Live Nation has reportedly reached a settlement with the family of a 21-year-old who died at the 2021 Astroworld Festival in Texas. The settlement is the first known case to have been resolved in the Astroworld tragedy, which saw ten people die during a crowd crush incident while Travis Scott performed in Houston.
The family of one of the victims, Axel Acosta, settled their claims against Live Nation and Scott, their attorney Tony Buzbee confirmed for PEOPLE. The specifics of the agreement were not disclosed. “Victim Axel Acosta was a beloved son, brother, and student. He was kind and loving. He is greatly missed. Please keep his family in your prayers,” Buzbee told the magazine.
Acosta’s suit was one of thousands filed in the wake of Astroworld, which reportedly saw approximately 5,000 recorded injuries during the crowd crush. Lawsuits have been filed against an array of defendants as blame has been shifted – from Live Nation (parent company of main event promoter Scoremore) to Houston’s Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation to Scott himself. All have denied legal responsibility for the tragedy, with Scott’s representatives asking that the rapper see cases against him dismissed with prejudice. Hundreds of the cases have been bundled into one massive block that will deal with some 2,800 victims. Scott’s legal team specified that it was not a party to the settlement in the case. “No member of our team has been involved in talks of a settlement,” one of his representatives told People.
Acosta was a computer science student at Western Washington University who traveled to Houston to see Scott perform from his home state of Washington. He, along with the other nine attendees who perished at the event, were found to have died of “compression asphyxia” when the crowd surge crushed people together inside the venue. The other victims were identified as Danish Baig, 27, Rodolfo “Rudy” Peña, 23, Madison Dubiski, 23, Franco Patiño, 21, Jacob Jurinek, 20, John Hilgert, 14, Brianna Rodriguez, 16, Bharti Shahan, 22, and Ezra Blount, 9.
Since the event, Scott took a lengthy pause from public performance, while Live Nation took a battering in the court of public opinion. Coverage has focused on the company’s history of injuries at events it has promoted, allegedly lax safety training before the event, and the length of time between when officials recognized that a “mass casualty” event had occurred and the concert being halted.
As a result of the criticism, the House Oversight Committee announced it would conduct a bipartisan probe of the event and Live Nation’s actions. It sent CEO Michael Rapino a harsh letter in the process, demanding answers to numerous questions as well as a hearing, which has been pushed back from January at the company’s request.
“Concert attendees have provided firsthand accounts of being crushed within the crowd as it surged towards the stage,” the letter read. “Live Nation Entertainment (Live Nation) was the concert promoter reportedly responsible for ‘planning, staffing, putting up money, securing permits, finding vendors, communicating with local agencies,’ for Astroworld Festival.”
The letter referred to reports that “raise serious concerns” about whether the company “took adequate steps” to keep the crowd safe.
Interestingly, that hearing has not yet been rescheduled, and multiple emails sent by TicketNews to the committee chair asking for an update on its plans and timing have received no response.
Last Updated on October 21, 2022 by Dave Clark