PIERS MORGAN: Travis Scott has given middle finger to safety of fans

PIERS MORGAN: Travis Scott has repeatedly given a snarling middle finger to the safety of his fans and this deadly, predictable disaster is a direct result of his arrogant and shameful recklessness

Travis Scott wants us to know he’s ‘just devastated’ about the horrific deaths of eight of his fans at a concert on Friday.

In a tormented Instagram post the following night, the rap superstar repeatedly stroked his hair in apparent anguish as he said: ‘I could never imagine anything like this happening.’

Scott, 30, spoke out after catastrophe unfurled during his performance at the Astroworld festival in his hometown of Houston, Texas.

In appalling scenes, hundreds of fans were injured in frantic crowd surges that erupted when Scott appeared on stage at 9pm and which led to panic, desperation and ultimately, the deaths of eight people aged between 14 and 27.

Videos posted on social media show concert goers screaming for help and begging Scott’s production crew members to ‘STOP THE SHOW!’

Fans later spoke of their terror.

‘It was like hell,’ Nick Johnson, 17, told the New York Times. ‘Everybody was just in the back, trying to rush to the front.’

‘People were literally grabbing and pinching at my body trying to get up from the ground,’ said another fan, Chris Leigh, 23. ‘I was fighting for my life; there was no way out.’

Throughout all this, Scott continued performing.

One fan video shows him appearing to look directly at an unconscious fan being carried out over people’s heads.

Travis Scott wants us to know he’s ‘just devastated’ about the horrific deaths of eight of his fans at a concert on Friday. In a tormented Instagram post the following night, the rap superstar repeatedly stroked his hair in apparent anguish as he said: ‘I could never imagine anything like this happening. Throughout all this, Scott continued performing

In a social media clip, Scott shouts at the crowd, ‘I want to see some rages. Who want to rage?’ but then just moments later he sees an ambulance enter the arena and says, ‘There’s an ambulance in the crowd, whoa, whoa, whoa’ before continuing to sing a few seconds later


The show only ends 40 minutes after city officials say a ‘mass casualty event’ had begun. By then, it was too late to save any lives

Forgive me if I find Mr Scott’s shocked disbelief to be a load of disingenuous self-protective claptrap. If there was one nailed-down guarantee, it was that something terrible like this might one day happen at one of his concerts. This is a man who thrives on chaos and mayhem during live performances

In another clip, Scott shouts at the crowd, ‘I want to see some rages. Who want to rage?’ but then just moments later he sees an ambulance enter the arena and says, ‘There’s an ambulance in the crowd, whoa, whoa, whoa’ before continuing to sing a few seconds later.

The show only ends 40 minutes after city officials say a ‘mass casualty event’ had begun.

By then, it was too late to save any lives.

And forgive me if I find Mr Scott’s shocked disbelief to be a load of disingenuous self-protective claptrap.

If there was one nailed-down guarantee, it was that something terrible like this might one day happen at one of his concerts.

This is a man who thrives on chaos and mayhem during live performances.

‘Travis Scott’s whole aesthetic is about rebellion,’ HipHopDX editor-in-chief Trent Clark told the Associated Press. ‘The shows have a lot of raging. With the death of punk rock, hip-hop has indeed adopted and patterned the new generation of mosh pits. It’s not uncommon to see a lot of crowding and raging or complete wild behavior at a Travis Scott show.’

It’s also not uncommon for this wild crowd behavior to have been actively encouraged by Scott himself.

Indeed, in his 2018 hit ‘Stargazing’, he rapped: ‘It ain’t a mosh pit if ain’t no injuries, I got ’em stage divin’ out the nosebleeds.’

Such an attitude has led to him getting two misdemeanor convictions for the way he has illegally incited his fans to ignore safety protocols.

In 2015, Scott pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless conduct after urging fans to jump over safety barricades at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago.

‘All my real ragers jump the barricade right now!’ Scott yelled. ‘Let’s go. Come over. I want chaos.’

He got what he wanted as hundreds of fans stormed over the barricades and headed towards the stage. A disaster was only averted by the swift response of safety officials.

The Office of Emergency Management said at the time: ‘The performer played one song and then began telling fans to come over the barricades. Due to the security’s quick response, the situation was remedied immediately, and no fans were injured.’

Scott was sentenced to a one year of court supervision.

A video has resurfaced showing rapper Travis Scott encouraging a crowd to ‘f**k up’ a fan who attempted to take his trainers while he crowd surfed in Switzerland. Pictured: A grab from the video taken at the OpenAir Festival in St. Gallen, Switzerland in 2015


In 2017,  Scott once again encouraged his fans to rush the stage and bypass security at a concert at the Walmart Music Pavilion in Arkansas. Several people were injured in that stampede, including a security guard and police officer, and Scott pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and paid a $7,465.31 fine. 

Scott has twice been convicted for encouraging fans to jump security barriers and rush the stage at previous concerts. Pictured: A mug shot of Scott from Rogers police department after a 2017 incident in Arkansas

But in 2017, he once again encouraged his fans to rush the stage and bypass security at a concert at the Walmart Music Pavilion in Arkansas.

Several people were injured in that stampede, including a security guard and police officer, and Scott pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and paid a $7,465.31 fine.

The same year, a young man was left paralyzed after Scott told a fan hanging off a balcony to jump at Terminal 5 in New York City.

‘I see you, but are you gonna do it?’ Scott shouted at him, after stopping the show and ordering the house lights to be turned on so everyone could watch. ‘They gonna catch you. Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared!’

