‘The anger I have over this is insane’: Fury at Travis Scott for deaths and injuries following Astroworld Fest horror that killed eight – Drake breaks his silence to mourn victims
- Eight people died on Friday at Travis Scott’s music festival in Houston, Texas, with the victims ranging in age from 14 to 27
- On Monday friends and relatives of the victims spoke with anger about the 30-year-old’s lax security protocols
- Several of the relatives of those killed or injured have already said they intend to sue
- Scott has promised to pay the funeral expenses but many felt that his offer rang hollow and was too little, too late
- His guest star, Drake, on Monday broke his silence and said he would do whatever he could to help those suffering
Friends and family of the eight young people who died and those of the hundreds who were injured at Travis Scott’s music festival in Houston are demanding that the rapper be held accountable for the tragedy, as his guest star Drake broke his silence to mourn the victims.
Relatives on Monday were still coming to terms with the disaster, which saw victims aged from 14 to 27 crushed to death on Friday night as a sizable group of the 50,000 in attendance pushed toward the stage at NRG Park as a timer clicked down to the start of the performance.
One woman, identified only as Rachel, was furious over the death of her friend Franco Patino, a 21-year-old from Illinois, studying at the University of Dayton in Ohio.
‘My friend is gone FOREVER because of Astroworld,’ she tweeted.
‘The anger I have over this is insane. Travis Scott is going to have to do a hell of a lot more than post a notes-app apology.’
Travis Scott, who was born in Houston, began the festival in 2018 to thank his hometown fans. On Friday night eight people were killed at the show, and dozens injured
Travis Scott said he will cover the funeral costs for the eight victims killed during a violent crowd surge at his Astroworld Festival on Friday in Houston, Texas
Other victims included University of Dayton student Franco Patino (left), 21, who was attending the event with his best friend, 20-year-old Jacob Jurinek, when both were trampled to death
Patino (left) and Jurinek grew up in the same Illinois town and were best friends
Scott, 30, born in Houston, founded his festival in 2018 on the heels of his chart-topping album Astroworld, and has said he will cover the funeral expenses for the eight. Tickets will also be refunded.
‘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,’ his team said in a statement.
‘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.’
Drake, who was invited on stage by Scott, on Monday night spoke of his sorrow.
‘I’ve spent the past few days trying to wrap my mind around this devastating tragedy,’ he wrote on Instagram.
‘I hate resorting to this platform to express an emotion as delicate as grief but this is where I find myself.
‘My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering.’
He said he would pray for them, and was committed to ‘be of service in any way I can.’
Yet many felt it was too little, too late.
A friend, going by the name Ana Lissa Marie, was distraught at the death of Jacob Jurinek, 21 – a childhood pal of Patino’s.
Jurinek was studying art and media at Southern Illinois University, and had traveled to Houston with Patino to celebrate Jurinek’s birthday.
‘I lost all my respect for Travis Scott,’ she tweeted.
‘What happened was absolutely disgusting. RIP to all the ones that lost their lives. To Jacob Jurinek, you will be missed kid. thank you for all the laughs.
‘My condolences go to all the families that lost lives.’
Others have already begun legal action against Scott and the companies that arranged the festival.
Edgar Acosta on Monday held a press conference with Texas attorney Tony Buzbee to announce he was suing over the death of his 21-year-old son, Axel Acosta.
‘They need to make things change in these type of events,’ he said.
‘Today it was me.
‘I lost my son. It could’ve been you,’ Acosta said.
‘When you send your kid to have some fun, because somebody else is not providing the right… I don’t know I can explain. The right security.
‘Because it is not the first time that he has been in big events, right?
‘You can go to Disneyland and have fun. You can go to a baseball game and have fun. Because they have the right security, the right people, some people assisting those injured.
‘It’s hard to explain.’
Edgar Acosta, whose son Axel was killed on Friday, held a press conference on Monday in Houston with an attorney, Tony Buzbee
Axel Acosta, 21, had traveled from Washington to attend the festival – his first concert
Acosta’s father Edgar, pictured left, says he struggled to file a missing person’s report because the family live out-of-state
Around 2pm hundreds of fans stormed the festival’s VIP entrance. About seven hours later the surge in front of the main stage killed eight people but the two events appear to be unrelated
He added: ‘He was a great kid, excellent student. He was trying to study and going to school to be an engineer or computer programmer.’
Buzbee said his firm is filing suit on behalf of 35 plaintiffs, including Acosta and possibly more.
