In the wake of Phil Anselmo’s vulgar display of white power, Dutch festival FortaRock was the first one to take action against his band Down, stating the band was “no longer welcome” at the fest. Then their hometown gig, scheduled to take place this past Monday was also canceled. Other festivals the band are scheduled to play this summer have been scrutinized as well, including Download Festival in the UK after someone created a petition to remove the band from the lineup as well.
However, France’s Hellfest was the first to decide to accept Anselmo’s multiple apologies and keep the band on their bill, despite the government threatening to remove their funding if they didn’t do it. Now, it’s Belgium’s Graspop Metal Meeting who’s pronouncing their opinion and decided to also keep Down on their bill. The festival commented:
Phil Anselmo’s recent performance at Dimebash, a tribute festival in the USA, has stirred up a lot of controversy. Seemingly intoxicated, Down frontman Anselmo raised his right arm in a Hitler salute while screaming ‘white power’. The organisers of Graspop Metal Meeting completely dissociate themselves from such extremist views and wish to emphasise they fully condemn this racist and fascist message of hate. Meanwhile, apparently realising the error of his ways, Anselmo has uploaded an emotional video apologising for the incident. In the video, he says that “anyone who knows him and his true nature knows he doesn’t believe in any of that”, claiming the outburst was caused by an unfortunate combination of too much alcohol, adrenalin and thoughtlessness. As the incident in no way reflects the opinions of his band members – who were not even present at the time of the unfortunate event – the organisers of Graspop Metal Meeting have decided not to drop Down from the line-up. The organisers are confident the incident will not be repeated in Dessel.
Down’s still scheduled to perform at both editions of Download Festival (UK and France) and Gods of Metal in Italy, which have remained silent in regards the whole controversy.