Kyle Green, 27, was left partially paralyzed at a Travis Scott show after Scott encouraged another fan to jump off a balcony. He says Friday’s deaths could have been avoided ‘had Travis learned his lesson’

The fan did indeed jump, safely, into the crowd but in the hysterical reaction that ensued – in video of the incident, one fan can be heard pleading ‘I don’t wanna die in here’ – another man Kyle Green was forced over the edge of the balcony, which he called ‘severely crowded.’

He broke several bones and vertebrae and can only walk with a ‘significant, significant disability.’

Green’s lawyer, Howard Hershenhorn, said his client was ‘heartbroken’ by what happened in Houston on Friday, and added: ‘He’s even more incensed by the fact that it could have been avoided had Travis learned his lesson in the past and changed his attitude about inciting people to behave in such a reckless manner.’

Washington Post music reviewer Julian Kimble, who attended Scott’s 2018 Astroworld show said he’d witnessed the star call for his fans to openly defy safety protocols.

‘I’ve seen him tell people like ‘Don’t listen to security. Forget security. This is for y’all. This is for the fans.’ With regards to last night, that’s an example of how things can go wrong. There’s a lot of negligence across the board. I don’t think there’s one bad guy or culprit. It’s a sweeping structural failure with what happened.’

That’s true, and we will have to wait for a full investigation to discover exactly what went wrong in terms of the emergency response.

But we don’t need an investigation to know that Travis Scott is to blame for creating an environment at his concerts where his fans don’t think safety protocols matter or need to be heeded.

Nor could he or anyone else have been remotely surprised by the crowd reaction on the night.

There had been trouble, dangerous crowd surges and injuries at his previous Astroworld performances, and Scott was specifically and personally warned about potential crowd issues this time by Houston police chief Troy Finner who visited him in his trailer earlier in the day.

The 2-day festival’s organisers had also prepared a 56-page contingency plan that was leaked to the New York Times and said: ‘Based on the site’s layout and numerous past experiences, the potential for multiple alcohol/drug related incidents, possible evacuation needs, and the ever-present threat of a mass casualty situation are identified as key concerns.’

So, none of the crowd reaction was a surprise, just the lethal scale of it.

Scott insisted in his Instagram video: ‘My fans mean the world to me, and I always want to leave them with a positive experience.’

But even as he was saying that, video emerged from a previous show in which he is seen abusively encouraging a young fan to be beaten up for trying to steal his shoe.


Danish Baig, 27 (left), was killed at Travis Scott’s Astroworld after saving a relative during the stampede on Friday, his brother said. Franco Patino, 21 (right), also died, the University of Dayton said


University of Dayton student Franco Patino (left), 21, was attending the event with his best friend, 20-year-old Jacob Jurinek. Both were killed in the crush


Brianna Rodriguez, 16, (left) was a dancer and junior in high school. Rodolfo ‘Rudy’ Pena, 23,(right)  was an aspiring model and dreamed of one day being a US Border Patrol agent. He died of cardiac arrest


John Hilgert, 14, was the youngest victim of the horrific crush which killed eight people at Friday night’s Astroworld Festival in Houston. Axel Acosta, 21, had traveled from Washington to attend the festival – his first concert. Cops shared a photo of his body after they were unable to identify him

It’s an ugly scene that reveals an ugly side to Scott’s character.

If only he’d shown the same ferocious approach to his fans’ safety that he did to his shoes.

As Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said yesterday: ‘The one person who can really call for and get a tactical pause when something goes wrong is that performer,’ he said. ‘They have that bully pulpit and they have a responsibility. If somebody would have said, ‘Hey, shut this thing down and turn on the lights until this thing gets corrected’ — and that coming from the person with the mic — I think could have been very helpful.’

But Scott never did that. He was too busy having and encouraging a rage.

In fact, when two members of his crew came on stage as the mayhem erupted, presumably to tell him what was happening, he waved them away and urged the crowd to make the ‘ground shake.’

The concert, which continued for another half an hour, ended with Scott waving to the crowd and saying: ‘I love y’all. Make it home safe. Good night!’

But eight fans never made it home.

Though his girlfriend Kylie Jenner was seen being sneaked away afterwards by a large group of security guards – to ensure SHE got out safely.

Scott was too busy having and encouraging a rage. In fact, when two members of his crew came on stage as the mayhem erupted, presumably to tell him what was happening, he waved them away and urged the crowd to make the ‘ground shake.’ The concert, which continued for another half an hour, ended with Scott waving to the crowd and saying: ‘I love y’all. Make it home safe. Good night!’ But eight fans never made it home

Kylie Jenner (center in black mask) was seen being sneaked away afterwards by a large group of security guards – to ensure SHE got out safely

In a video of the concert that was posted online but has now been taken down, Scott can be heard saying, ‘If everybody good, put a middle finger up to the sky.’

The video shows many fans then extending their middle finger to the sky.

It also shows the ambulance in the middle of them all, dealing with dying people.

For years, Travis Scott has extended his middle finger to crowd safety and security.

On Friday night, that shamefully reckless attitude to the welfare of his own fans led to a deadly disaster.

He can pretend he’s shocked and can’t believe it happened.

But these are the weasly words of a man now facing civil and possibly criminal court action, desperate not to be blamed for crowd activity that his incendiary rhetoric for many years has encouraged.

Travis Scott has the blood of his dead fans on his extended middle finger. 

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