30 June 2023

Travis Scott will not face criminal charges over 2021 Astroworld tragedy

A grand jury in Texas has declined to charge the rapper over a deadly crowd surge at the festival.

Travis Scott will not be charged in connection with the November 2021 Astroworld incident that left 10 dead and thousands of other attendees injured, as Reuters reports. A grand jury in Harris County, Texas, declined to indict the rapper, bringing the 19-month investigation to a close.

“In this instance, the grand jury of the 228th District Court of Harris County found that no crime did occur, that no single individual was criminally responsible,” District Attorney Kim Ogg announced on Thursday.

“Now that this chapter is closed, we hope for the government’s efforts to focus on what is most important – stopping future heartbreaking tragedies like Astroworld from ever occurring again.”

“Criminally speaking, there is no case,” Scott’s attorney, Kent Schaffer, told CNN.

Astroworld 2021 was originally scheduled to take place on November 5 and 6, however the second day was cancelled after a mass casualty incident occurred at NRG Park in Houston. The incident involved a large group of audience members being pushed together toward the front of the stage, causing panic and injuries.

17 people were hospitalised, including 11 people who were in cardiac arrest. A 10-year-old was reportedly among those injured, and the ages of the deceased are between 14 and 27, according to a report from The New York Times.

“I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night,” Travis Scott said in his initial statement on 6th November after the incident had taken place. “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.” 

In a subsequent Instagram story video he said that he was “working right now to identify the families so we can help assist them through this tough time.” 

Though Scott will not face criminal charges, he and Live Nation are still facing several civil lawsuits over the event, including one from a woman suing him and Live Nation for the death of her unborn child. 

The House Oversight and Reform Committee launched an investigation into Live Nation over the incident. All ten deaths were eventually ruled accidents by the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office. As a result, Scott established his own event safety initiative, called Project HEAL, in March 2022. He paused a show in Brooklyn later that summer when fans were climbing part of the stage during his outdoor set at Coney Island.

Scott began easing into the public eye again with a performance at a private pre-Oscars house party in the spring of 2022, which he followed with a Coachella afterparty performance. He returned to TV at the Billboard Music Awards in May 2022, where he performed ‘Mafia’ and a new song reportedly titled ‘Lost Forever.’

The rapper has also returned to making music over the last year and a half. He’s made guest appearances on a number of other artists’ tracks, including SZA, Pharrell Williams, Young Thug, and Southside. 

Scott reportedly has a new album titled Utopia due in the near future, which he’s hinted at with billboards and a briefcase with the album’s title engraved that he carries frequently.

  • Writer Chris Saunders

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