One photo actually shows a tour boat slathered with 800 pounds of human feces after Dave Matthews Band’s bus driver illegally dumped the trash in the Chicago River.
While the photo in question is a satirical creation, Dave Matthews Band bus driver pleaded guilty in 2005 to littering the Chicago River the previous year. Passengers on a tour boat below the bridge where the septic tank emptied said “a cascade of a ‘yellow-brown’ substance fell on them,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
or POST shared on X (formerly Twitter) on November 11, 2020, (archived here), included a photograph purported to depict a 2004 incident in which “the Dave Mathews Band’s tour bus threw 800 pounds of feces off a bridge onto a Chicago River cruise boat full of people.”
I know why more people don’t talk about it, but in 2004 Dave Matthews Band’s tour bus threw 800 pounds of poop off a bridge onto a Chicago River cruise boat full of people like no one would notice and that’s the funniest thing that ever happened. . pic.twitter.com/8HklgtFiut
— TJ #CHOP 🪓 (@TJHitchings) November 17, 2020
While the incident described above occurred in 2004, the photo, which has been circulating on social media for years, is not an accurate representation of the event. For this reason, we have rated this post as “Fake”.
or reverse image search using Your eye (archived here) traced the photograph to an article published by the satirical website The Onion on November 28, 2018, titled “Dave Matthews Band apologizes after tour bus dumped another 800 pounds of people on same boat full of people“ (archived here).
The Onion acknowledges its satirical content on its About page, writing:
What if I want to sue you? Onions?
Please don’t do this. The First Amendment protects satire as a form of free speech and expression. Kepa uses invented names in all her stories, except when satirizing public figures. Any other use of real names is random and incidental. The Onion is not intended for readers under 18 years of age.
A closer examination of the photo published by The Onion reveals details that indicate it was edited, including the texture of the supposed feces and its inconsistent lighting compared to the ship and the background, as well as the blurry — and relatively faint — line. clean – along the top. of the mound:
Although the photo in question is satirical, it was inspired by true events in 2004 that were first reported by Chicago Tribune (archived here).
“Tourists on the architectural sightseeing cruise reported being smeared with a brownish-yellow liquid by a bus crossing the grated drawbridge at the same time,” the newspaper. reported in that time.
Occasionally newspapers Republished his original report on the anniversary of the incident. Below is an excerpt from the original story:
At the start of a boat tour on the Chicago River Sunday, Captain Sonja Lund said passengers shouldn’t look up with their mouths open as they pass under the city’s crumbling bridges, lest they get a “real taste of Chicago.”
About 15 minutes later, the passengers got more than that. They suffered a flood when the boat was swamped with a foul “liquid substance” that appeared to ooze from one or two charter buses as the boat passed under the Kinzie Street Bridge, passengers and tour officials said.
Witnesses said they had just started the Chicago Architecture Foundation tour at 1 p.m. when they passed under the bridge and a cascade of a “yellow-brown” substance fell on them. About two-thirds of the passengers seated on the upper deck of the Little Lady of Chicago were wet. Passengers said they looked up to see at least one, possibly two charter buses rumbling overhead.
A volunteer tour guide at the top of the boat assured the passengers that they had been sprayed with water. But the stench raised suspicions.
Security camera footage confirmed that the only bus in the area was the group’s, Tribuna reported in 2004 (archived here). A year later, the bus driver admitted that he “emptied the septic tanks of his bus onto the Chicago River last summer, drenching passengers on an architectural boat tour with 800 pounds of human waste,” according to a Chicago Tribune article (archived here). His punishment? Eighteen months of probation, 150 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine on misdemeanor charges of reckless conduct and water pollution.
Snopes contacted the Chicago Police Department and the management agency representing the Dave Mathews Band, but did not hear back from either. We’ll update the article accordingly if we hear back.
“Dave Matthews Band apologizes after tour bus dumps another 800 pounds of human shit on same boat full of people.” onions28 Nov. 2018, https://www.theonion.com/dave-matthews-band-apologizes-after-tour-bus-dumps-anot-1830712805.
Evon, Dan. “Snopes Tips: A Guide to Doing Reverse Image Searches.” Snopes22 Mar. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/articles/400681/how-to-perform-reverse-image-searches/.
Johnson, Steve. “15 years after Dave Matthews’ band was launched over the Chicago River, we take stock of the damage and discover a new victim.” Chicago TribuneAugust 9, 2019, https://www.chicagotribune.com/2019/08/09/15-years-after-the-dave-matthews-band-let-loose-over-the-chicago-river-we-survey- damage-and-discover-a-new-victim/.
Rozas, Angela, and Brett McNeil. “19 years ago today, a Dave Matthews band tour bus dumped human waste on a tour boat in the Chicago River. Here is our original Report.” Chicago TribuneAugust 8, 2022, https://www.chicagotribune.com/2022/08/08/19-years-ago-today-a-dave-matthews-band-tour-bus-dumped-human-waste-on- a- tour-boat-in-the-chicago-river-heres-our-original-report/.
Tribune, Chicago. Matthews Band bus driver pleads guilty to littering river. Chicago TribuneMarch 10, 2005, https://www.chicagotribune.com/2005/03/10/matthews-band-bus-driver-pleads-guilty-to-dumping-waste-in-river/.
Washburn, Gary. “Cops show video in case of dumping.” Chicago Tribune26 Aug. 2004, https://www.chicagotribune.com/2004/08/26/cops-show-video-in-dumping-case/.