According to blabbermouth.net Pantera‘s performances at two rock festivals in Germany for this spring have been cancelled due to lead singer Philip Anselmo‘s following racist remarks. Pantera‘s current lineup consists of Anselmo, Rex Brown, Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante.
The band was scheduled to perform at Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park in Nürburgring and Nürnberg on June 2-4. When having deep discussions with the artists, partners and fans, festival promoters agreed to remove Pantera from both of the festival’s lineup.
Yesterday Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park organizers went on Twitter to announce that Pantera has been removed from this years lineup.
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
What caused Pantera to be removed from the lineups is when Anselmo made a Nazi-style salute while he performed at the January 2016 “Dimebash” event at the Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood in honor of late Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. Also it appeared that Anselmo said “white power” as he made the gesture but later on Anselmo mentioned he was kidding about drinking white wine backstage and Anselmo was reacting to the audience members up front who were taunting him.
The additional criticism is the fact that Rock Am Ring does take place in Nürnberg which is where Hitler supporters held a series of mass Nazi party rallies between 1933 and 1938.
Because of Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park organizers to cancelling Pantera‘s appearances, the German Green Party mentioned 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, mentioned that “the former Nazi party premises” were “being deliberately misused for the staging and reproduction of racist and inhuman ideology.”
Former Pantera drummer the late Vinnie Paul Abbott has not spoken to Anselmo since the band’s split in 2003 and Abbot was dismissive during a 2016 interview when Abbot was asked for a comment on Anselmo‘s white-power salute.
The Green Party asked the organizer, Argo Konzerte GmbH, to rethink its invitation to Pantera and call off the band’s performances at Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park, which is known as one event with almost the same lineup. It is considered to be the largest annual music festival in Germany and one of the largest in the world.