What should have been an enjoyable experience for festival-goers at Bonnaroo this weekend turned into a nightmare for some. Rap artist Eminem was performing a set on Saturday evening at the Tennessee festival and at the close of his song, “Kill You,” gunshot sound effects were played over the audio system. According to the New York Daily News, the gunshots sounded real, causing a panic which sent screams throughout the crowd, and even forcing attendees to drop to the ground in fear for their lives.
When Eminem performs “Kill You” live, the gunshot sound effect is normally played, but with the rise in mass shootings in the United States over the last few years, many are saying the choice to play the sound was ill-fitted and not something to joke about.
The New York Daily News also shared a now-deleted tweet from YouTuber Andrea Russett who suffers from PTSD.
“I hate to be the one to say it, but being someone who suffers from very mild PTSD, it was EXTREMELY irresponsible and distasteful to end songs w the shot gun sound effect. i have grown up loving Eminem and his music but I was extremely triggered to the point of tears,” she tweeted out.
— EMINEM_TOUR_UPDATES (@Eminemreviv1) June 10, 2018
An Eminem fan account shared footage from the “Kill You” performance, and although the video cuts off immediately after the gunshot, you can hear the sound of screams beginning. The gunshots sound very real, and the panic in the crowd was more than understandable.
Despite this being something normal for an Eminem performance, events like those of the Manchester bombing outside an Ariana Grande concert, and the Las Vegas shooting during the Route 91 Harvest Festival have concert attendees on edge. Some fans defended the choice to use the gunshot sound effect, saying the rapper has always used it during his performances and that it’s never been a news story until now.
One fan who attended the show tweeted about her experience at the song’s end saying the gunshot noise caused the whole crowd to duck. According to the tweeter, she was traumatized and “ready to panic.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) June 10, 2018
This isn’t the only scary story to come out of Bonnaroo this weekend, as Billboard reported a man was found dead in his car on Friday morning. The man was later identified as 32-year-old Michael Donivan Craddock, Jr. According to reports, his car was running and the heat was on. A cause of death has yet to be determined.
Eminem has not commented on the controversy at this time.