(Trends Wide) — The organizers of the Day N Music Festival announced late this Monday that rapper Travis Scott will no longer perform at this weekend’s event in Las Vegas following the tragedy of the Astroworld festival in Houston.
The latest development comes as investigators turn their attention to the causes of death for eight attendees after a wave of people rushed onto the stage during Scott’s performance. The deadly conditions have prompted a growing number of lawsuits on behalf of concert goers.
Investigators are working to determine all possible causes of death and injuries for dozens of concert-goers, including whether a batch of counterfeit pills possibly laced with fentanyl played a role, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the investigation. . Trends Wide has contacted authorities to ask them to comment on the Wall Street Journal information.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told Trends Wide’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday that the toxicology report will have to be a “key part” in helping to assess what happened Friday night, saying, “That’s going to take weeks”.
Hidalgo said that while organizers have struggled with crowd control in the past, it is too early to conclude in either direction the exact causes of death.
“There are many signs of drug use. Could that have been part of the story? It is difficult for these families to grieve without answers,” he said.
It could be several weeks before the causes of death are determined, said Michele Arnold, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office.
During the concert, a security officer “was reaching out to hold or grab a citizen and felt a prick in the neck,” Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said Saturday.
The officer was left unconscious and was resuscitated after medical personnel administered Narcan, a drug used to treat narcotic overdoses.
Although answers to the deaths are still being sought, the accumulation of tragedy is evident. As the countdown to Travis Scott’s performance progressed, concert goers told Trends Wide that it was getting harder and harder to breathe as people crowded together. And once the show started, some attendees say the cries for help were not heard amid the roar of the music.
“They passed out. And they were on the ground and basically being trampled on. And no one was picking them up,” concert-goer Billy Nasser told Trends Wide’s Chris Cuomo on Monday. “There were too many people. It was crowded. The way the barricades were set up had people trapped. It was a death trap.”
At least 18 lawsuits filed
More attendees are filing lawsuits in connection with what happened at the festival, with at least 18 actions filed in Harris County District Court as of Monday night.
The event’s organizer, Live Nation Entertainment, was named as a defendant in all but one lawsuit, while Travis Scott was named in most. Other individuals and organizations involved in the concert, including NRG Stadium, as well as actor and musician Drake, were named in at least one of the lawsuits.
“The injuries have had a serious effect on the health and well-being of the plaintiff. Some of the effects are permanent and will remain with the plaintiff for a long time in the future, if not for his entire life,” one of the lawsuits states. .
Other lawsuits allege serious injuries from being “trampled” during the crowd, as well as “emotional distress.”
The lawsuit in which Drake is named accuses him of helping to incite the crowd as a “surprise guest” alongside Travis Scott, both of whom remained on stage while “the crowd got out of control,” the lawsuit says.
Drake published this Monday on social networks: “My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering. I will continue to pray for all of them and I will be at the service of what I can.”
Saturday, Travis Scott tweeted: “I am absolutely devastated by what happened last night. My prayers go out to the families and everyone shocked by what happened at the Astroworld Festival.”
NRG told Trends Wide in a statement that they cannot comment at this time. Trends Wide has also contacted Scott, Live Nation and others named in the lawsuits, but has received no response.
The show went on during the rush of people
Scott, headliner and organizer of the festival, will cover all funeral expenses for the deceased, according to a statement Monday from a representative.
“Travis remains in active discussions with the City of Houston, law enforcement and local first responders to respectfully and appropriately connect with the individuals and families of those involved,” the statement said. “These are the first of many steps that Travis plans to take as part of his personal vote to help those affected through their grieving and recovery process.”
Some city officials say additional responsibility falls on Travis Scott for continuing to perform while many of the attendees were under pressure. And crowd control has been a problem at his shows in the past.
Scott pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in Arkansas in 2018, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, after police say he encouraged people to rush to the stage at a 2017 show. Two other misdemeanor charges, including incitement to the riots, they were dismissed.
Scott maintains he had no idea the extent of what was happening in the crowd during Friday’s show. Footage from the live broadcast of the concert also showed Scott pausing his performance and watching in apparent confusion as an ambulance pulled into the crowd before the end of the concert.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena told Trends Wide’s Jake Tapper on Monday that he believes that if Scott had finished his performance earlier, he could have calmed the crowd.
“If the lights had been turned on – (if) the promoter or the artist had asked – it would have cooled off the audience, and who knows? Who knows what the result would have been? But everyone in that place, Starting with the artist, he has the responsibility of public safety, “said Peña.
However, at Saturday’s press conference, when asked why the show hadn’t stopped earlier, Police Chief Finner cited the possibility of riots “when there is a young group” in a crowd of about 50,000 people.
Finner said there was a “discussion between the promoters, the fire department, the police department and NRG officials” about stopping the event.
Trends Wide’s Kay Jones, Jennifer Henderson, Claudia Domínguez, Caroll Alvarado, Sharif Paget, Melissa Alonso, Chloe Melas, Allison Flexner, Chris Boyette, Sarah Jorgensen, Elizabeth Joseph, Tina Burnside, and Corey James contributed to this report.