Travis Scott‘s lawyer has rebuked what he claims are discrepancies from city officials during the ongoing investigation into the tragic events surrounding this year’s Astroworld festival.
Eight people died and hundreds were reportedly injured during Scott’s headlining set at the NRG Park event in Houston, Texas, last Friday (November 5), when the audience began to compress towards the front of the stage, causing injuries, shortness of breath and, for some, cardiac arrest.
“There has been multiple finger-pointing, much of which has been by city officials, who have sent inconsistent messages and have backtracked from original statements,” Scott’s lawyer Edwin McPherson said in a statement to Rolling Stone.
“Houston Police Chief Troy Finner was quoted in The New York Times as saying ‘You cannot just close when you got 50,000 and over 50,000 individuals. We have to worry about rioting, riots, when you have a group that’s that young.’ Yet, just a short time later, Chief Finner states the responsibility to stop the show falls on Travis.”
A rep for the Houston Police Department declined Rolling Stone‘s request for comment pending the ongoing investigation.
McPherson continued: “It was reported that the Operations Plan designated that only the festival director and executive producers have authority to stop the show, neither of which is part of Travis’s crew. This also runs afoul of HPD’s own previous actions when it shut down the power and sound at this very festival when the performance ran over 5 minutes back in 2019.”
CNN previously reported that the aforementioned plan laid out a chain of command in the event of an incident. It named the executive producer and festival director as the sole individuals who could stop the concert.
“Investigations should start proceeding over finger-pointing so that together, we can identify exactly what transpired and how we can prevent anything like this from happening again,” McPherson concluded.
Earlier this week, the head of Houston Police claimed he had “expressed concerns” to Travis Scott ahead of Astroworld 2021. This was followed by comments from the Houston fire chief, who said Scott should have stopped the show earlier.
It was reported on Monday (November 8) that three lawsuits had been filed against Scott and festival organisers Live Nation in relation to the Astroworld tragedy, with one also naming Drake – who appeared onstage with Scott at one point – as a co-defendant.
The number of lawsuits since has reportedly continued to swell, with Rolling Stone reporting that 19 had been filed by Monday afternoon in Texas’ Harris Country District Court. Of those, all reportedly named Live Nation and most named Scott.
Scott has announced he will pay for the funeral costs of victims of the incident, as well as cover online therapy costs for those in need.
A press release issued at the time said Scott was “in active conversations with the city of Houston, law enforcement and local first responders to respectfully and appropriately connect with the individuals and families of those involved.
“These are the first of many steps Travis plans on taking as a part of his personal vow to assist those affected throughout their grieving and recovery process.”
Live Nation and ScoreMore have also announced they are developing a fund to cover the medical bills of the festival’s attendees and provide mental health counselling resources.