TENNESSEE — Eminem doesn’t use gunshot sound effects during his live show, his spokesman said, after the rapper came under fire for a series of blast sounds that were mistaken by several festival attendees as gunshots.
On Saturday night, Eminem — one of several performers during the Bonnaroo music and arts festival in Tennessee — had performed the 2000 song “Kill You” when the loud sounds rang out. The sound effects frightened some in the audience, leading some to panic, duck and run, they said on social media.
But his spokesperson said in a statement to CNN: “Contrary to inaccurate reports, Eminem does not use gunshot sound effects during his live show. The effect used by Eminem in his set at Bonnaroo was a pyrotechnic concussion which creates a loud boom.”
“He has used this effect — as have hundreds other artists — in his live show for over 10 years, including previous US festival dates in 2018 without complaint.”
Although loud, booming sound effects are common at concerts, they weren’t received that way by some fans at Bonnaroo this year, following the recent mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, that left 58 people dead.
In one cell phone video, fans are singing along to Eminem, but when they hear the sound effects, some scream and the person holding the phone drops it. Some attendees at the music festival said the sound startled them and caused them to run for cover.
CNN’s Dianne Gallagher spoke to a student who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and was at Eminem’s performance Saturday. The student told CNN she had been really excited to see his show, but after hearing the popping sounds, she started to cry, felt like throwing up and had to leave.
But others on social media defended Eminem, saying that the rapper had been incorporating the noise in his performance for years and that the song is called “Kill You” — so concert goers should know what kind of content to expect from him.