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Rotting Christ pulled from Psycho Las Vegas, label owner clarifies visa situation

Posted by on August 12, 2019

 

Rotting Christ fans were disappointed this weekend when they heard the news that the group were forced to drop off from this year’s Psycho Las Vegas, which is scheduled to kickoff this Friday (16th) at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. This marked the Greek black metal outfit’s first cancellation in their entire career as the band stated it was due to an unexpected delay in their visa process.

The group issued the following statement:

“It’s with great disappointment that we announce our cancellation of our upcoming performance at Psycho Las Vegas. The unexpected delay in the visas process forces us to make a decision for first time in our 30 year history! We apologize to all our fans, this is out of our control indeed, and one way or another we will be back to perform in front of our American Metal brothers and sisters. Until then…NON SERVIAM. Enjoy Psycho Las Vegas and the rest of summer!”

Prior to the band’s announcement, organizers of Psycho Las Vegas issued a separate statement on Friday (9th) as they placed blame on the band’s label, Season of Mist. 

You can read the full statement below:

“Psychos, we regret to inform you that Rotting Christ has decided to cancel their appearance at Psycho Las Vegas and their subsequent shows in Los Angeles and San Diego. Although there will inevitably be a statement on behalf of the band at some point soon, it’s important that you know that this was not a case of Immigration stalling or denying their visas, which is far too often used as an excuse––instead, this cancellation is due to procrastination and poor planning by the band’s label and petitioner.

Rotting Christ was confirmed for Psycho Las Vegas at the beginning of 2019 and announced on the festival in February, with the two additional shows announced in May. Since the visa process has only proven to be more difficult in recent years, we offer the option for all bands playing the festival to let Psycho handle their visas––in fact, this year alone we’ve secured visas for Lucifer, Mork, Arthur Brown, Truckfighters and many of the international acts on the festival with our own in-house team. Rotting Christ declined our offer and ignored our emails in May and July which requested an update on their application process (if the application was in transit, there would be several options for speeding up the process with a 6-week buffer). Instead, their record label and petitioner chose to wait until July 18th to submit their visa application, and didn’t inform Psycho of this until July 30th. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the visa process, it is close to impossible to secure a working visa in four weeks, and without expedition, visas can take anywhere from 90-days to 7-months to obtain. Applying one-month out was a completely pointless gesture.

Over the past week, we have urged the band and their label to file for expedited processing, which would be the only way to get the visas granted within this short time frame (only the petitioner can file this, otherwise we would have done it ourselves). When the label refused, we offered to pay the processing fee out of our own pocket, and they have since ignored our phone calls and emails––as of today, it is simply too late to proceed. We fought as hard as we could to make this happen, but their label made a business decision to skip Psycho and that fucking sucks for all of us.

This entire situation was completely avoidable, and we’re sorry that those involved with the band in this matter didn’t care enough about the festival and its fans to try to make this work.”

Following the backlash and possible misunderstanding, Season of Mist owner Michael Berberian issued a statement via social media to clarify the situation citing how it was an unforeseen visa delay due to the group’s recent lineup change

“Festival made a statement blaming us (??) and the great journalists at metal sucks and some others mud dwellers were all too happy to relay it.

A few points

– Rotting Christ barely canceled a single show in a decade. They are road monsters. They live on the road. They are on tour and festivals 150 days a year. This week end? 4 festivals, 4 countries with exhausting 15 hours drive between some. I saw the yesterday in CZ playing and driving to Belgium to play the next day… It’s insane.

You really gonna blame that band, one of the hardest working out there, who doesn’t cancel a show out a of thousand and try to hurt their image?

– Did it occur to you that Rotting Christ changed band members for the first time in over a decade? And that every time you change a band member, you have to restart the visa process. Rotting tried a few people since Feb. You know how “fast” US administration is.

– Do you know how many bands we have on tour and fest in the US per year? Yeah exactly, a ton. Ever saw a SOM band cancel for visa issue? Barely. We’ve been lucky I guess.

– I wasn’t a part of this visa process. I just talked to Sakis yesterday, asked my US office who explained me what happened. Administration delay and unforeseen circumstances.

RC made a neutral statement. They didn’t understand the Psycho reaction and were genuinely sorry not to go there.. For real.

So as far as the Procrastination comments goes and this statement from Psycho fest. I don’t know. I have been to this fest once, had a good time – what’s their issue there I have no clue to be honest?? It sounds almost personal..

We know how long and hard it is to get visas. Procrastination? Incompetence? Seriously – we’re not supermen. We make mistakes. But look at Rotting Christ tour history and how many bands we had canceling for visas. Pretty much none. And there was nothing any of us could have done, in Rotting Christ or in SOM.

So to resume : in the interesting new social media drama of the day, a festival made an accusatory statement over one of the nicest band out there and us, and some great “journalists” were happy to relay without any sort of background check. Moving on. 🙄”

Psycho Las Vegas hasn’t revealed who will be replacing Rotting Christ’s scheduled performance just yet. However, you will see the original Misfits this weekend as the reunited group has replaced Megadeth’s headlining spot on Saturday (17th). 

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