Travis Scott performs at Astroworld Festival on November 5, 2021.
Rick Kern/Getty Images
  • Travis Scott should have stopped his Astroworld concert if he was aware of the unfolding chaos, a fire chief said.
  • "The artist has command of that crowd," Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said on the "Today" show.
  • Eight people were killed on Friday night when a crowd surged towards the stage during Scott's show in Houston. 
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Rapper Travis Scott should have "absolutely" stopped his show at Houston's Astroworld music festival to try to prevent the deadly crowd surge at the concert if he knew about the chaos that was unfolding, a local fire chief said on Tuesday.

"We all have a responsibility. Everybody at that event has a responsibility starting from the artist on down," Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said during an interview on NBC's "Today" show.

Peña said that a performing artist has "command of that crowd."

"In my opinion, and this is my opinion right now because everything is going to be fleshed out throughout this investigation, but certainly, the artist, if he notices something that's going on, he can certainly pause that performance, turn on the lights and say, 'Hey we're not going to continue until this thing is resolved. That's one way to do it," he continued.

Eight people ranging in age from 14 to 27 were killed and hundreds more injured when a packed crowd at the sold-0ut Friday night show at NRG Park surged toward the stage during Scott's performance.

Authorities declared a "mass casualty" event at the concert shortly after 9:30pm, but Scott kept playing for more than 30 minutes after that.

"There was evidence that the crowd itself was trying to approach some of their private security… that something was wrong," Peña told "Today," adding, "At one point there was an ambulance trying to make its way through the crowd."

When asked by host Savannah Guthrie whether there was any reason to believe that Scott initiated the deadly crowd surge, Peña responded, "No, not at this point. I'm not prepared to say that."

"I am not prepared to say he was fully aware of what was going on," said Peña.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Scott's girlfriend Kylie Jenner said in an Instagram post that she and Scott "weren't aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing."

Authorities are still investigating the deadly crowd surge.


Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.


Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.