Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for E11EVEN
In early November 2021, just over six months ago, ten spectators died in crowd crushing during Travis Scott’s headlining show at Astroworld. (Eight died Nov. 5 and two days later from their injuries.) Scott responded with several statements in the days following the festival, attempting to exculpate himself. He is currently facing a slew of multimillion-dollar lawsuits over the event and has come under intense scrutiny. But the rapper has also been slowly making a comeback, even performing at small events and releasing new music. Now he’s set to perform on his biggest stage since the tragedy: the Billboard Music Awards, which airs May 15 on NBC. (Also on stage? Morgan Wallen, in his first TV performance since speaking the N-word on video in February 2021.) The performance may come as a shock to those who don’t watch Scott’s post-Astroworld moves closely, but it’s really the product of a slow comeback of a month in the public eye – one that, like the mounting lawsuits, is unlikely to stop given that Scott was planning a project ahead of Astroworld. Here is a timeline of that comeback.
November 6, 2021: Scott tweet a response to the deaths at Astroworld, writing that he is “absolutely devastated”. He continues, “I am committed to working with the Houston community to care for and support families in need.” Later that night, he talks about the event in a instagram story, saying he would “stop the show and get them the help they need” when he saw fans struggling during performances. “I could never have imagined the gravity of the situation,” he says.
November 8, 2021: Scott offers to cover funeral expenses for those who, following the Astroworld crowd crush, announce the move in a press release. It also announces a partnership with online therapy provider BetterHelp for free therapy for those affected by the concert. The Las Vegas Day N Vegas hip-hop festival is canceling Scott’s headliner scheduled for Nov. 13. in a report.
November 15, 2021: Nike is postponing the launch of its Air Max 1 x Cactus Jack shoes, a collaboration with Scott, “out of respect for everyone affected by the tragic events of the Astroworld Festival”. The shoes were originally set to release on December 16. (Nike announced on May 11 that the shoes would be released on May 27.)
November 29, 2021: The family of Ezra Blount — at age 9, the youngest of ten Astroworld victims — tell rolling stone they declined Scott’s offer to pay for his funeral. “He needs to face up and hopefully see that he bears some of the blame for this tragedy,” family attorney Bob Hilliard said of Scott.
November 30, 2021: Lawyers for families of four other Astroworld victims say rolling stone they also declined Scott’s offer to pay for their funeral. Tony Buzbee, the attorney for Axel Acosta’s family, calls the offer “bullshit”. “If you care about these families, you wouldn’t have to put out a press release for everyone to see saying he’s willing to pay for a funeral,” he said. rolling stone. Richard Mithoff, representing the family of John Hilgert, says it is “frankly humiliating and truly inappropriate to the scale of the tragedy that has unfolded”.
December 6, 2021: In his first interview since Astroworld, Scott talks to Charlamagne Tha God on his YouTube channel. He repeats his claim that he “didn’t hear” the distressed fans and stopped playing to check on the fans “a few times”. He tells Charlamagne that “raging”, or the heckling he encourages among his fans, is “just the experience of having fun” and “no harm”. He adds that it won’t happen again until “we fix a lot of security issues.”
December 10, 2021: KESQ reports that Scott will no longer headline Coachella 2022 after he was previously scheduled in 2020. A day later, Variety reports that Scott’s agent had been trying to keep him in lineup with the intention of Coachella being his live return.
December 11, 2021: Scott’s hard seltzer, Cacti, was discontinued by Anheuser-Busch nine months after its launch. “We believe fans of the brand will understand and respect this decision,” an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said in a statement to Adage.
December 28, 2021: Dior is delaying a planned Cactus Jack line with Scott, which is expected to be part of its summer 2022 collection. The decision was made “out of respect for everyone affected by the tragic events of Astroworld,” Dior said. WWD. The outlet reports that Scott’s team agreed to the postponement.
February 6, 2022: Scott’s girlfriend, Kylie Jenner, announces the birth of their son (formerly named Wolf) on February 2. TMZ reported on February 22 that their son’s middle name is Jacques, which is Scott’s birth name.
February 10, 2022: Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, posts on Instagram that Scott will be appearing during his headlining set at Coachella. (Ye is eventually dropped from the Coachella lineup.)
February 14, 2022: Jenner posts a video to her Instagram Story of her home filled with pink and white roses and Scott’s huge pink bear for Valentine’s Day. A source tells People that she “is very grateful to Travis” and that “he’s a romantic guy”.
February 23, 2022: Ye releases four songs from his album 2 to his Stem Player, including “Pablo”, which features Scott and Future.
March 8, 2022: Scott announces Project HEAL, “a multi-tiered, long-term series of community-focused philanthropy and investment endeavours.” It includes event safety initiatives, mental health resources and scholarships. “I want to use my resources and my platform to move forward towards real change,” he wrote on Instagram. “This will be a trip of a lifetime for me and my family.” The sparse website promises more information “in 2022”.
March 26, 2022: Scott performs at a pre-Oscar party – his first live appearance since Astroworld. He DJs and raps a short set, per TMZ, at a party in Bel Air attended by Leonardo DiCaprio, Venus Williams and Serena Williams, among others.
April 17, 2022: Scott DJs a few songs at a Coachella after-party, per TMZ. The event, in La Quinta, California, was associated with the nearby Revolve festival. A source tells E! News, “People were super excited to see it.”
April 22, 2022: Scott is featured on producer Southside’s “Hold That Heat” alongside Future. It is Scott’s first widely available song since Astroworld after “Pablo” was only available through Ye’s Stem Player. Scott also stars in the music video with an alligator on a leash.
April 27, 2022: Primavera Sound Buenos Aires announces Scott as the headliner for its November 12 show. This is her first announced performance at a festival since Astroworld.
May 8, 2022: Scott performs a 45-minute set for a sold-out crowd at Miami’s E11EVEN nightclub. He encourages the crowd to take photos, reports TMZ. Quavo joins Scott for a few songs.
May 9, 2022: The Billboard Music Awards announce that Scott will perform on May 15, in his first television appearance since Astroworld. As the show’s executive producer and host, Diddy says on Instagram that he “made a request, request” for Scott to execute. Diddy tells later Billboard he “undoes the undo” by having Scott play.