Social media users criticise officials and Travis Scott for not ending Astroworld concert sooner
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By Jennifer Hassan and Reis Thebault
Travis Scott and his partner Kylie Jenner said they were "devastated" to learn that at least eight people, including teenagers, died after a chaotic crowd surge toward a stage where the rapper was performing at Friday's Astroworld Festival in Houston.
Jenner, the cosmetics mogul and reality TV star, said the two were not aware of fatalities until after the show.
A video reconstruction by The Washington Post shows Scott's concert continued despite desperate pleas for help from the crowd, stopping about an hour after concert-goers were in distress, with some yelling for help and trying to get officials to stop the show. Attendees described the chaos as like "hell" and "partying in a graveyard" as the music played on and the Apple Music live stream continued.
Officials are investigating how the sold-out music festival turned deadly.
Jenner, 24, who is pregnant with the couple's second child, wrote on her Instagram story early Sunday that she and Scott were "broken and devastated" by the loss of life, and that they were praying for those "injured or affected."
Jenner said she wanted to "make it clear" they "weren't aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show."
Jenner wrote that "filming" and "performing" would not have continued if they were fully aware of the scale of chaos unfolding among the 50 000-person crowd.
Jenner was criticised on social media for posting video footage from the concert on her Instagram that also featured an ambulance attempting to navigate its way through the crowd to assist those in need of emergency care.
Scott tweeted that he was "absolutely devastated by what took place." On his Instagram story Saturday night, Scott told followers he was working to "assist the families through this tough time."
Scott, who appeared distressed as he rubbed his head and closed his eyes repeatedly, said, "My fans really mean the world to me and I always want to leave them with a positive experience."
He appealed to those who attended the concert to share any information they had with authorities.
While the rapper paused his set at least four times, including a time he asked security staffers to tend to an attendee who had passed out, many on social media criticised officials and the star for not ending the show sooner.
People really think Travis Scott won’t be held liable, when he’s got a history of this at his shows and known for encouraging the behavior. #AstroWorld #Houston #TravisScott pic.twitter.com/LeSwHfCN0X— Adam Morrison (@FranklyMuniz) November 6, 2021
Rapper Roddy Ricch, who was one of many artists to perform at the festival, took to Instagram early Sunday to say he would be donating his net compensation from the event to the families of the victims.
Veteran rapper Master P, who performed earlier Friday afternoon, posted a snippet of his set to Instagram, showing a jovial but jam-packed crowd waving their arms as he played.
"Life is too short, tell your loved ones you love them when you walk out the door because you never know," Master P wrote in the post's caption.
The singer and songwriter SZA, who also took the stage Friday, said on Twitter that she was "in shock" after learning of the fatalities that night.
"Just praying for everyone in Houston especially the families of those that lost their lives," she wrote.
And Kanye West, who was not at Astroworld but has collaborated with Scott and was married to Jenner's half sister Kim Kardashian, memorialised the dead in the latest edition of his semiregular worship music performance. The show, known as Sunday Service, was dedicated to "the loved ones of Astroworld."