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Eminem fans panic after 'gunshot' sound effect is used at Bonnaroo Festival

Some concertgoers said they left after being terrified by the loud noise

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Monday 11 June 2018 09:25 BST
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Eminem
Eminem (Getty)

Eminem has been criticised over his Bonnaroo music festival performance where a sound effect - which sounded like a gunshot - was used at the end of a song.

Video footage shows fans screaming and ducking for cover as a loud blast is heard during the rapper's rendition of "Kill You".

Some branded the incident as "irresponsible" given the recent spate of fatal shootings in the US and suggested there should have been a warning at the beginning of the show.

However, a representative denied Eminem used a gunshot effect during his set.

"The effect used by Eminem in his set at Bonnaroo was a pyrotechnic concussion which creates a loud boom," they said in a statement.

"He has used this effect - as have hundreds of other artists - in his live show for over 10 years, including previous US festival dates, without complaint."

One concertgoer said they had been forced to leave because of the "panic" induced by the sound effect.

Cristi Williams wrote on Twitter: "Being at a festival/concert in these current times brings new concerns and fears. Had to leave Eminem set after 3rd gunshot at @Bonnaroo cuz panic was setting in my section (front pit). Extremely realistic and scary! Would have been good to have a warning before show."

While many fans defended Eminem's use of the noise, Ron Avi Astor, a professor at the university of Southern California who has carried out research into mass shootings, said he and other artists may need to re-evaluate their live shows.

"One of the issues that comes up is that, he's been doing it for many years and so have others, but it has different meaning now," he told CBC News.

"Artists need to ask what kind of responsibility they have when the norms of the culture change to the point that people are actually afraid of being shot."

Eminem is performing at Twickenham Stadium in London on 14 and 15 July.

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