Travis Scott Denies Responsibility For Astroworld Tragedy In Interview With Charlamagne Tha God

Travis Scott Denies Responsibility For Astroworld Tragedy In Interview With Charlamagne Tha God

A month ago, a crowd crush at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival killed 10 people and injured hundreds more. Since Astroworld, Travis Scott, who is facing more than 100 lawsuits, has mostly kept a low profile. But Scott recently sat down for a 51-minute interview with Charlamagne Tha God. It’s his first real interview since the catastrophe.

Throughout the conversation, Scott strikes a somber tone. It’s clearly an attempt at damage control, and it doesn’t feature anything like an apology. Instead, Scott, while attempting to acknowledge the pain of everyone affected, essentially denies responsibility. He tells Scott that he didn’t have any idea that anyone had died at the festival until he sat down for a press conference afterwards: “I didn’t know the exact details until minutes before the press conference. And even at that moment you’re like, ‘Wait, what?’… People pass out, you know; things happen at concerts. But something like that, just like… [deep sigh].”

Scott said that he never heard the people in the crowd calling for help

Anytime you can, you want to stop the show. You want to make sure fans get the proper attention they need. And anytime I could see anything like that, I did. I stopped, like, a couple of times, just to make sure everybody was OK. And I really just go off the fans’ energy, as a collective — call and response. And I just didn’t hear that. I got the music, I got the in-ears, and I just didn’t hear that.

Scott also attempted to describe what it’s like the be onstage and to witness all the overwhelming things that make up a music festival:

It’s like a sea. You got lights, you got sound, you got pyro. You got your in-ears, got your sound, got your mic, got the music, got a band — all type of stuff going on… When you’re at a show, you just into the show. And anytime you can feel anything close to you, you try to definitely get to that… You can only help what you can see, and whatever you’re told. Whenever somebody tell you to stop, you just stop.

Scott talked about “raging” — the sort of intense reaction that he tries to get out of live crowds:

It’s something I’ve been working on for a while, creating these experiences and trying to show these experiences are happening in a safe environment. Us as artists, we trust professionals for when things happen that people leave safely. And this night was just like a regular show, it felt like to me, as far as the energy. It didn’t feel like… people didn’t show up there just to be harmful. People just showed up to have a good time, and then something unfortunate happened. And I think we really just got to figure out what that was…

Raging — they have a textbook definition, but at concerts, we’ve grown it be just the experience of having fun. It’s not about harm. It’s not about that. It’s about letting go and having fun, help others and love each other… The show isn’t just rambunctious for a hour. That’s not what it is.

Scott says that he wasn’t personally involved in the planning of the event’s safety precautions:

As a artist, you just do the creative. And for this to be my festival, you know, I bring artists, creatively produce it, and we just trust in the professionals to make sure that people are taken care of and leaving safely. I just can control what I can on the stage, and then you have the professionals to control what they can in the crowd. It’s just hard because as an artist, you want to have the best shows, and you want to have the best experiences, so you link with professionals to handle that side of it. You want to know what’s going on, and that’s what we’ve got to figure out — what happened, how it happened.

Scott claims that nobody told him anything during the show except that the show would have to stop after guest-performer Drake came out to perform, and Scott says that that’s what he did. But Scott stops short of blaming promoters Live Nation and ScoreMore for the deaths:

They do they job of setting these things up, so when we dial into what specifically happened here, I feel like even they can kind of help figure out what happened, in a sense. But at the end of the day, I think collectively, everyone just needs to figure out the bottom-line solution, especially with concert safety. We got to make sure these things are done right.

When Charlamagne asks if Scott did everything that he possibly could to help during the night, Scott says that he did. When asked about his message for the families of the victims, Scott says, “I would say to them that I’m always here. I’m in this with you guys, and I love you. I’ll always be there to help you guys heal through this.” He says that he’s talked to the families of some of the fans who died, but he declines to say anything specific about those conversations.

Scott also talks about how the whole industry has to work to make concerts safer, proposing ideas like fans wearing heart monitors during shows: “I feel like there’s a way. I just feel like it needs to be time spent on figuring it out.” Scott also says that he still wants to perform in the future: “I’ve always seen performance as art of healing. That’s why I’ve been so into it… Once we take major steps [to address safety concerns], I feel like it could be cool for people to practice that healing.”

Here’s the complete interview:

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