Snow Patrol lead singer admits he feels like a”spoiled idiot” after dolphin pic


SNOW Patrol lead singer Gary Lightbody has written a heartfelt response to animal lovers who angrily condemned the band for swimming with captive dolphins in Dubai.

Lightbody stopped short of an apology but admitted the experience left him feeling sad and wrote that dolphins should not perform tricks for “spoiled idiots (like myself)”.

Lightbody (left) has now blogged that he felt sadness for the dolphin as this picture was taken


A smiling Lightbody and bassist Paul Wilson were photographed with a dolphin at the Atlantis The Palm luxury resort in the city, where they were headlining the Sandance Festival.

But the picture backfired on the band after animal lovers across the planet took to the internet to condemn the musicians for appearing to support cruelty towards dolphins.

Lightbody, in a St Patrick’s Day post on his “i can hover” Tumblr site, confirmed that “tom, rico, pabs and me swam with the dolphins in the waterpark at the hotel in dubai”.

He added: “there are pictures on line of a (seemingly) very happy pabs [Wilson] and me with a dolphin. but pictures can be deceiving.

“i, like most, am no fan of animals being caged or confined in any way but we were in the hotel and they offered to let us have a session with the dolphins.”

Lightbody said he accepted the offer in the hope of having a “life affirming experience”.

But he admitted: “as much as i think they are majestic, graceful, intelligent and powerful creatures of magic and light they are deminished in captivity and i felt pangs of sadness.”

Describing the animals as “cared for” and their trainers as “dedicated”, Lightbody nonetheless admitted: “the thought burned in me then and lingers still now that they (or any wild mighty creature) should not be bound (ever) to do tricks for spoiled idiots (like myself).”

 Lightbody wrote that he could feel the dolphin’s heart beat as the now notorious picture was taken.


“it was too however a further heartbreaking beacon to me that the wild is where it belongs,” he wrote.

“i know it’s an issue close to people’s hearts and they may condemn us for going no matter what i say,” he added.

“but the opportunity was there for us to interact with an animal that we have never been close to and i took that opportunity.

“the sadness it left me with can’t be helped either but there we are.”

He concluded: “the next time i swim with dolphins it will be unplanned as it will be in the wild and will happen naturally. or it won’t.

“maybe i’ll not be that lucky. peace, love and understanding. always. gL”

Animals lovers castigated the band after the pictures appeared.

One angry blogger, Danielle Marie, wrote: “So Snow Patrol, you endorse cutting off 90% of a dolphin’s life so people can swim with it in an aquarium while the animals dies after a short life from a performing marine version of a concentration camp.

She continued: “Cruel. How dare you? I demand you show humanity now if you possess it by stopping your support for these disgusting marine concentration camp equivalents.”

Lightbody’s explanation of the picture was met with overwhelming support from fans.

One blogger wrote: “gL im glad you swam with them – I saw the pictures & you & Pablo look so happy, lets be honest who an earth is going to miss an opportunity like this!? I think its silly that it has caused controversy, many people swim with dolphins.”

The photo-op is a favourite with celebrities who visit the luxury resort, attracting the likes of The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright as well as Kelly Brook, UB40 star Ali Campbell and Colleen Rooney.

The resort, which has declined to comment on the controversy, offers the opportunity to swim with their resident dolphin for £150 and promises to be an “unforgettable adventure.”

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  1. Gary Lightbody, I thought you were a cruel dolphin supporting insensitive like the majority of the population (especially celebrities), but I realize now that you didn’t fully understand what you were doing. You have proven by your resolve to never swim with captive dolphins, even if an encounter with wild dolphins doesn’t happen, that you care and have plenty of humanity in you. I am no longer upset, and you have just helped the dolphins future outlook for freedom with your response and new resolve. Don’t worry about it for another minute. The past is the past. You’ve decided that for your part, you will never again support these marine concentration camps again, and that is all that matters now, the future. I know that you still consider the trainers “dedicated” and dolphins care for, but please remember their resort is earning 150 euros I believe per encounter, and that any trainer who claims to love dolphins but knows what their doing to their life span, eyes (the artificial sea water has bacteria and chemicals that cause blindness and illness), psychology (they know they are captive till the day they die, that they will never see their family and loved ones in the ocean again, and that they will die alone with their fellow prisoners), and every other part of their being and continues to go along with their resort/theme park/dolphinarium is as fraudulent, disingenuine, and as deceitfully active and inhumane as it gets. You realized the wrong, which shows you have more humanity than any of those in the know (of their captivity effects) at the resort. Please don’t be fooled by any of them. Money is the only reason their doing what they are doing, and the dolphins will die shortly for it. Thank you for helping change humanity, you are no longer any idiot that you may have considered yourself to be, and have set a great example. I wish you and your band the best. I am no judge of you, but if it helps, I have completely forgiven you as an activist. 🙂 Sincerely, former angry blogger, Danielle Marie <3

  2. If someone is truly regretful and changes how they think and do if the opportunity presents itself, then it is a lesson learned. Maybe Gary would help end dolphin captivity by speaking out using his celebrity, against dolphin captivity in a PR video. That would show in concrete a change of heart.

  3. Gary I hope you or other members read this reply to the story.
    You are not alone in coming away with a negative experience after swimming with dolphins, it happens to a huge amount of people!

    These magnificent animals deserve to to free, not torn from their family’s and imprisoned for our amusement.
    Maybe you guys can help us help four dolphins held in a small rusty cage, We have plenty of support in Turkey, Germany & support from Ric O’Barry. We need a public figure/s in the UK to promote the issue here. Even if it’s just to wear a t shirt & get people asking questions. Please join the FB group page “free the kas dolphins” & sign the petition Ric has put together we need all the help we can get!

    Kind Regards – Daza

  4. Thank you for admitting that the experience was not what you expected. I too have made this mistake and came away disappointed.
    Please consider joining us to support anti captivity. Uk banned dolphinariums years ago and just recently Switzerland and Seoul have said they will no longer allow dolphins to be kept in captivity. Someone in your position will get the message out.
    Sting is already involved.

  5. Gary….what are you going to do about it? Your actions were seen and apologies heard….maybe you could be accountable and be an instrument in helping stop the trade of Blood Dolphins….HELP!

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