Superstar DJ Reunites With Dad Who Survived Israel Music Festival Massacre

Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty
Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty

Brazilian DJ Alok posted an emotional picture on Instagram on Wednesday of him embracing his father, who survived the Hamas attack on a music festival in Israel over the weekend.

“What a relief to be able to hug you dad,” Alok captioned the image of him with his arms around his father, Juarez Petrillo—who performs under the name DJ Swarup. Swarup was about to begin his set at the Nova festival when the massacre started.

In a teary video Tuesday, Alok said his father was evacuated by police as the assault began. (Swarup filmed the festival being interrupted by the attack.) “Everyone ran away,” Alok said through sobs. “My dad also ran out and he managed to get in a car and get out of there.”

He also said that another vehicle traveling behind his father—and filled with his dad’s acquaintances—was shot up. “My father managed to escape to a bunker and… he took shelter there.” Alok also hit back at what he described as “fake news” reports suggesting that his father was the festival’s manager and producer.

In fact, he said Swarup created a festival called Universo Paralello which has taken place in Brazil for several years. Alok said international producers in different locations around the world have licensed the festival’s branding. “The local Israeli producer called Tribe of Nova hired the visual identity and hired my dad to play too,” Alok said. He also said that he’d learned the location where the massacre unfolded, just 3 miles from the wall separating Israel and Gaza, had been used for other live events for decades.

Alok explained further that due to both his and his father’s busy schedules as DJs, they are not in regular contact. “I found out he was there via the internet,” Alok said. He went on to say: “All I want now is to be able to hug him, welcome him. But unfortunately, many people won’t be able to do this.” He then broke down in tears.

Israeli officials later recovered 260 bodies from the site of the festival. As of Thursday, the war sparked by Hamas’ attacks has left at least 2,700 people dead.

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