“Travis and I are broken and devastated.”
A day after Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival ended in tragedy, Kylie Jenner addressed the backlash to her social media posts at the event on Instagram. Jenner was in the audience at her boyfriend’s packed concert on Friday, Nov. 5, at which the crowd surged toward the stage during the show, resulting in several deaths. Afterward, her Instagram story videos from the show prompted widespread negative feedback online. In her post about the tragedy, Jenner addressed filming the Astroworld concert incident and said both she and Scott were unaware of what was happening until after the show.
An estimated 50,000 people attended Astroworld Festival, a two-day music festival in Houston, Texas, headlined by Scott. The Nov. 5 show ended tragically when eight people were killed due to a crowd surge during Scott’s closing performance. At least 25 more concertgoers were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. “There are a lot of unanswered questions,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a Nov. 6 press conference. “Over the next several days, several weeks, could be even longer, we’ll take an in-depth look at everything that took place, why it took place, what steps we can do moving forward to mitigate an incident of this kind from taking place.”
In the wake of the event, both Scott and Jenner have received significant backlash online. In particular, Jenner posted an Instagram story of her view from the crowd that was criticized, since it showed a clear view of an emergency vehicle making its way through the crowd. Many people on Twitter called the videos “disturbing,” and called for Jenner to remove the videos. Late Saturday night, Jenner released a statement via Instagram addressing the posted video.
Jenner said that she and Travis were not aware of any fatalities until the news came out after Scott’s performance. “Travis and I are broken and devastated. My thoughts and prayers are with all who lost their lives, were injured, or affected in anyway by yesterday’s events. And also for Travis who I know cares deeply for his fans and the Houston community,” she wrote. “I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing. I am sending my deepest condolences to all the families during this difficult time and will be praying for the healing of everyone who has been impacted.”
The statement came shortly after Jenner had become a trending topic on Twitter due to the backlash over her Instagram videos of the incident.
Following the Friday night tragedy, Scott released an apology video on Instagram. “My fans really mean the world to me,” he said in the video. “And I always just want to leave them with a positive experience. And any time I can make out, you know, anything that’s going on I’ll just stop the show.”
The rapper also released a statement on Twitter where he explained he will be supporting the Houston Police Department throughout their investigation of the event. “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night,” he wrote. “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.”
The Astroworld Festival was inspired by Scott’s 2018 third studio album Astroworld, a name derived from the Houston location of Six Flags AstroWorld. The amusement park was torn down in 2005. In a 2017 interview with GQ, Scott told the magazine why AstroWorld meant so much to him and how he planned to bring the festival to life. “They tore down AstroWorld to build more apartment space. That’s what it’s going to sound like, like taking an amusement park away from kids. We want it back. We want the building back. That’s why I’m doing it. It took the fun out of the city.”
Following the tragedy during Scott’s performance, people drew parallels to Scott’s past concert environments. At the 2015 Lollapalooza festival, Scott allegedly encouraged his fans to disregard security barriers, according to ABC7, and the show was quickly shut down. He was arrested on disorderly conduct charges and sentenced to one-year probation. At the time, Scott posted that he “learned a lot from this” a day later on Instagram. Again in 2017, Scott was accused of encouraging fans to rush the stage at an Arkansas concert, causing injury to security and other concert attendees. Scott was charged with inciting riot, disorderly conduct, and endangering a minor. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct, per KFSM, and was fined $7,465.31.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner stated that a police investigation is underway, per the BBC. The investigation will involve the homicide and narcotics division, and will examine videos of the surge to determine the cause and what prevented people from escaping the crowd.