HELLFEST Organizer sets the record straight on SATANIC WARMASTERS cancelation
Hellfest organizer, Ben Barbaud, was interviewed last night on Radio Metal concerning the recent dismissal of Satanic Warmaster from the bill.
"The Hellfest has decided independently and in all conscience to cancel SATANIC WARMASTER's performance. This decision was in no way caused by the pressure received by various small groups against the event.
"We had decided to confirm this artist when we noticed a strong demand.
"The ideology and political values adopted by some artists have never been selection criteria for the festival; we leave the right to each and everyone to forge their own opinions about the artists performing at the festival, and we are not bringing our event on political grounds which have nothing to do with the music. However, we have received a large number of complaints partly from festival-goers but also from artists, considering this artist to be conflicting with the festival's state of mind, and ready to settle things with a fight.
"We are not here to take position in this debate. The Hellfest is a celebration above all else, its purpose is not to divide, but to unite an audience under a single banner: passion for heavy music.
"It appears to be impossible to find an adequate solution without risking irreversible damage or violent comportments during the festival which is to take place next June.
"The Hellfest's purpose isn't to judge one's opinions, but to insure a peaceful and friendly gathering. Consequently, we have decided to cancel SATANIC WARMASTER's performance in order to insure order and safety during the festival. Clan wars related to difference of opinion do not have their place at the Hellfest.
"The festival would like to apologize to fans of this artist, and wishes to reaffirm its independent and apolitical position. We will not jeopardize this event that has taken years to develop for reasons which are unrelated to music and have nothing to do with the purpose of this festival."