If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you may have noticed some of your friends RSVP’ing to an unlikely event: “Tupac Live At The Salt Lake Tabernacle.” The event has over 10,000 confirmed attendees, but there’s just one problem. The event is completely fake.
There are a few reasons why this event is unlikely to take place. The Salt Lake Tabernacle, if you don’t already know, is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints and is home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, both of which don’t really mesh well with the music of Tupac. The other big problem is that, according to almost everyone, Tupac Shakur has been dead since 1996.
But these small details haven’t stopped Salt Lakers from getting behind the event. In fact, the strange juxtaposition of a dead “gangster” rapper and “the world’s most holy of choirs” is what has made the fake concert such a hit.
Under the discussion section of the event’s Facebook page, people continue the joke with comments featuring Mormon “in-jokes,” photoshopped pictures of Pac posing with the Twelve Apostles, and polls about what song people think he will open with. There’s even a promotional YouTube video featuring Tupac rapping over some MoTab beats.
Wanting to learn a little more about how the event came to be, I contacted the event’s creator, Steve Phillips, to ask him about it.
Justin: So when you made the event, was it just as a joke, some kind of social experiment, or is there any kind of commentary you’re trying to make about the LDS church?
Steve: Haha, no nothing directly at the church. A few people were just making funny fake facebook events, like “Stevie Wonder at Lenscrafters.” So I just figured, “What the hell, I can up the ante a little bit and do something funnier.” I thought, “what would be funny, yet slightly controversial especially living in Utah?”
J: Were you surprised by the size of the reaction?
S: Yeah, totally. I had no idea it would pick up that fast. I just figured, this would be a pretty funny joke amongst my friends. We all run local shows, so what better way to joke about what we do while also getting a rise out of people?
J: Oh cool, so you actually plan real events as well?
S: Yup. We recently just started, so I’m actually trying to plan a real event off of this. Possibly a free hip hop show, but it’s still in the works.
J: Cool. Having a pre-existing event page with over 10,000 attendees is a good place to start marketing it.
S: Haha yeah, I’ve had lots of people say I should promote my own productions and things on it, but I really wanted to keep it for jokes. But, on the bright side, if I could have a real event, we could probably avoid lots of people actually going to the Tabernacle that day and causing problems.
J: Are you going to go see if any people actually show up at the Tabernacle this Saturday?
S: Yeah, I think I’ll go up there and just hang out. Try and tell people that there is a real event we could go to. I’m still not sure yet, I might get my ass beat by someone though hahaha!
J: Have you seen any negative reaction?
S: Yeah, just pissed off Mormons wanting me to take the page down and that it’s disrespectful. I’m not trying to cause an uproar, just trying to get some laughs.