‘I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need’, rapper says in statement after deadly incident
Travis Scott has said he is “absolutely devastated” by the crowd crush that killed eight people while he was performing on stage at his Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas on Friday night.
The rapper and festival organiser issued a statement on Saturday morning, saying: “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened.
“Houston Police Department has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life. I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need.
“Thank you to Houston Plice Department, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support.
“Love you all.”
At least eight people have died and hundreds others have been injured after a huge crowd surge at the opening night of the festival, which was founded by Mr Scott in 2018 at the site of the defunct Six Flags Astroworld amusement park.
Some 50,000 people were in attendance when part of the crowd began to rush towards the stage during Travis Scott’s set shortly after 9pm local time on Friday evening, police said.
Assistant fire chief Larry Satterwhite has said that most of the people taken away in emergency vehicles were in their twenties.
Mr Sattewhire told the Houston Chronicle: “We have parents asking about teenagers. We’re still working through everything.”
Addressing earlier reports of people breaking through barricades to enter the festival without tickets, he said: “A lot of times, kids don’t make the best decisions, because they’re young and amped up…
“I just think it was so many people, and passion, to see this entertainer – I don’t know, and a lot of bad decisions.”
The Astroworld Festival was founded only four years ago by Travis Scott himself, on the nostalgic grounds of a defunct amusement park called Six Flags Astroworld, which closed in 2005.
Mr Scott, 30, grew up in Houston and visited the park “countless times” as a child, but the site stood vacant for years as its owners repeatedly tried and failed to sell it off.
The concert company behind the Astroworld Festival was fined for serious safety violations in 2017 by the US government, records reveal.
Live Nation Worldwide was issued a $13,500 (£10,001) penalty by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which was reduced to $2,700 by a judge after appeal.
OSHA’s listing does not give precise details of the problem, but cites a US law regulating harnesses and restraint systems designed to protect employees from falling while working at heights.
It gave the “gravity” of the violation as 10, the highest possible rating.