Apr 23, 2024 2 min read

Astroworld lawyers want access to more of Travis Scott's text messages

With the first lawsuits due to get to trial next month, lawyers working for victims of the Astroworld tragedy are trying to get access to more texts and messages sent by the festival’s founder Travis Scott, arguing that the amount of communications shared so far is “inadequate”

Astroworld lawyers want access to more of Travis Scott's text messages

Lawyers working on the Astroworld lawsuits have asked the court for more comprehensive access to the phone and social media records of the festival's founder and headliner Travis Scott

At one point we thought most of those records had been lost after Scott accidentally dropped his phone into the sea. But in the end that wasn’t the case. The problem now, it seems, is the “inadequate” search terms employed by defence lawyers when they were selecting what communications to share. 

“The search terms and methodology employed are inadequate”, says a new legal filing. “The terms are too narrow”, it adds, noting they “contain no names, abbreviations or shorthand”. 

As a result lawyers working for victims of the Astroworld crowd surge have received just 26 pages of communications from the nearly 15,000 texts Scott's team collated. 

With two weeks to go until the first case gets to trial, those lawyers now want the court to order Scott's team to hand over “all responsive, non-privileged communications, originating between 1 Jan 2021 and 31 Dec 2021”. 

Ten people died and hundreds more were injured during a crowd surge at the 2021 edition of Astroworld, the Live Nation-promoted Houston-based festival that Scott founded. Hundreds of lawsuits were filed in the aftermath of the tragedy. 

Lawyers acting for those who were injured, and the families of those who were killed, want access to messages sent and received by Scott before and after the festival. 

Scott initially said that much of the required information had been lost when his phone fell into the Gulf Of Mexico in January 2022. Last year, though, it emerged that most of the “lost” data had been recovered via the musician's iCloud account. 

Since then, says Scott's legal team, all the relevant communications have been collated and shared with lawyers working for the victims. According to Law360, Scott’s lawyers claimed in court documents filed earlier this month, “The discovery record illustrates Mr Scott's full discovery compliance, even if temporarily set back by the accidental loss of his iPhone and his unfamiliarity with (and understandable efforts to avoid) cloud-based storage technology”. 

Not so, say lawyers acting for the victims. The “inadequate search methodology” was “unilaterally” chosen by Scott's team, and it is that inadequate methodology that means “only 26 pages of communications” were provided out of a possible “14,891 text communications” that were sent and received between “1 Jan 2021 through 31 Mar 2022 time-frame alone”. 

On top of that, “to date, zero communications to or from” Scott's social media accounts have been produced. “These communications have never been 'lost'”, the lawyers add, “as they have always been within Mr Scott’s possession, custody, and/or control”. 

To that end, the victims’ attorneys want the court to order Scott's team to hand over “all responsive, non-privileged communications” contained in those 14,981 text messages and Scott's social media accounts. 

Or alternatively, they add, all of Scott's text messages, social media messages and iCloud data should be handed over to Terry Jennings, the former judge who was recently appointed to decide what data gathered by the police investigation into Astroworld should be shared with the victims’ legal teams, so that he could also decide what data from Scott’s messaging and social media accounts should be shared too.

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