Eminem Denies Using Gunshot Sound Effects Amid Fan Backlash Over Bonnaroo Set
Eminem sparked criticism from some fans who became frightened after hearing what sounded like gunshots during his set
Eminem‘s Bonnaroo set on Friday night has been criticized for gunshot noises that fans reported hearing, but a spokesperson for the rapper tells PEOPLE the set did not include gunshot effects.
“Contrary to inaccurate reports, Eminem does not use gunshot sound effects during his live show,” the spokesperson said in a statement to PEOPLE. “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.”
During his headlining set at the annual music festival held in Manchester, Tennessee, the noises were heard as the 45-year-old musician performed his 2000 song “Kill You” from The Marshall Mathers LP, prompting some fans to panic.
In one video taken during the concert, a fan immediately drops their phone as soon as a loud noise is heard. Others can be heard screaming.
Following the performance, some fans shared their outrage on social media.
“Less than a year after Vegas and @Eminem thinks it’s a good idea to blast gun shot sfx onstage at a music festival? Bad call on this headliner @bonnaroo,” wrote one social media user, referencing last year’s deadly shooting at Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas.
“I was having a good time at eminem’s set then he played a realistic gunshot noise. The whole crowd ducked and i’ve never felt more traumatized and ready to panic. Completely inappropriate,” wrote one social media user, who later added that they decided to leave after the sound was heard again.
Some fans pointed out that Eminem has previously used gunshot noises in his recordings.
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Wrote one social media user, “The Kill you outro Gunshot has been part of The Eminem live shows since 2001. Why all of a sudden is Tennessee getting all cut up about it? The millions of people who have seen Em do it haven’t had a problem. You don’t deserve Eminem ffs.”
Another penned, “So apparently Eminem is performing at Bonnaroo right now and a bunch of younger people are losing their s— because his set included realistic gunshot sound effects. I dunno what song(s) it was from, but it sounds to me like a bunch of people became Eminem fans post 2002.”
But one of the fans who felt unsafe at the concert said it’s not okay.
“Doesn’t matter if eminem has had gun shot effects in the past, the crowd was actually scared and shaken up because of how actually realistic it is,” wrote the Twitter user.