Travis Scott's 2015 Lollapalooza Charges Show History of Concert Chaos

Scott said he was “absolutely devastated" by the deadly concert in Houston over the weekend. He pledged to work “together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need"

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Travis Scott’s high-energy performances are known for being chaotic and fun-filled shows with concertgoers encouraged to take part in a raucous nature involving mosh pits, crowd surfing and stage diving. But after a "mass casualty incident" at his music festival in Houston, the Grammy-nominated rapper's history is resurfacing, including charges stemming from an incident at Chicago's Lollapalooza.

Scott was sentenced to one year of court supervision after pleading guilty to reckless conduct charges stemming from a 2015 incident in Chicago at the Lollapalooza music festival.

At the time, Chicago officials said Scott encouraged fans to vault security barricades. However, no one was injured.

Two years later, he was accused of inciting a riot at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rodgers, Arkansas, after urging members of the crowd to rush the stage. Several people were injured, including a security guard and a police officer. Scott pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and he was ordered to pay court fees and restitution to two injured people.

Weeks later, a 23-year-old fan was partly paralyzed after allegedly being pushed from a third-story balcony during a performance by Scott in New York City. A lawsuit filed by the fan faulting Scott for his injuries is still pending in court.

“Travis Scott is legendary in the hip-hop community for his beyond high-energy performances, where he really tries to rile up the crowd,” said Noah Shachtman, editor-in-chief at Rolling Stone. “That makes for some really fun shows and made for a couple of scary incidents."

But with Scott getting into trouble before for the two past shows, Shachtman thinks the rapper will get a “hard second look.”

Tragically, the rapper's energetic show this time turned deadly after at least eight people -- between the ages of 14 and 27 -- were killed during a crowd surge at his music festival in Houston on Friday evening. A sizable group of the 50,000 in attendance pushed toward the stage at NRG Park as a timer clicked down to start the performance before the chaotic scene began to ignite.

People in the crowd reported lots of pushing and shoving during the performances leading up to Scott’s set -- which is normal at his shows. He’s often encouraged fans to bypass security and rush the stage, but none of those previous situations resulted in fatalities.

“Travis Scott’s whole aesthetic is about rebellion,” said HipHopDX editor-in-chief Trent Clark, who has attended several of his performances. “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.”

Scott is an eight-time Grammy-nominated rapper who is music’s biggest young stars. The Houston-born musician founded his festival in 2018 on the heels of his chart-topping album “Astroworld,” which was led by the infectious song “Sicko Mode.” He also has a 3-year-old daughter with Kylie Jenner, who announced in September that she is pregnant with their second child.

In a tweet posted Saturday, Scott said he was “absolutely devastated by what took place last night.” He pledged to work “together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need.”

No matter where the investigation ultimately leads, tragedies like the one at the Astroworld Festival have been happening for a long time. In 1979, 11 people died in a scramble to enter a Cincinnati, Ohio, concert by The Who. At a soccer stadium in England, a human crush in 1989 led to nearly 100 deaths. In 2015, a collision of two crowds at the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia caused more than 2,400 deaths, based on an Associated Press count of media reports and officials’ comments.

Shachtman said he hopes the tragedy will help tweak Scott’s approach toward his show. He enjoys the rapper’s performances but wants a safer atmosphere where people can still have fun –- especially for those eager to find some enjoyment at live shows during the pandemic.

“I would expect that they’ll be increased measures to make sure concertgoers can have a great time, but do so without getting killed,” said Shachtman, who grew up on New York hardcore punk rock music. He said that he’s no stranger to mosh pits, but he adds that “there’s a big difference between a mosh pit, even a giant one, and a life-threatening situation.”

Scott was the scheduled headliner for the Day N Vegas Festival next weekend. But any performance involving Scott could come under some scrutiny for crowd control measures and other safety concerns.

A petition has since surfaced calling for the removal of Scott from the lineup of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which the rapper is set to headline in April. The petition has received hundreds of signatures as of Sunday afternoon in the wake of the Houston crowd surge.

“Concert promoters pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for security at both private and public (events),” Shachtman said. “That’s got to be deployed properly. Or else, we’re going to see another one of these incidents.”

Several people were killed and dozens of others were injured at rapper Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival in Houston at NRG Park
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