‘Certainly neither Travis Scott nor his handlers, entourage, managers, agents, promoters, organizers, or sponsors cared enough about Axel to make even a minimal effort to keep him and the others at the concert safe,’ Buzbee said.
Buzbee pointed out lengthy list of past allegations and lawsuits against Live Nation, and detailed Scott’s criminal history, insisting that he had a reputation for holding unsafe shows.
The family of Rudy Peña, a 23-year-old medical assistant and criminal justice major from Laredo, have also hired legal representatives and intend to sue.
‘What happened this past weekend is a direct result of what happens when the pursuit of financial gain and fame take precedence over protecting the lives of the innocent,’ said Almaraz Law Firm, representing the Peñas, in a statement.
‘It is a testament to the current state of live events and the greed that runs rampant in this industry.
‘Nobody should feel unsafe enjoying something they love, and unfortunately this is exactly what has transpired.
‘We vow to work diligently and responsibly to bring justice to the Peña family and to all afflicted, and we will not rest until these voices have been heard loud and clear.
‘We will hold responsible parties accountable and fight to ensure that something positive comes of this unmitigated disaster. Something must change. Something will change.’
Rodolfo ‘Rudy’ Peña, 23, was an aspiring model and dreamed of one day being a US Border Patrol agent
Peña, from Laredo, died of cardiac arrest after being injured at the show
Other attendees and their lawyers, including high-profile civil rights lawyer Ben Crump – who is representing injured concertgoer Noah Gutierrez, 21 – said that the tragedy was ‘years in the making’ because of a history of injuries reported at Scott’s performances, including three hospitalizations at the same event in 2019.
The lawsuits also allege that Scott kept singing for more than 30 minutes despite numerous deaths, injuries and screams from fans for the show to stop.
‘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 to save them,’ Crump said in a statement.
More than 10,000 people have signed a petition attempting to block the rapper from performing as a headliners at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in California next April.
A number of injury lawyers, including famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump, are claiming that Scott, Live Nation and other parties behind the festival failed to provide the necessary security measures to prevent the stampede
Crump tweeted one TikTok video showing members of the crowd scream for the show to stop
He shared another video of a woman climbing a stage ladder and screaming to a stage hand that people were dying in the crowd
Crump set up a designated website for anyone else traumatized by the experience to reach out for legal assistance, which could be found at astroworldclaimshelp.com.
‘We will be pursuing justice for all our clients who were harmed in this tragic and preventable event,’ he added.
Amid his lawsuits, the attorney tweeted one TikTok video showing members of the crowd scream for the show to stop and another of a woman climbing a stage ladder and screaming to a stage hand that people were dying in the crowd.
One tweet was captioned, ‘Crowd desperately chanting ‘stop the show’ and waving their hands in the air in an attempt to stop the Astroworld festival! If you know anyone who’s been affected by this horrifying event, reach out ASAP.’
And another read, ‘WOW. A young girl climbed a ladder to beg staff to stop the Astroworld fest & help attendees with what we now know were DOZENS of medical emergencies & deaths! Please reach out if you or a loved one has suffered from this devastating event!’
Crump set up a designated website for anyone else traumatized by the experience to reach out for legal assistance
Scott also announced that he will be partnering with BetterHelp to supply free one-on-one online therapy to any concertgoers
In addition to Crump’s lawsuit, which is just the latest in a slew of festival-related complaints, Scott is also facing disapproval from the public.
As of Monday night, more than 10,000 people had signed a Change.org petition aimed at blocking the rapper’s upcoming Coachella performance.
The petition – directed at Coachella organizers AEG, Paul Tollet and Goldenvoice – cites the Astroworld tragedy and Scott’s alleged negligence as reason to remove him from the concert line-up.
‘With the recent tragic and unnecessary death at Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert, due to Scott’s own gross negligence and sheer lack of compassion for human life, we ask AEG, Paul Tollet, and Goldenvoice to remove his as performer at all of their festivals,’ the petition reads.
The petition also demands that Scott be removed from next weekend’s Day N Vegas Festival.
The festival organizers have not publicly responded to the petition.
Thousands of people have signed a Change.org petition aimed at blocking the rapper’s upcoming festival performances
GoFundMe is directing people to the official family pages, to stop donations going to fraudsters
Brianna Rodriguez, 16, (left) was a dancer and junior in high school. On Saturday her family confirmed that she was one of the eight victims who died
On Monday night, as GoFundMe pages were springing up to support the families, the organizers of the website began directing well-wishers to the official pages.
Not all of the families have set up pages, but the site linked to three pages representing the families of Brianna Rodriguez, 16, plus the Acostas and Peñas.
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