Man ‘trampled’ in Astroworld Festival crowd surge suing Travis Scott, event organizers

National News

HOUSTON (KXAN) — A man who says he was “knocked” to the ground and “trampled” during a crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival is suing the rapper and event organizers, among others, after eight people died and many more suffered injuries Friday night.

Manuel Souza is one of at least two people already suing Travis Scott and his record label, Cactus Jack Records, Scoremore, Live Nation, ASM Global and executives from NRG Stadium.

“Plaintiff’s injuries were the inevitable and predictable result of Defendants’ conscious disregard of the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers that had been escalating since hours earlier,” says the lawsuit.

It points to images and videos that were circulating on social media that show attendees of the Astroworld Festival who “breached a security gate around the park, stampeded into the premises, and trampled over one another” before Scott’s performance. “Yet Defendants made the conscious decision to let the show go on, despite the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers,” the lawsuit continues.

This was against a backdrop of multiple reports of tramplings, patrons losing consciousness,
patrons being unable to breath due to profound lack of crowd control, inadequate water, inadequate
security, and a lack of exit routes. So many people were hurt, and so few emergency personnel
were provided by Defendants, that patrons themselves had to conduct CPR on their fellow
concertgoers. Yet Defendants made the conscious decision to let the show go on, despite the
extreme risk of harm to concertgoers that was escalating by the moment.

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Manuel Souza, who attended Astroworld Festival the night of Nov. 5

It also alleges Scott “encouraged a culture of violence” with comments made on social media when tickets sold out.

“We are fully cooperating and working closely with police and local authorities as they investigate how this tragedy occurred at the Astroworld Festival,” says a Saturday statement on Twitter from NRG Park.

Scott Tweeted a statement Saturday, saying in part, he was “devastated by what took place.”

He also posted a video to Instagram Sunday, saying “I just want to send out prayers to the ones that was lost last night.”

“My fans really mean the world to me and I always just want to leave them with a positive experience and any time I can make out anything that’s going on, I stop the show and help them get the help they need. I could just never imagine the severity of the situation.”

Travis Scott statement in video posted to his Instagram account Sunday

The lawsuit also pointed to previous incidents in which Scott allegedly encouraged “‘fans’ to rage at his concerts.” It says he was arrested in 2015 for disorderly conduct in Chicago for inciting violence at a concert by encouraging fans to breach barricades. According to the lawsuit, in 2017 he was also arrested for inciting a riot at a concert in Arkansas. He pled guilty to disorderly conduct. That same year, it says a fan was paralyzed at his concert in New York City after a crowd pushed the fan off a balcony.

“As proud residents of Houston, we are sickened by the devastating tragedy that took place on Friday night,” says a statement sent to KXAN by Souza’s attorneys. “We will be investigating this tragedy over the next few days and hope to shed light on what happened and provide answers to victims and the families of those victims. No one should ever attend a concert in fear.”

KXAN has reached out to Scoremore, Live Nation and ASM Global for comment.

A separate lawsuit filed on behalf of another victim who was at the festival, Patrick Stennis, says he was “was trampled, crushed, and lost consciousness,” and “sustained injuries to his shoulder, head, and other parts of his body” due to the surge.

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