Two German festivals remove Pantera from lineup due to Anselmo’s previous racist display

After “intense conversations,” the organizers of Rock Im Park and Rock Am Ring festivals located about 250-300 miles apart in Germany have made the decision to remove Panther from the lineups in response to the government’s renewed attention to the singer Philip Anselmo‘s 2016 actions involving a Nazi salute and racist words.

As reported by News in Germanythe festivals (which also share almost the same line-ups) were exposed to increasing pressure from the centre-left political party referred to as “The Greens” in Nuremberg’s city council.

It is notorious that Nuremberg was the place where Germany’s Nazi Party held several rallies in 1927, 1929 and every year from 1933 to 1938. It is also where the anti-Semitic and racist The Nuremberg Laws was passed, depriving certain peoples (Jews, blacks, Roma) of their citizenship and in turn being declared subjects of the state.

Late last year, Pantera was announced as one of dozens of acts set to perform at Rock Im Ring and Rock Am Park in 2023. The festival stops were the band’s first two scheduled shows in Europe after announces their return with guitarist Zak Wylde and drummer Charlie Benante joins Anselmo and bass player Rex Brown in the row.

“The fact that the band is planning their 2023 reunion at all times and wants to celebrate it at the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds clearly crosses the line of what is tolerable,” the Greens said of Pantera performing at Rock Im Park in particular (via The Limited Times).

In 2016 at the Dimebash concert event – which celebrated the life and legacy of the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell — Anselmo gave a Nazi salute from the stage and bellowed, “White power,” and it’s these acts the council is referring to when it first called on the two festivals to remove the band from the lineups. At first the singer excused his actions as a backstage joke and later issued one statement of apology.

“We interpret his apology more as trivialization. There was no insight, we find that very problematic,” commented Réka Lörincz, spokesperson against right-wing extremism and racism and member of the Legal, Economic and Labor Committee of the Nuremberg City Council. She insists: “It does not matter about knocking out the band or the music.”

“The Rally Grounds of the former Nazi Party are being deliberately misused for the staging and reproduction of racist and inhumane ideology,” Lörincz also said of Pantera’s originally planned performance.

In response, both Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park festivals issued a joint statement about Social Mediathat sounds,

Pantera will not perform at Rock in the Park and Rock in the Ring 2023, as announced. In the last few weeks we have had many intensive conversations with artists, our partners and you, the festival fans, we have continued to deal with the criticism together and decided to remove the band from the program.

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