Some Eminem fans were left shaken by his performance at 2018 Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee because they incorporated sound effects that sounded like gunshots, and the rapper was soon the target of an online backlash.
While many were quick to point out that his music and concerts have for years incorporated such sounds for years, his set on Saturday triggered panic among others, and later, debate about whether the effects are appropriate in a time when nerves are already frayed in wake of the 2016 Paris nightclub shooting, the 2017 massacre at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas and the 2017 bombing at Ariana Grande‘s Manchester concert.
“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,” tweeted popular YouTube star Andrea Russett, 22.
“To hear a gun shot sound effect and see the entire crowd drop to the floor out of instinct is not funny, cute, or amusing,” she continued. “This is the sad reality that we are living. this is not funny or even something to be joked about.”
A Twitter user named Jenna said that “When Eminem let off the gunshot sound effect,” “the whole place went silent because we all thought it was real.”
“Worst decision ever to ask @Eminem to play, @bonnaroo,” tweeted a concertgoer named Sara. “My night was awesome but now I’m in absolute tears and shaking because I thought the multiple gunshots from his performance from across Centeroo were real. This is not OK.”
“Being at a festival/concert in these current times brings new concerns & fears,” tweeted another fan, Cristi. “Had to leave @Eminem set after 3rd gunshot at @Bonnaroo cuz panic was setting in my section (front pit). Extremely realistic &scary! Would have been good to have a warning before show. #irresponsible.”
Other fans defended Eminem.
“I get Andrea has PTSD, and it must have been awful for her and her friends, but Eminem has done it for years,” tweeted a user named Molly. “His music is about abuse, he grew up w gunshots … this is real life.”
“If someone is going to an EMINEM CONCERT, then maybe they should actually listen to some of his music and watch videos of his performances first,” tweeted one user. “Then they would know THERE’S GUNSHOT NOISES AT HIS SHOWS!”
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