Do you remember when earlier this year, Phil Anselmo’s Down suffered some backlash after Anselmo’s racist display at the Dimebash event? That incident cause several promoters to drop Down from their bill, including a show in their own hometown and the Dutch festival FortaRock. Down was eventually forced to cancel all their scheduled appearances throughout Europe despite having the support of bigger festivals like Hellfest and Graspop but now, there’s another band facing a similar issue.
Norwegian extreme metal festival Blastfest just announced the cancellation of one of its headliners, Peste Noire, after the French antifa faction pressured the organizers and supports of the fest to do so. To bring you up to speed about the band, Peste Noire have been suspected of being a National Socialist band after frontman La Sale Famine de Valfunde discussed his political views in some interviews leading many to believe the band is an NSBM. To clarify those ideas, Famine released the following statement:
The statement caught the attention of some antifa leaders in France, where the band is originally from, and decided to pressure the festival’s venue to cancel the band’s appearance. Blastfest sent the following letter to the band stating:
The statement you sendt was not approved and also today we got a mail from the venue, with a copy from an anonymously sendt email from french Antifa, to the bosses of our festival hotel and to our catering company, to inform and complain, and that sealed the deal for our partners.
As much as principals are important to us, and was fought for as hard as we could, it now falls down to canceling Peste Noire OR canceling Blastfest, and that choice we need to make, and it is the choice to cancel the show.
We have no choice but to become yet another festival defeated by pressure from outside to cancel Peste Noire.”
The official statement reads as follows:
As Peste Noire already announced on their page, we have been forced to cancel their show at Blastfest.
As much as we love the brilliant music of this band, and how much we have stated that we are a musical platform, and no politics are involved in our concept, the amount of political focus created due to this booking, is badly affecting our existence.
Our partners have been pushed very hard, and we now reached the point where we had to decide to stand by our choice, and ultimately cancel the whole festival, or cancel Peste Noire.
So, we will keep going, creating a great metalfest for all metalheads, unfortunately without Peste Noire.
The whole ordeal obviously has many fans upset about the interference of the antifascist group in the festival, including Finnish black metal band Horna, who decided to cancel their own appearance at the fest in solidarity towards Peste Noire. Earlier this year, band Napalm Death decided to pull out of Blastfest 2016 presumably due to the booking of Peste Noire. What’s interesting to point out is that, among the bands playing, Phil Anselmo’s Scour is scheduled to play but there hasn’t been any pushback about them.
The festival has plans to proceed as plans but, at this point, it’s hard to tell how much this would affect the festival. What do you think about this whole ordeal? Let us know in the comments.