The moment took place when the Irish singer was on stage with the band as part of their ongoing Las Vegas residency – held at the new $2billion Sphere venue. Around mid-way through the set, he took time to speak to the audience and shared his condolences for the events unfolding across Israel and Palestine, stating that his prayers go out particularly to those who died at a music festival.
The event he referred to is the attack launched at the Paralello Universo festival in Re’im, Israel over the weekend (Saturday, October 7), which was carried out by Hamas operatives.
The electronic festival was interrupted in the early hours of Saturday morning, and reportedly saw rockets hit the site around 6:30am (via CNN) before gunfire opened up on those in attendance soon after.
Earlier today (October 9), it was announced that 260 people were killed at the festival, while hundreds more remain missing.
During the band’s performance at the Nevada residency last night, frontman Bono dedicated his hit 2003 song ‘Pride (In the Name of Love)’ to the victims, and shared his hopes for a non-violent solution to the conflict.
In the light of what’s happened in Israel and Gaza, a song about non-violence seems somewhat ridiculous, even laughable, but our prayers have always been for peace and for non-violence…
But our hearts and our anger, you know where that’s pointed. So sing with us… and those… pic.twitter.com/S1zfCMNtzz
— U2 (@U2) October 9, 2023
“Sing for our brothers and sisters. Who they themselves were singing at the Supernova Sukkot festival in Israel,” he began. “We sing for those. Our people, our kind of people. Music people. Playful, experimental people. Our kind of people. We sing for them.”
He continued: “In the light of what’s happened in Israel and Gaza, a song about non-violence seems somewhat ridiculous, even laughable, but our prayers have always been for peace and for non-violence.
“But our hearts and our anger, you know where that’s pointed. So sing with us… and those beautiful kids at that music festival. Early morning, October 7, the sun is rising in the desert sky. Stars of David, they took your life but they could not take your pride,” he added, before launching into the track.
Bono of U2 talks about the hundreds of young men and women who were murdered by Hamas terrorists at the music festival in #Israel.
His statement was made during the band’s concert at The Sphere on Sunday night in Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/UtFYjdGfVv
— Israel ישראל 🇮🇱 (@Israel) October 9, 2023
“The moment the policemen said ‘go now,’ I ran,” he explained, recalling the event as feeling like a “nightmare”. “I didn’t wait, because we know it’s a rocket attack. You need to act quick.”
“My instinct told me don’t stop for shelter, just drive… We drove so fast we didn’t even know what was happening,” he continued, adding that, just minutes after they drove away from the site, Hamas fighters had arrived “with machine guns, with RPGs, with grenades, and just slaughtered whoever they could.”
“We are a peaceful community, we are a musical community, we do it for the creation of fun. We only wanted to dance and have a good time and enjoy music together, and it turned into a nightmare.”