Travis Scott offers 'full refunds' to Astroworld attendees, lawsuits filed in tragedy's aftermath
Travis Scott and festival organizers are issuing "full refunds" to all those who purchased tickets for Astroworld following the tragic turn of his Houston concert that left eight dead and many others injured.
Organizer Scoremore issued a statement on Twitter Monday offering its condolences and providing an update on the incident.
"Full refunds are being offered for all those who purchased tickets," Scoremore said in its tweeted statement Monday about the steps it was taking along with Live Nation and the Astroworld Festival team.
Scoremore added it will refund attendees and is "working on ways to support attendees, the families of victims, and staff, from providing mental health counseling to setting up a health fund to help with costs for medical expenses."
Scott is also offering to pay for victims' funeral expenses and has partnered with BetterHelp, an online therapy service, to provide free mental health services for attendees impacted by the Astroworld tragedy for one month, according to a press release issued by the company.
"Travis remains 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," the release read. "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."
Houston Police chief expressed 'public safety concerns' before Astroworld
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner revealed Monday that he expressed "public safety concerns" directly to Scott during a "brief and respectable" meeting ahead of Astroworld on Friday.
"I met with Travis Scott and his head of security for a few moments last Friday prior to the main event," Finner wrote in a statement shared on Twitter Monday. The Houston Police Department directed USA TODAY to the statement when asked for comment.
In the statement Finner said: "In my 31 years of law enforcement experience I have never seen a time with more challenges facing citizens of all ages, to include a global pandemic and social tension throughout the nation."
Finner said he asked Scott to "work with HPD for all events over the weekend" and warned him to be "mindful of his team’s social media messaging." Finner noted that a "criminal investigation" is underway.
Statement from Police Chief @TroyFinner on #ASTROWORLDFest:#hounews pic.twitter.com/RouNcMErv2
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) November 8, 2021
Scott, an eight-time Grammy-nominated rapper and Houston native, released a statement expressing his sorrow over Friday's events.
"I am absolutely devastated by what took place last night," the rapper, a native of Houston, wrote on Twitter. "My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life."
Scott, one of music’s biggest young stars, founded the Astroworld Festival in 2018. He has a 3-year-old daughter with Kylie Jenner, who announced in September that she’s pregnant with their second child.
Lawsuits naming Travis Scott, Drake roll in
Concertgoers have filed at least 17 lawsuits alleging that Scott, concert promoter Live Nation, organizer ScoreMore and others involved with the event were responsible for the deadly crowd surge.
As of Monday, Scott was named in at least 14 of the personal injury lawsuits filed in Harris County, Texas by Astroworld attendees, alleging negligence and gross negligence. Each civil suit seeks over $1 million in damages and a jury trial.
“Tragically, due to Defendants’ motivation for profit at the expense of concertgoers’ health and safety, and due to their encouragement of violence, at least 8 people lost their lives and scores of others were injured at what was supposed to be a night of fun,” reads one of the complaints, filed on behalf of injured Astroworld attendee Manuel Souza.
Famed civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said he has filed on behalf of survivor Noah Gutierrez and expects to file on behalf of others soon. Gutierrez, 21, described a scene of "chaos and desperation," Crump said.
"We are hearing horrific accounts of the terror and helplessness people experienced," Crump said in a statement. "The horror of a crushing crowd and the awful trauma of watching people die while trying to save them."
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Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry also filed a lawsuit Sunday on behalf of Kristian Paredes, a concert-goer who alleges he was severely injured as a result of the crowd rush, according to legal documents obtained by USA TODAY. He is suing Scott, Live Nation, NRG Stadium and rapper Drake, who appeared during Scott's set.
"There is no excuse for the events that unfolded at NRG stadium on Friday night," Henry said in a news release. "There is every indication that the performers, organizers, and venue were not only aware of the hectic crowd but also that injuries and potential deaths may have occurred. Still, they decided to put profits over their attendees and allowed the deadly show to go on."
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for those named in the lawsuits, including NGR Park, who declined to comment.
"We continue to support and assist local authorities in their ongoing investigation so that both the fans who attended and their families can get the answers they want and deserve, and we will address all legal matters at the appropriate time," Live Nation said in a statement to USA TODAY Monday.
"Throughout the weekend, we have been working to provide local authorities with everything they need from us in order to complete their investigation and get everyone the answers they are looking for," Scoremore added in its tweeted statement Monday.
"Our staff has met with local authorities to provide information, and we have also provided them with all footage of our CCTV cameras. Load out of the site and equipment is current paused to give investigators the time they requested to walk and document the grounds."
Man allegedly paralyzed at 2017 Travis Scott concert says rapper has a 'desire for chaos'
The lawyer for a man who previously alleged he was partially paralyzed at a 2017 Travis Scott concert is now blaming the Astroworld tragedy on the rapper's "desire for chaos."
Kyle Green alleged in a 2017 lawsuit that he suffered "severe personal injuries" after he was "caused to fall from a balcony" at a show in New York and was "improperly removed from the subject premises without a cervical collar, backboard, and other safety precautions," per legal documents obtained by USA TODAY.
"It’s no surprise at all that a massive tragedy like this took place," Green's attorney, Howard Hershenhorn, wrote in an email to USA TODAY. "He’s now attempting to bolster his image by being remorseful on Twitter but he should have thought about and learned a lesson from the consequences of his past misdeeds and Friday night never should have happened."
'They were not breathing': Astroworld survivors recount bodies trampled, overwhelmed security
Scott, his manager and several associated production companies all previously denied any wrongdoing in Green's case.
"Make no mistake about it, his desire for chaos caused this horrific tragedy," Hershenhorn said of Friday's Astroworld deaths. "On top of that, just like in our case, security and medical staff were incompetent."
Often times, the rapper encourages his concert-goers to get rowdy. Scott has been arrested at least two times for inciting riots and disorderly conduct at his shows.
In 2015, the rapper was arrested after encouraging fans to jump security barricades during his Lollapalooza set, which was promptly shut down. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation, according to Billboard.
A few weeks after the 2017 New York concert, Scott was charged with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct and endangering the welfare of a minor after he encouraged concertgoers at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion to rush the stage, injuring a security guard, a police officer and several others. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and the other charges were dropped, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette and The Springfield News-Ledger, part of the USA TODAY Network. He was ordered to pay court fees and restitution to two injured people.
Contributing: Elise Brisco, Cydney Henderson, Charles Trepany
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Astroworld updates: Refunds offered; victims sue Travis Scott, Drake