A lawsuit seeking more than $750 million was filed Tuesday on behalf of at least 125 victims of the audience crush at the Astroworld music festival, including Axel Acosta, 21, who was killed.
The crowd surge at rapper Travis Scott’s festival in Houston left 10 people dead and many more injured. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against Scott and Live Nation Entertainment Inc.
The suit, filed by Buzbee Law Firm, also list the rapper Drake, who joined Scott halfway through his Astroworld set, Apple Music, which was streaming the festival, and others as defendants.
“The victims on that night went to Astroworld for fun,” the suit says. “Neither they nor their families were ever warned that they were walking into an extremely dangerous situation.”
Acosta “was crushed by the incited, unruly and out-of-control crowd with such force that he could no longer breathe,” according to the suit. He went into cardiac arrest and was then trampled, it says.
“As he lay there under a mass of humanity, dying, the music played and streamed on — for almost forty minutes,” the suit says. Acosta died at the scene.
The suit accuses Scott, whose real name is Jacques Bermon Webster II, of keeping the concert going even after authorities had announced a mass casualty event. Other suits have alleged the same, and Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said Scott “absolutely” should have stopped the show once he saw what was taking place.
“Look: We all have a responsibility. Everybody at that event has a responsibility, starting from the artist on down,” he said last week.
Scott's litigation attorney, Edwin McPherson, has said Scott “didn’t know that there was a mass casualty event that was called.”
“Nobody told him. Nobody told his crew. When finally somebody communicated something to his crew that this was the last song, that was about 10:10, Travis said, ‘OK, last song,’ and he stopped it when he was told to stop it,” McPherson said.
Scott said in an Instagram story the day after that he was “devastated.” He has offered to pay for the funerals of the 10 people who died and to refund tickets for all attendees.
“Such [an] offer is a transparent and grotesque effort of the Defendants to limit their liability, after the fact, to the families of those killed or injured,” the Buzbee lawsuit says. “The Acosta family would rather Webster have privately spent money on proper planning, adequate security and medical staff before the concert, instead of publicly stating that he would pay for the funerals of those that were crushed and killed.”
The suit, like many that came before it, also alleges that Scott has a history of encouraging violence at his shows through his lyrics and his habit of encouraging crowds to ignore security and rush the stage. It pointed out that Scott told GQ that he wants his concerts to feel like pro wrestling matches.
The suit also recounts the case of Kyle Green, who was paralyzed at a Scott concert in New York City in 2017. Scott can be heard on video encouraging fans to jump from a third-floor balcony, reassuring them that other fans would catch them. Green has said he did not jump but was pushed and landed on the floor.
Scott did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the new suit. Live Nation, Drake, Apple and other defendants also did not respond.