Travis Scott faces criticism from an Astroworld victim’s lawyer for pausing a recent show over safety concerns when he failed to do so last year.
The rapper slowly returns to live shows following the crowd surge at his performance at last year’s Astroworld festival resulting in ten deaths and hundreds more injured. While playing a set at The Day Party at Coney Island in New York, Scott paused his performance upon spotting audience members climbing the lighting truss to get a better view. Scott then told the audience members they needed to climb down before he would continue the show, which they did.
Being more safety conscientious should be seen as a good thing, given the rapper’s history of encouraging risky behavior at his performances. However, a lawyer representing the family of nine-year-old Ezra Blount, the youngest of those killed at Astroworld, criticized Scott in his recent statement to TMZ. The Blount family is involved in just one of the hundreds of lawsuits filed against Scott and Astroworld promoter Live Nation following last year’s tragedy.
“He knows exactly how to keep his fans safe during a concert, but the problem with that is, he didn’t just learn about the fact that he has control over the entire crowd,” Alex Hilliard, the attorney representing the Blount family, explains. “There are ten people that would still be alive today, including young Ezra Blount, if Travis realized his responsibility as an artist goes further than just trying to rile up his crowds, and it reemphasizes the rule of ‘if you see something, say something.'”
Hilliard believes that Scott’s behavior at The Day Party performance illustrates that he has the power to control and direct his audiences. The lawyer suggests that Scott has long been aware of the power he holds as a performer but chose not to exercise it during his Astroworld performance last November.
Scott continues to assert that he was unaware of the crowd surge during his Astroworld performance. The rapper insists that had he known what was happening, he would have stopped the show rather than performing for another half an hour after police declared a ‘mass casualty event.’ Meanwhile, Scott’s representatives have pointed out that he did pause his performance a few times upon becoming aware of isolated, dangerous crowd incidents. But Scott remained unaware of the scale of the situation while it happened.
A representative for Scott told TMZ, “This is exactly the wrong message to send to fans — and to artists. And it completely ignores the fact that Travis also stopped his performance at Astroworld three different times.”
Hilliard stands by his criticism of Scott, stating, “The problem Mr. Scott has is, when we call him to the stand to swear him in and cross-examine him, the judge will not allow his paid spokesperson to sit in the witness chair and answer questions for him.”