Slightly more than two years since the fatal crowd collapse at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, the rapper spoke to GQ regarding his emotions relating to the tragedy.
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In November of 2021, 10 people died – including a 9-year-old boy – and more than 300 people suffered injuries at Astroworld, which was an annual music festival Scott founded in 2018. Prior to the horrors that took place as a result of overcrowding and recklessness during Scott’s performance at NRG Park, the rapper had been known to glorify the dangerous nature of his concerts.
Scott is not facing criminal charges in relation to Astroworld, but he is facing hundreds of civil lawsuits, some of which have already been settled. The first trial for the unsettled lawsuits is scheduled for May 6, 2024.
This new interview with GQ has marked the first time since December 2021 that Scott has publicly addressed the disturbing events that occurred within the crowd at his festival.
“I mean I was just overly devastated, you know. Yeah,” Scott told GQ. “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.”
Scott explained how his intention behind Astroworld was to shine a spotlight on his hometown, Houston, Texas. He wanted to inspire the people of Houston through music as well as demonstrate the city’s greatness to the world.
“I was always a fan of concerts growing up, and I couldn’t see a lot of my favorite artists because they never really came to Houston that much. And so being able to bring that joyful moment to the city and really open up that creative brain and, you know, all that. All that is going to inspire the next kid to be like, ‘Wow…I can do this,’” Scott said.
Astroworld suddenly became the opposite of what he envisioned for the music festival. “That moment for families, for the city, you know, it was devastating,” Scott said. The rapper used music to cope with the emotions he experienced in the wake of what happened at his show.
In July of 2023, Scott released an album, Utopia, which features a song that addresses the Astroworld incident and is titled “My Eyes.” The song includes lyrics, such as, “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.”
This is an emotional song for Scott, and he doesn’t want people to believe he is just apathetic about everything; he wants them “to know I have pain too… And every day I want to find change in the things, to make things better, make myself better.”