Nearly nine months after a crowd surge at his 2021 Astroworld festival left ten people dead, Travis Scott has returned to the stage for his first festival set since the incident. The rapper, who has stayed notably quiet on the performance and release fronts since the tragedy, surprised the crowd by joining Future onstage for a few songs during his Saturday headlining set at Rolling Loud Miami.
Scott led his surprise appearance with his Future collaboration “Hold That Heat,” followed by a medley of career-spanning hits “Antidote,” “No Bystanders,” and “Goose Bumps.” After trading bars one last time with Future for “March Madness,” Scott left the stage.
Aside from a few small club shows and impromptu sets, Scott has remained largely absent from the rap scene in the months since Astroworld. Scott was previously announced as a headliner for the Day N Vegas festival in September, but the event was swiftly cancelled amid reported “logistics, timing, and production issues” that bring to mind a very Fyre-y disaster of yesteryear.
After Kanye West dropped out as a Rolling Loud headliner just a week before the festival, Billboard reports Scott was approached to be a headliner but could not oblige due to scheduling conflicts. Kid Cudi ultimately took over the slot, but cut the set early after the crowd reportedly hurled water bottles at at him. Perhaps, in addition to “scheduling” conflicts, Scott abstained from the slot for fear of similar treatment, especially given his current controversial status.
Astroworld’s legal proceedings, which saw Scott widely criticized for perceived inaction during the crush, remain ongoing. In May, attorneys working on behalf of the Astroworld victims cited nearly 4,900 injuries in addition to the 10 deaths—with those numbers only representing filed claims. In March, Scott was also accused of violating a gag order (intended to stop plaintiffs from influencing judges and jurors through pre-trial conduct) related to the festival. In question was his announcement of a $5 million Project HEAL initiative, during which he stated: “I will always honor the victims of the Astroworld tragedy who remain in my heart forever.”
To follow the unexpected set, Scott has two other, planned festival dates lined up this year. The rapper is set to headline Primavera Sound’s festivals this November in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Santiago, Chile this November.