Travis Scott Gives First Interview Since Astroworld Tragedy, Denies He Knew Fans Were Injured
By Paige Gawley
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Travis Scott is speaking out following the Astroworld tragedy. In a nearly hour-long interview published on Thursday, the 30-year-old rapper denied knowing that people were in distress amid his set at the Houston music festival. Ten people died following what Houston Fire Department Chief Sam Pena called a "chaotic event."
"It wasn't until minutes before the press conference that I figured out exactly what happened," Scott told Charlamagne tha God. "Even after the show, you're just kind of hearing things, but I didn't know the exact details until minutes before the press conference. And even at that moment you’re like, 'Wait, what?'"
Scott additionally denied hearing any signs of distress from the crowd while he was playing.
"It’s so crazy because I’m that artist too. Anytime you can hear something like that, you want to stop the show. You want to make sure fans get the proper attention they need," he said. "Anytime I could see anything like that, I did. I stopped it a couple times to just make sure everybody was OK. And I really just go off the fans' energy as a collective, call and response. I just didn’t hear that."
As for what prevented him from hearing the potential signs of distress, Scott explained, "You've got a venue filled with 50,000 people... You've got lights, you've got sound, you've got pyro, you've got in-ears, you've got your sound, you've got your mic, you've got the music, you've got your band, stuff going on."
"Everything kind of sounds the same. At the end of day, you just hear music," he said. "... When you're in the show, you're just into the show. Any time you can feel anything close to you, you try to definitely get to that. You can only help what you can see... Whenever somebody tell you to stop, you just stop."
Following the tragedy, some accused Scott of fostering an environment of "raging" at his concerts, but he said he's been working to do the opposite.
"That’s something I’ve been working on for a while, of just creating these experiences and trying to show these experiences are happening in a safe environment," he said. "Us as artists, we trust professionals to make sure things happen and people leave safely."
"And this night was just like a regular show, it felt like to me, as far as the energy," Scott continued. "... People didn’t show up there to just 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."
As for how he describes "raging," Scott said that it's "just the experience of having fun."
"It’s not about just... harm. It’s not about that," he said. "It’s about just letting go and having fun, help others and love each other. It's not about just harm. That's not what it's all about. The show isn't just rambunctious for an hour, that's not what it is."
In the wake of the tragedy, Scott said he's been on an "emotional rollercoaster," noting, "It gets so hard, because I always feel connected with my fans... It really hurts. It hurts the community, it hurts the city."
He additionally stated that he's still "trying to wrap my head around" the tragedy, and figure out how he can "be there" for his fans.
"You wish you could kind of just hold everyone, kind of just heal them, talk to them, have conversations. It really just hurts, man," he said. "You do these shows, honestly, for people to have the best experience. Just to think that something like this happened, you're just trying to figure out [what happened]... Figure out the bottom solution of what's going on, and just try to ensure people's safety."