Travis Scott’s spokesperson, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, says that stopping the Astroworld Festival was completely out of the rapper’s control.
On Friday (Nov. 12), Rawlings-Blake, former Mayor of Baltimore and who once served as the secretary for the Democratic National Convention, told Gayle King on CBS Mornings, that Travis didn’t have the authority to stop the Astroworld show.
“This notion that Travis had the ability to stop the concert is ludicrous,” she said. "They have a 59-page operations plan, and it clearly says the only two people that are…have the authority to stop the concert were the executive producer and the concert producer…[Travis] was not responsible for this, but he wants to be responsible for the solution.”
As previously reported, nine people died, including a 22-year-old Texas A&M student, and over a dozen people were injured at the annual Houston festival, which took place at the NRG Park last Friday (Nov. 5). The mass casualty event was caused by a massive crowd surge, which compressed concertgoers towards the stage, causing people to be crushed.
City officials maintain that Travis and Astroworld organizers should have halted the show once they realized the people in the crowd were in danger. Houston's fire chief Samuel Peña told NBC's Today show on Tuesday (Nov. 9) that La Flame could have stopped his performance and made sure people were safe.
"The artist, if he notices something that's going on, he can certainly pause that performance, turn on the lights and say, 'Hey, we're not going to continue until this thing is resolved,'" he expressed.
However, one of Travis’ publicists, when contacted by XXL this afternoon, referenced protocols in the Astroworld Event Operations Plan (EOP), which states on page 11 that only the executive producer and festival director have authority to stop the show.
We must mention that the document is marked as Version: 0.1, and it is unclear whether an updated version of the plan was created and distributed to personnel before the start of the Astroworld Festival.
On CBS Mornings today, Rawlings-Blake added that Travis was not aware of the tragic events that occurred at the show when he attended an after-party at Dave & Buster's.
A source also told XXL, "Travis didn't know the severity of the situation when he arrived at the party, as far as timing, this remains consistent with the fact that no one including the police had publicly confirmed the gravity of the events that had taken place. When he did find out a few details from his team while at the party, he immediately left. He did not know full details on what actually occurred until the next morning."
Rawlings-Blake echoed Travis Scott's team's sentiment, saying on the morning talk show, "They were trying to figure out what was going on. It was hours and hours after the concert when they actually found out the tragedy, how the tragedy unfolded."
She added, "And he has not stopped grieving for these families. He knows that he is who he is because of his fans. His love for his fans is so deep."
XXL has reached out to Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for comment.
At a press conference on Friday morning, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and attorney Alex Hilliard announced the filing of lawsuits from over 200 concertgoers who sustained physical, mental and psychological injuries stemming from their attendance at Astroworld Festival. Thus far, 110 lawsuits have reportedly been filed with an additional 90 more to follow.
"So, this lawsuit is not just about getting justice for them but it's about making sure that the promoters and organizers know that you can not allow this to ever happen in the future," stated Ben Crump. "Even if you have to immediately stop the concert."
Earlier this week, Travis announced that he will cover the funeral expenses of all victims as well as provide mental health services for those affected by the mass casualty that occurred at festival last Friday. Additionally, Travis is issuing refunds to all Astroworld Festival attendees.
Watch below to see Travis Scott’s spokesperson, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, explain why he didn’t have the authority to stop Astroworld Festival when it took a tragic turn.