A grand jury in Texas has decided that Travis Scott will not face charges following a deadly crowd surge at Astroworld Music Festival.
The rapper launched the festival alongside concert promoters Live Nation in 2018, however, during a performance on November 5 2021, thousands were left injured when the over-capacity crowd surged towards the front of the stage during Scott’s headline performance.
10 people were killed by compressive asphyxiation during the show — with victims aged between age nine and 27.
At the time, Scott said that the tragedy had left him “devastated” but didn’t realise quite how severe the events were until he left the stage. Following the incident, thousands of plaintiffs came forward, asking for what tallied to be billions of dollars in potential damages.
As per Rolling Stone, those coming forward with claims have cited several allegations including poor planning from festival organisers and a lack of security as contributing to the crowd rush.
An investigation was launched by both federal officials and Houston police, to uncover whether Scott or Live Nation implemented adequate safety measures for the event.
In the time following the incident, both Scott and Drake faced backlash for continuing their performance while the crush was happening in the audience. According to BBC, there were not only accounts of “lifeless bodies being passed through the crowd in full view of the stage”, but Houston’s fire chief also stated that Scott should have halted the show much earlier.
Now, a grand jury in Texas has declined to charge the rapper for the events that unfolded. Scott’s lawyer Kent Schaffer said that the decision has come as “a great relief” to his client (via BBC).
Schaffer confirmed in a statement that the jury had met, but chose not to indict his client. He also denied any wrongdoing from the rapper. “He never encouraged people to do anything that resulted in other people being hurt,” he said. “Travis is not responsible. Bringing criminal charges against him will not ease [the victim’s] pain.”
Lawsuits filed by multiple victims remain active in Texas state courts.
Last October, the family of one victim reached a settlement with the rapper and Live Nation, however, the terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
In other Travis Scott news, back in May, the rapper previewed his upcoming album ‘Utopia’ for Houston’s professional baseball team, the Astros.
Both the release date for ‘Utopia’ and details on its tracklist have yet to be announced, however, the record has been teased by Scott since 2021. The album will be his fourth full-length LP, and comes five years after the release of ‘Astroworld’.