Randy Blythe Situation To Have Major Effect On Czech Metal Scene For Years
Following Randy Blythe's arrest and apparently indefinite detainment two weeks ago, U.S. and international metal music fans have rallied to show support for the Lamb of God frontman. The Gauntlet has received supportive statements from an enormous number of international fans over the past week, including fans from the city of Prague, Czech Republic. As Blythe's detainment drags on, it has become clear to all metal music fans, as well as the bands they follow, that the Czech Republic is not a metal-friendly country in which to book a tour. Even if Blythe were to be released tomorrow, the Euro metal music scene may not recoup from this financial and cultural blow for years to come.
One booking agent related to The Gauntlet, "I was lining up a European tour and now the Czech dates are questionable. Bands see that what is happening to Randy could happen to any of them at any time. Now I have to re-route the tour around the Czech Republic. What can you do? I can't blame the bands for feeling this way either, it is a bad situation for everyone."
The Gauntlet has also heard from band managers, who also express trepidation regarding questionable band safety at future Czech Republic metal shows. As one band manager stated, "My job is to keep my bands safe and out of trouble. If there is a possibility there might be some trouble with fans and security that would be out of our control, we'd rather play elsewhere."
Another manager related that he would still allow his bands to play venues in the Czech Republic, but adds, "Booking agents and the venue management will have to provide more adequate security for it to work. We can't have what went on in 2010 at the Abaton happen anymore.
"The unfortunate part about all this is the fans in Czech Republic will see an increase in ticket prices to cover the additional security. I have already faxed my booking agent over there, and he's now required to provide additional stage security at Euro shows. Anytime we played the Czech Republic, it was solely for the fans. We always took a huge cut in the band's rates to play there."
With few future metal shows currently booked in the Czech Republic, these fans very well may soon be driving to Germany, or flying to the UK to see these metal bands perform.
Damek, a Czech metal fan, stated the simple irony: "We already don't get much metal here in Prague. Maybe one show every few months, and we have a large metal head community here. This should never have happened."
When Damek was informed that Suicide Silence would be playing in Prague later this month, he was visibly unimpressed.