to be treated at a field hospital. Reports also surfaced that medical personnel had to administer doses of Naloxone, an anti-opioid, to attendees – including one security officer, who was pricked with a needle and lost consciousness while trying to restrain someone in the midst of the crowd surge.
Travis Scott, Drake, Live Nation & More Sued After Astroworld Festival
It didn’t take long for the lawsuits to start rolling in. Concertgoers Manuel Souza and Kristian Paredes, who attended the event, are both suing various parties.
Parades’ suit against Live Nation, Travis Scott, Drake, and the venue states that Scott “incited mayhem and chaos at previous events… defendants knew or should have known of [Scott’s] previous conduct.” The suit also alleges that artist Drake, who performed alongside Travis Scott, helped spur on the crowd surge when Scott began performing.
Souza’s suit makes similar claims, stating that defendants including Travis Scott and Live Nation “failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner” and “consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers, and, in some cases actively encouraged and fomented dangerous behaviors.”
Travis Scott, Live Nation, Scoremore, and others affiliated with the event could see more civil and criminal charges, including personal injury and wrongful death suits, brought against them in the coming days.
Is Travis Scott Liable for Wrongful Death or Premises Liability?
The Houston Chronicle recently predicted that lawsuits resulting from the event could cost the parties involved “hundreds of millions in damages.” The Houston Police and Fire Departments are investigating the incident, which could turn up new evidence to leverage against Travis Scott, Live Nation, and others in wrongful death and premises liability lawsuits.
To hold Travis Scott liable in a wrongful death suit, plaintiffs would need to prove that he had some degree of custody or control over the event. They would also need to prove that Scott’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing led to the events that resulted in a wrongful death.
Proving negligence is also the key factor in premises liability cases resulting from the event. Plaintiffs who wish to sue Scott, Live Nation, or others for premises liability would need to prove that they owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiffs, and breached that duty through negligence.
Plaintiffs could argue that Live Nation and Scoremore acted negligently by failing to take precautions to protect audience members, especially given the reputation of Scott’s shows as unruly and violent events. Similarly, plaintiffs could also contend that the artists acted negligently by encouraging the crowd’s behavior and refusing to stop performing. Attorneys in the suits currently filed are already pursuing these angles – Paredes’ suit specifically states that Travis Scott and Drake “either were aware, or should’ve been aware, of the reaction the crowd would have and did have.”
As the authorities release more information regarding the events that led to so many deaths and injuries, attorneys will have more information to pursue wrongful death, premises liability, and personal injury suits.
Need Help? Contact us today!
At Wilshire Law Firm, our award-winning team of personal injury, class action, employment attorney have won more than $900,000,000 for clients since 2007. If you have any questions about you or your loved ones’ rights regarding the Astroworld incident, you can reach out to our team by contacting us online or giving us a call at (800) 501-3011.