Travis Scott, for the first time, speaks out about the events of his Astroworld festival that left 10 people dead and dozens injured. In a somber, hour-long conversation with Charlamagne Tha God, Scott shares his own recollection of the evening. He also discusses “rage” culture, future concert safety, and extends condolences to the victims’ families.
Charlamagne asks Scott when he learned that his concert had turned into a mass casualty event and the rapper explains that he only learned moments before the press conference. “Even after the show,” he says, “You’re just kind of hearing things but I didn’t know the exact details until minutes before the press conference. But even at that moment you’re just kind of like ‘Wait, what?’”
Scott also says that while he was performing, he never heard the pleas of attendees in the crowd, desperately calling for help. “It’s so crazy because I’m that artist too—[like] anytime you can hear something like that, you want to stop the show,” he explains. “You want to make sure fans get the proper attention they need. Any time I could see anything like that, I did. I stopped it a couple of times to just make sure everybody was okay. And I really just go off the fans’ energy as a collective—call and response. I just didn’t hear that.”
Scott says a combination of the music from his in-ear audio monitors, pyrotechnics, and stage lights made it difficult for him to see.
During the interview, the rapper also addresses the “rage” culture that has become such an integral part of his live concerts within the last few years. “In the past, you’ve encouraged, I guess, the kind of energy that could have led to something like this happening. Do you think that could have contributed to the energy of this night?” Charlamagne asks him.
“Something I’ve been working on for a while is creating these experiences and trying to show these experiences are happening in a safe environment,” Scott responds. “Us as artists, we trust professionals for when things happen that people can 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, you know… 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.”
Charlamagne also presses Travis Scott about his involvement with the planning of the festival, which was criticized for its “poor planning” and “understaffing.” Scott explains, “As an artist [performing at the festival] you just do the creative [aspects]. 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 [are] leaving safely. I just 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.”
As far as those “professionals” go, Scott is careful to not to completely foist the blame onto LiveNation or ScoreMore, the promoters. “They do their 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.”
And when Charlamagne asks him to elaborate about concert safety and what precautions Scott will take to avoid future tragedies, Scott responds, “[I will] double down on making sure everybody is locked in and everyone is aware and everyone is on response. Everybody is on it.” Ultimately, Scott expresses his desire to have more of a call and response system in place with his crowd.
The full interview can be watched above.