Pantera Dropped From Lineup of Third European Festival
Pantera have been dropped from another European festival. After the organizers of Germany’s Rock am Ring and Rock im Park announced on Monday that the reunited thrash metal band will not be performing at this summer’s events, on Wednesday (Jan. 25), the organizers of Vienna, Austria’s Gasometer Festival also crossed the group off their roster.
Promoter Mind Over Mater Music announced in a FB message that the Pantera performance originally announced for May 31 has ben cancelled; the post did not give any further information on the reason for the decision.
According to a report in Vienna’s Die Presse, the Austrian Green Party had a hand in the cancellation after demanding that Pantera be removed in a statement that echoed one from Germany’s Greens in advocating for Pantera to be dropped from that country’s events. “Due to its National Socialist past, Vienna in particular has a special historical responsibility to oppose any form of right-wing extremism. The appearance of Pantera is completely incompatible with this responsibility,” the statement from the Austrian party reportedly read.
A spokesperson for the band said management had no official statement on the German cancellations and at press time the band’s rep had not responded to Billboard‘s request for comment on the Gasometer news.
The reformed band’s new lineup — featuring original singer Phil Anselmo and longtime bassist Rex Brown joined by Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante and longtime Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde — kicked off their first major tour in two decades in South American in December. While organizers of the three events did not give a specific reason for their decision, speculation has centered on an incident from 2016 when Anselmo was filmed giving a nazi salute and shouting “white power” during a tribute to late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell.
Shortly after, Anselmo issued an apology, in which he said, “I was at the Dimebash, and it was extremely late at night. There was heavy-duty talk between myself and those who love Dime. And heavy emotions were flowing, jokes were made backstage that transpired upon the stage, and it was ugly. It was uncalled for. And anyone who knows me and my true nature knows that I don’t believe in any of that; I don’t want to be part of any group. I’m an individual, and I am a thousand percent apologetic to anyone that took offense to what I said because you should have taken offense to what I said. And I am so sorry, and I hope you just … man, give me another chance to … just give me another chance.”
Both of the German festivals take place in Nuremberg — the site of many Nazi rallies, including a 1934 one filmed by Leni Riefenstahl for the notorious party propaganda film Triumph of the Will — and Germany’s Stern magazine reported that there was pressure from the city’s Green Party city council representatives to remove the band from the lineup of the gigs in the city, with a Green spokesperson saying Anselmo’s apology for his white power outburst was “not credible enough.”
Similarly, the reported statement from the Austrian Green Party noted, “Therefore, it can only mean for Vienna: No stage for a Hitler salute, no stage for Pantera!”
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