Two years ago this month, 10 people died and 25 concertgoers were hospitalized after a crowd surged during Travis Scott‘s Astroworld festival in Houston. Footage from the fest showed Scott continuing the concert, even after he appeared to notice that a fan had passed out. Hundreds of lawsuits followed, though Scott will not face criminal charges over the incident. In a new interview with GQ, Scott spoke about the horror of Astroworld in his first comments on the incident since December 2021.
“I mean I was just overly devastated, you know. Yeah,” Scott said. “I always think about it. Those fans were like my family. You know, I love my fans to the utmost … You just feel for those people. And their families.”
He also acknowledged, “That moment for families, for the city, you know, it was devastating.”
Scott pressed forward with his career after the incident, releasing Utopia in July and performing dozens of concerts around the world over the past two years. Through it all, he said, the memory of what happened at Astroworld haunted him.
“The idea of just even getting back into music, working on music and just even getting into that, was therapeutic of being able to channel some of the energy into production and sounds and finishing it,” Scott said.
He also talked about the Utopia song “My Eyes,” which references Astroworld with the lyrics, “I replay them nights, and right by my side, all I see is a sea of people that ride wit me/If they just knew what Scotty would do to jump off the stage and save him a child.” Scott said he hopes the song humanizes him to his critics, adding, he wants them “to know I have pain too.”
“I have concerns, things that I think about, and the things I see on a day-to-day basis I think about them,” Scott said. “And every day I want to find change in the things, to make things better, make myself better. It’s just like: I go through things like everyone else. And even recently through something like I never could imagine.”
Scott has remained committed to large-scale, spectacular concerts, including a planned concert around the pyramids in Egypt (that was canceled) and one at Rome’s Circus Maximus that had people fearing earthquakes. A concert that had been planned for Houston, which would have been Scott’s return to where the Astroworld disaster happened, ultimately never made it onto his touring schedule.
This past July, Houston police released a 1,266-page report on Astroworld, which included quotes from Scott, who said he was unaware of the mayhem during the performance, and Drake, a guest performer at the festival, who said it was hard to hear the audience due to wearing in-ear monitors. Meanwhile, some of the victims have settled lawsuits against Scott, Live Nation, and other organizers.
In September, Scott sat for eight hours of questions in a civil deposition related to the lawsuits against him. Drake also sat for a deposition that lasted several hours this month. The first trial related to these suits is set to commence on May 6.
From Rolling Stone US