Rapper Travis Scott, who is facing multiple lawsuits after a deadly crowd surge at his Astroworld music concert left 10 dead and multiple people injured, on November 5, said that he was clueless about the intensity of the incident until minutes before the press conference.
Speaking to Charlamagne Tha God, in his first interview since the incident, Scott said, “It wasn’t really until minutes before the press conference that I figured out exactly what happened. Even after the show, I was hearing things but I did not know the exact details.”
Scott denied hearing screams of people who, according to video clips that were circulated online, tried bring the situation to his notice, and said that he relied on professionals to let him know.
“Anytime you can hear something like that, you want to stop the show, you want to make sure that fans get the proper attention they need. And anytime I could see anything like that, I did stop a couple times just to make sure everybody was okay,” he said.
He added, “I just really go off the fans energy, as a collective.”
Scott, however, admitted that everything sounded the same while performing, and that it was hard to differentiate between screams of panic and those of excitement.
Over 50,000 people had attended the event.
Eight people died the night of the event, while Indian-American student Bharti Shahani succumbed to her injuries on November 11, and 9-year-old Ezra Blount became the youngest victim on November 15. Around 17 people were rushed to the hospital, while more than 300 were treated for minor injuries at the site of the tragedy.
Alex Pollak, CEO of ParaDocs, the medical team that was hired for Astroworld, told CNN that the team had to treat 11 people with cardiac arrest at the same time.
The families of victims slammed the rapper, Drake, and Live Nation for over-selling the event without a proper plan to deal with crowd surge.
Scott is said to have a past of unruly behaviour at his shows, including concerts in 2015 and 2017 that resulted in his arrest for disorderly conduct and inciting riots, respectively.
Scott and the other organisers of Astroworld currently face over 275 lawsuits alleging negligence and misconduct.
Addressing the collective legal action, Scott said, “I feel like they’re pointing the finger at me because it’s my festival and I am who I am, and maybe (there’s) not a lot of understanding going on. I’ve shown through actions that’s not my character.”