UPDATED 8:45 p.m. ET:In a statement provided to Complex, a representative for Eminem explained that the sounds came from pyrotechnics, which have been used in his live show for over 10 years.
"Contrary to inaccurate reports, Eminem does not use gunshot sound effects during his live show," the statement reads. "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."
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During the rapper's headlining performance of "Kill You" from the 2000 album The Marshall Mathers LP, many fans screamed and ducked while the sound of loud, realistic gunshots surrounded the crowd. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas last fall at the Route 91 country music festival, the sound of gunshots had many Bonnaroo attendees on edge.
Many attendees expressed the distress they experienced during the performance on Twitter. Notably, in a since-deleted tweet, the YouTube star Andrea Russett wrote, "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 with the shotgun sound effect. I have grown up loving Eminem and his music but I was extremely triggered to the point of tears," reports Billboard. She continued to say, "To hear a gunshot sound effect and see the entire crowd drop to the floor out of instinct is not funny, cute, or amusing. This is the sad reality that we are living. This is not funny or even something to be joked about."
Another fan noted, "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."
Many fans were also quick to point out the gunshot sound effects have been a regular aspect of Eminem's live shows and music for years.
Although the sound effects are nothing new for an Eminem show, the current climate is different, as one Twitter user pointed out.