December 8, 2021

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Travis Scott and Drake sued over deadly crowd surge at Astroworld music festival – CBS News

3 min read

A man who attended the Houston music festival where at least eight people were killed has filed a civil lawsuit against Travis Scott and Drake, blaming the rappers for negligently inciting “a riot and violence,” according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit, which seeks $1 million in damages, also claims the venue and entertainment company Live Nation failed to provide adequate security and medical services at the Astroworld festival. 

The crowd surge occurred during Scott’s performance on Friday night, when a crowd started to “compress” toward the stage, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said early Saturday. 

“That caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” Peña said. At least eight people, including two teenagers, were killed and dozens were hospitalized. 

Music Festival Deaths
Visitors cast shadows at a memorial to the victims of the Astroworld concert in Houston on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. Robert Bumsted / AP

The suit alleges that Scott, who founded the festival in 2018, “had incited mayhem and chaos at prior events,” and said the other defendants did not take steps to prevent that behavior. It did not provide any examples of such conduct. 

It also claims that Drake, who appeared as a surprise performer, “helped incite the crowd even though he knew of [Scott’s] prior conduct,” and “continued to perform on stage while the crowd mayhem continued.” 

Scott and Drake declined to comment on the lawsuit. In a statement on Saturday, Scott said he was “absolutely devastated by what took place.” Representatives for Live Nation did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment. 

The lawsuit said plaintiff Kristian Paredes was standing at the front of the general admission section at the time, near a metal barrier separating the VIP section from the rest of the crowd. When Scott began performing, Paredes “felt an immediate push” before “the crowd became chaotic and a stampede began,” the lawsuit said.  

“Many begged security guards hired by Live Nation Entertainment for help, but were ignored,” the lawsuit added.   

Travis Scott
Travis Scott performs at Day 1 of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Friday, November 5, 2021, before the deadly crowd surge.  Amy Harris/AP

As a result of the incident, Paredes “suffered severe bodily injuries” that “had a serious effect on the Plaintiff’s health and well-being,” the lawsuit said.  

“Some of the effects are permanent and will abide with the Plaintiff for a long time into the future, if not for his entire life,” the suit said. It did provide any details about the nature of the injuries.  

Paredes does not appear to be the only concertgoer suing over the incident. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said Sunday that he has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 21-year-old Noah Gutierrez, and expects to file more for other alleged victims next week. 

“We are hearing horrific accounts of the terror and helplessness people experienced — the horror of a crushing crowd and the awful trauma of watching people die while trying unsuccessfully to save them,” Crump said in a statement. “We will be pursuing justice for all our clients who were harmed in this tragic and preventable event.”

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