Family of 9-year-old Astroworld victim declines Travis Scott’s offer to pay funeral costs
Travis Scott’s offer to cover the funeral expenses of 9-year-old Ezra Blount, the youngest victim in the Astroworld tragedy, has been rejected.
Reacting to Scott’s letter expressing remorse over Ezra’s death and an offer to cover the boy’s funeral expenses, the Blount family lawyer Bob Hilliard wrote: “Your client’s offer is declined. I have no doubt Mr Scott feels remorse. His journey ahead will be painful. He must face and hopefully see that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy.”
On 5 November, a massive crowd surge during Scott’s performance at the Houston-based Astroworld festival left 10 people dead, and many more injured.
More than 50,000 people had gathered at the site of the former Houston Six Flags park, catching event organisers off-guard, and leaving emergency medical responders overwhelmed.
Scott’s lawyer Daniel Petrocelli sent the letter to Mr. Hilliard and his co-counsel Ben Crump last Wednesday (24 November), a day after Ezra’s family laid him to rest, Rolling Stone reported.
“Travis is devastated by the tragedy that occurred at the Astroworld Festival and grieves for the families whose loved ones died or were injured,” Mr. Petrocelli’s letter read.
“Travis is committed to doing his part to help the families who have suffered and begin the long process of healing in the Houston community. Toward that end, Travis would like to pay for the funeral expenses for Mr. Blount’s son.”
Ezra died earlier this month after being placed in a medically-induced coma. He attended the event with his father Treston, who intentionally stayed towards the back to avoid rowdy concertgoers. The two were swept up by the crowd surge, causing Treston to pass out. When he regained consciousness, the boy’s father was informed that Ezra had been trampled, and was taken to a hospital.
Ezra’s family has filed a gross negligence lawsuit against Scott, Cactus Jack Records, Live Nation, and promoter ScoreMore Management and claimed they “egregiously failed in their duty to protect the health, safety, and lives” of attendees. Their suit is just one of dozens that have been filed.
A $2 billion lawsuit was filed against Scott, Drake, Apple Music, Live Nation, and NRG Stadium, which was where the event was held, on behalf of the 282 victims who are represented by San Antonio-based attorney Thomas J. Henry.
“The defendants stood to make an exorbitant amount of money off of this event, and they still chose to cut corners, cut costs, and put attendees at risk,” Henry said. “My clients want to ensure the defendants are held responsible for their actions, and they want to send the message to all performers, event organizers, and promoters that what happened at Astroworld cannot happen again.”