HOUSTON - A lawsuit filed against rapper Travis Scott over the incident at the Astroworld Festival Friday that left eight people dead alleges Scott "encouraged" the culture that led to the incident in a May tweet.
"NAW AND WE STILL SNEAKING THE WILD ONES IN," Scott said in a since-deleted tweet in response to fans who were angry the show had quickly sold old.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of concertgoer Manuel Souza alleges the tweet "recklessly encouraged fans to breach the barriers and otherwise actively encouraged a culture of violence."
The lawsuit says Souza attended the event and suffered "serious bodily injuries" after he was knocked to the ground and "trampled" by an "uncontrolled crowd."
It goes on to say the "injuries were the inevitable and predictable result" of "conscious disregard of the extreme risks of harm to concertgoers that had been escalating since hours earlier."
The lawsuit comes as some have accused the rapper of engaging in a pattern of conduct that encouraged the kind of chaos that resulted in Friday's tragedy, including a 2017 incident in which the rapper encouraged fans to jump from a balcony at New York’s Terminal 5 venue.
"Don’t be scared," Scott says in a video of the event posted to Twitter. "They’re going to catch you."
While some fans did jump from the balcony, one fan who was injured that night said he was pushed off the balcony by the crowd. The fan was partially paralyzed by the incident, and an attorney who filed a lawsuit on his behalf said Scott encourages "violence and injury at his concerts."
"Make no mistake about it, his desire for chaos caused this horrific tragedy," the attorney told BuzzFeed News of the latest incident.
Scott's reputation for chaotic shows famously started after a 2015 appearance at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, where he was arrested only minutes into his show and charged with disorderly conduct after encouraging fans to jump barriers and rush the stage. The rapper pleaded guilty in that incident and was sentenced to one year of probation.
Another incident in 2017 saw Scott arrested and accused of inciting a riot during a show at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion, where several people injured after Scott allegedly encouraged people to join him on stage. He later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a deal with prosecutors, which saw more serious charges against him dropped.
Lawyers for Souza seized on the rapper's previous brushes with the law, saying what happened Friday was another incident in the "kind of behavior" that has "long been encouraged" by the rapper at his shows.
"Scott actively encourages his fans to ‘rage’ at his concerts," the lawsuit reads. "His express encouragement of violence has previously resulting in seriously violence at numerous past concerts."
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