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Bruno Mars concert footage misrepresented as Hamas attack on festival

Bruno Mars concert footage misrepresented as Hamas attack on festival - Featured image

Author(s): Bill MCCARTHY / AFP USA

Hamas gunmen opened fire on an Israeli music festival as part of a multipronged attack on the country that set off a bloody war in the region. But claims that a video shows concert-goers fleeing the Palestinian militant group are false; the clip was taken days earlier as fans streamed into a Bruno Mars show in Tel Aviv.

“FESTIVAL ATTENDEES RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES #PRAYFORISRAEL,” says text over an October 7, 2023 TikTok video, which shows a crowd of people rushing through a gated area.

Screenshot from TikTok taken October 10, 2023

The clip racked up tens of thousands of views as it pinballed across the platform. The footage also circulated on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The posts are the latest in a flood of misinformation following Hamas’s unprecedented surprise attack on Israel. Palestinian militants fired rockets, gunned down civilians and took around 150 hostages — including Americans and other foreigners — in their initial October 7 assault.

Israel declared war and retaliated by shutting down food, electricity and water for the Gaza Strip, the densely populated, impoverished territory governed by Hamas that has been under a blockade since 2007. The Hebrew nation also launched a barrage of airstrikes and deployed tens of thousands of soldiers around the Palestinian enclave and on its northern border with Lebanon.

Thousands had been killed in the conflict by October 11, including about 270 massacred by Hamas fighters at the October 7 Supernova music festival near Gaza.

But the video circulating online is unrelated. AFP found the same footage published to TikTok as early as October 4, 2023 — days before the attack.

The original Hebrew post says it shows the moment gates opened at a Bruno Mars concert (archived here).

The American pop star performed that day at HaYarkon Park in Tel Aviv. A second show slated for October 7 was canceled after Hamas’s attack, according to news reports and Live Nation, a company that sells concert tickets.

A Live Nation sign appears briefly in the video circulating online. A water slide in the clip also matches one in Google Maps Street View imagery from HaYarkon Park (archived here).

Screenshot from TikTok taken October 11, 2023, with elements outlined by AFP
Screenshot from Google Maps Street View taken October 11, 2023, with elements outlined by AFP

“There was no incident on October 4 at HaYarkon Park, Tel Aviv,” Monique Sowinski, a spokesperson for Live Nation, told AFP.

Live Nation urged concert attendees to arrive early (archived here), and a journalist’s video on X shows a line forming hours before the performance (archived here).

Several other videos on TikTok show the race to the stage for the Bruno Mars event once the gates opened (archived here, here, here, here and here).

AFP has debunked other misinformation about the Israel-Palestine conflict here.

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Originally published here.
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