HOUSTON — Travis Scott’s spokesperson appeared on CBS Mornings on Friday to detail exactly what the star rapper knew while he was on stage performing during the chaos at the Astroworld Festival.
Nine concertgoers died following the chaos that erupted during a crowd surge while Scott was performing at NRG Park on Nov. 5.
A ninth concertgoer, Bharti Shahani, a 22-year-old Texas A&M student, was declared dead from her injuries on Wednesday after spending several days on a ventilator in the ICU.
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Scott’s spokesperson, said the rapper was only aware hours after the chaos that it had become deadly.
“Thirty minutes after the emergency, Travis had no idea what was going on until well later,” she said.
Rawlings-Blake says Scott did not become aware of what had happened until he was notified by his team hours later after the mass casualty incident had been declared.
She denies Scott was knowingly partying as the tragedy unfolded.
“While a lot of people are trying to place the blame, Travis is taking responsibility for moving forward and trying to make sure this never happens again to anyone’s child,” Rawlings-Blake said.
The spokesperson says Scott has reached out to the families of the victims, including the Shahani family.
“He has not stopped grieving for these families. He knows that he is who is because of his fans, his love for his fans is so deep,” she said. “I was struck when I was speaking to him, how deeply he was hurting, because of what happened to the people he loves, in the city he loves.”
Rawlings-Blake claims that according to the operations plans for the festival, the only two people with the "authority to stop the concert were the executive producer and the concert producer."
She said a lot of people are trying to place the blame on Scott.
“Someone has to say where are the breakdowns, where was the communication breakdown, the public safety breakdown,” she said. “This notion that Travis had the ability to stop the concert is ludicrous.”
On Monday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said that he met with Scott before his concert to express concerns about public safety at the festival.
Fans say they were begging Scott and his team to stop the concert when dozens of people passed out. Scott did stop, at one point, to ask for help for one unconscious fan but then continued performing for more than half an hour after the Houston Fire Department declared a mass casualty event.
The rapper has a history of encouraging fans to bypass security and rush the stage at previous concerts, including Arkansas in 2017 where he was arrested. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to reckless conduct charges after an incident at the Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago.
Scott has faced lawsuits and even an arrest in the past. But this was the first time, anyone has died and there's already a stack of lawsuits on behalf of the victims.
“He was not responsible for this, but he wants to be responsible for he solution,” Rawlings-Blake said.
She added that his team is concerned about safety, explaining that he does not hide from the fact that in the past he has made mistakes.
“He takes safety so seriously,” she said.