PANTERA’s scheduled appearances at two rock festivals in Germany have been canceled following an outcry over vocalist Phil Anselmo’s previous racist comments
PANTERA were scheduled to appear at Germany’s simultaneous Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park festivals, which are set to take place from June 2-4 in Nürburgring and Nürnberg, respectively. However, after a backlash from artists, partners and fans, the event promoters have decided to remove PANTERA from the lineup.
“The band PANTERA will not perform at Rock Im Park and Rock Am Ring 2023 as announced,” posted the Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park organizers on Monday (January 23) to their respective Twitter accounts.
The majority of complaints stem from Phil Anselmo‘s Nazi-style salute he did while performing at the January 2016 “Dimebash” event in Hollywood, California. The singer also seemed to chant “white power” while making the gesture to the crowd, but later claimed the comments and actions were a joke based on drinking white wine backstage.
Additional criticism stemmed from the fact that Rock Am Ring takes place in Nürnberg (also known as Nuremberg in its English pronunciation), which was a site of numerous Nazi party rallies throughout the 1930’s.
In attempts to cancel PANTERA‘s appearances at the upcoming festivals, the German Green Party said in the Nürnberg city council that Anselmo “repeatedly and deliberately made Nazi gestures and yelled racist slogans.” Réka Lörincz, the spokeswoman for the Greens against racism and right-wing extremism, added that “the former Nazi party premises” were “being deliberately misused for the staging and reproduction of racist and inhuman ideology.” The Green Party proceeded to recommend to organizer Argo Konzerte GmbH that festival officials recant their invitation to PANTERA to play Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park, which are considered to be the largest annual music festivals in Germany.
Anselmo discussed the incident with Kerrang! magazine back in May 2019, saying: “I feel like it’s ridiculous. I made an off-color joke and ‘Boom!’ — it’s like I’m literally Hitler! I’m not. I take each individual one at a time, in the way that any logical individual will. I have love in my heart. Over the years, I’ve learned to take the first step with love and to put good faith first. I get along with everybody. If there’s any doubt about my political leanings, people should get it out of their heads. I was raised amongst a dazzling [cast of characters] from the theatre, from the mental hospital, from all walks of life — all colors, creeds and kinds. It’s absurd to me that anyone in this day and age would judge anyone by the color of their skin, their heritage or their religion. I’m a harmless guy. I’m a reactionary, not a troublemaker.”
Die Band Pantera wird nicht wie angekündigt bei Rock am Ring und Rock im Park 2023 auftreten. pic.twitter.com/oMNrWo8HT6— Rock am Ring (@rockamring) January 23, 2023
Die Band Pantera wird nicht wie angekündigt bei Rock im Park und Rock am Ring 2023 auftreten. pic.twitter.com/prCE2PyRjs— Rock im Park (@rockimpark_com) January 23, 2023