Tragedy Strikes Nova Music Festival: A Brother's Loss

Published March 12, 2024

On October 7, a day which began with joyful anticipation, quickly turned into a nightmare for Gal Gilboa Dalal, a 29-year-old man who attended the Nova Music Festival to be with his younger brother, Guy, during his first major celebration. The age difference of seven years between them was no barrier to their strong bond, a feeling of pride for Gal, who also has a 16-year-old sister. That bond was tested when Guy was tragically abducted from the event.

The Joy Before The Storm

Gal had been a regular at music festivals for several years, and his brother Guy, aged 22, had recently taken an interest in them. Following a small party that Guy enjoyed with his childhood friends Idan Hermati, Ron Zarfati, and Eviatar David, the group decided to attend the Nova Music Festival together. Gal arrived at the festival at dawn, after deciding to prioritize his brother's well-being over a friend's bachelor party the previous evening. His late arrival didn't dampen the spirits, as Guy greeted him with excitement and led him toward the dance floor.

Chaos Unfolds

But their reunion was short-lived. Just as the brothers met up with their friends and decided to leave the festival grounds, sirens began to wail, and police officers started instructing attendees to take shelter and evacuate. Gal, concerned but not fully aware of the impending danger, offered for everyone to regroup at his place, maintaining a protective stance over his brother and friends.

The escape from the music festival was marred by confusion, as attendees became stuck in traffic amidst a chaotic situation. Gunfire suddenly erupted, prompting Gal and others to flee into the nearby fields. During this time, communication was lost with Guy. Gal was directed into the orchards, detached from his brother, and engulfed by growing distress as calls to Guy remained unanswered.

A Brother's Desperation

As the hours passed, the terrible realization dawned on Gal that his brother was missing. While he found refuge, reports of violence and abductions began to surface, including a distressing video of Guy in a tunnel in Gaza. The horror was compounded as news of the murders of Guy's friends, Idan and Ron, reached Gal. In a state of shock and grief, Gal had to face his parents and relay the devastating news of Guy's abduction.

The aftermath of the festival was a tumultuous period for Gal, filled with funerals, visits to bereaved families, and a personal quest to understand the harrowing experience. Psychological consultations provided some solace, but the long wait for any positive developments regarding Guy's return only intensified the family's anguish. Talks of a possible deal to secure Guy's release were bittersweet, as Gal grappled with the potential of a deal that might not include everyone.

tragedy, abduction, brotherhood