HPD chief Troy Finner met with Travis Scott ahead of Astroworld Festival

Nearly 40 minutes after 'mass casualty' was declared at Astroworld Festival at NRG Park, Travis Scott continued to perform

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Monday, November 8, 2021
Rapper Travis Scott speaks to fans after Astroworld tragedy
The artist talked about his efforts to help the families of the victims from Friday's tragedy where eight people died and 25 were takento hospitals. He said he's devastated by what happened.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In the wake of the deadly Astroworld Festival, questions have been raised about security and plans in place. 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.

On Monday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner acknowledged that he met with Travis Scott and his head of security on Friday prior to the event. Finner said he had concerns about public safety and wanted to work with Scott's team about their social media messaging.

Eight people between the ages of 14 and 27 were killed during a crowd surge.

REMEMBER THEM: Families identify all 8 victims killed in Astroworld Festival

People in the crowd reported lots of pushing and shoving during the performances leading up to Scott's set, which is said to be 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."

RELATED: Travis Scott vows to cover funeral costs of Astroworld Fest victims

According to a statement released on Twitter, Finner asked Scott and his team to work with the Houston police over the weekend. He described the meeting as "brief and respectful."

"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."

Several lawsuits have been filed in the wake of the deadly tragedy. No criminal charges have been filed, and the investigation continues.

The Houston Chronicle broke down the chaos that occurred, focusing on a 37-minute window between when first responders were aware of the danger and reported it, and when Scott's set finally ended.

there seemed to be warning signs of trouble hours before Scott took the stage.

Before the show:

At about 2 p.m. Friday, a stampede burst through the gates on festival grounds. The VIP security checkpoint was destroyed as people blew past, some trampling each other.

The video showed some people helping a few others up. Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña told CNN he didn't know what caused the rush.

"We do know that we had people jump the fence," and at least one person was injured in the afternoon rush, Peña said.

CNN asked Peña whether the instance led to special precautions at this year's event. "It's obvious that if they did, they weren't enough," Peña responded.