August 10, 2023
Travis Scott To Play The Toyota Center And Police Are Not Happy
As ABC-13 reported, rapper Travis Scott is gearing up to play the Toyota Center, most likely as part of his upcoming Utopia tour. Scott has not officially announced any dates or venues for his tour, but his promoter, Live Nation, leaked potential dates and venues in a social media post that has since been deleted. Scott played the Circus Maximus in Rome on Aug. 7 where he performed some songs from the album. Also, his performance in Rome featured a guest appearance from Ye (Kanye West).
While Scott has played at several festivals and had some performances like the one in Rome, this would mark the first U.S. tour for the Houston-area rapper since the 2021 Astroworld Tour. That tour was marked by tragedy during a performance in the parking lot at NRG where 10 people died and countless people were injured after a crowd surge. Scott has allegedly booked dates of Oct. 19 and Nov. 20., according to a statement released by the Houston Police Department Union President Douglas Griffith.
Griffith’s statement, given to KPRC, reveals that the union is not thrilled by the prospect of Scott playing the Toyota Center and it reads, in part: “The HPOU found out early last week that Travis Scott would be returning to Houston for two concert dates. October 19th, and November the 20th, were the dates in which were proposed for the return. Like most we were in complete disbelief.”
According to Billboard, the statement follows a reportedly tense meeting between the HPD and its union with several officers expressing concerns with safety protocols due to Scott’s propensity to encourage concertgoers to “rage” at his shows.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is trying to draw a distinction between the venue of the Toyota Center and that of the parking lot at NRG by playing up the ability of the Toyota Center to be more effectively secure.
According to ABC-13, Turner released a statement on Aug. 8, affirming the city’s commitment to ensure public safety: “Before (Tuesday’s) announcement, Toyota Center representatives convened meetings with public safety officials and the city’s special events office. They will continue working together to ensure this concert’s safety, not unlike the thousands of concerts held at Toyota Center each year.”
In July 2023, a grand jury declined to pursue charges against Scott and his promoter Live Nation in connection with the Astroworld Tour. The city commissioned a task force in response to the event, and this led to the creation of new rules such as a unified command station centrally located at events like the Astroworld Tour.
However, some like crowd management expert Paul Wertheimer do not feel as the City of Houston has done enough.
“They make more money by ignoring the situation and playing Russian roulette with the lives of young people. And as cynical as that may sound, that’s actually what’s going on.”