19 MONTHS ON from Travis Scott’s ill-fated Astroworld festival, a Texas grand jury has determined that the rapper won’t face criminal charges for the crowd crush that killed 10 people and hospitalised 25 others.
Scott’s lawyer Kent Schaffer confirmed on Thursday that the grand jury had met in Harris County, Houston, and decided not to indict Scott on any criminal charges — though the charges the panels had considered remain unclear.
Schaffer called the decision “a great relief,” adding that Scott “never encouraged people to do anything that resulted in other people being hurt.”
“Travis is not responsible,” he added. “Bringing criminal charges against him will not ease their pain.”
The 2021 incident occurred at the third iteration of the Astroworld festival, which Scott founded in 2018 when he released an album of the same name. On November 5, 2021, about 50,000 people were attending the concert when a crowd surge led to a crush, killing 10 attendees ranging in age from nine to 27. An expert ruled the official cause of death as compression asphyxia, likening it to being crushed by a car. In addition to the deaths, about 300 festivalgoers were injured and treated at the scene, while another 25 were taken to hospital.
There was an outcry on social media after one video in particular appeared to show someone climbing onto a platform to try to seek help from a camera operator, asking for the show to stop and yelling that people were dying, to no avail. Elsewhere, videos showed rowdy crowds stopping emergency vehicles from getting to injured people, with some attendees standing on top of the vehicles. Many have criticised Scott for not stopping the concert in spite of the crush.
Houston police have been working with federal officials to investigate whether Scott, promoters Live Nation, and other organisers had sufficient safety measures in place. More than 500 lawsuits were filed over the deaths and injuries, with some having since been settled.