Nike has postponed the release of its latest shoe collaboration with Travis Scott after a deadly crowd rush at the rapper's Astroworld Festival on November 5 left 10 people dead.
“Out of respect for everyone impacted by the tragic events at the Astroworld Festival, we are postponing the launch of the Air Max 1 x Cactus Jack,” Nike said in an email to users of its SNKRS app on Monday.
The brand had been hyping the shoe drop, a limited-edition line scheduled for December 16, for months. Scott's collaboration with the brand, which began in 2017, is hugely successful, often selling out in minutes.
The latest release is part of a collection of five scheduled drops, with one design made available days prior to the Astroworld Festival. The annual event in Houston, run by Scott, is named after his 2018 album of the same name.
On Sunday, Ezra Blount, 9, became the 10th fatality of the tragedy. The young fan sustained severe injuries and was placed in a medically induced coma as doctors tried to save his life.
Treston Blount, Ezra’s father, who attended the event with him, described what happened on the day in a post on a GoFundMe page that he set up to help pay Ezra’s medical expenses.
He said Ezra was sitting on his shoulders when a crowd surge crushed them. The father lost consciousness and when he came to, Ezra was missing, Blount said. A frantic search ensued until Ezra was eventually found at the hospital, severely injured.
The child incurred severe damage to his brain, kidney, and liver after being “kicked, stepped on, and trampled, and nearly crushed to death,” according to a lawsuit his family has filed against Scott and the event’s organiser, Live Nation. The Blount family is seeking at least $1 million in damages.
The others who died ranged in age from 14 to 27. About 300 people were treated at the festival site and 13 were hospitalised.
Houston police and fire department investigators have said they are reviewing surveillance video provided by Live Nation, as well as dozens of clips people at the show widely shared on social media. Investigators also planned to speak with Live Nation representatives, Scott and concertgoers. Scott and the event organisers are now the focus of a criminal investigation.
Prominent US lawyer Ben Crump on Friday said he and affiliated lawyers had filed 93 lawsuits against concert promoter Live Nation; ScoreMore, a Texas concert group; ASM Global, an international venue group; and others including Scott and fellow singer Drake, who took to the stage in the final 15 minutes of the concert, well after authorities had declared an emergency.
"We're not going to let anybody off the hook," said Crump, who has represented the family of George Floyd and a number of other African-Americans killed by police.
“Nobody should ever die from going to a concert. So this lawsuit is not just about getting justice for them, but it's about making sure that the promoters and the organisers know that you cannot allow this to ever happen in the future.”
– Additional reporting by AP