Two major German festivals, Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park, have removed Pantera from their lineup. This was due to an outcry related to past allegations of racism against the band’s frontman, Phil Anselmo. The festivals, take place simultaneously between June 2-4 in Nürburgring and Nürnberg, respectively. Made the decision to remove the band from their schedule following conversations with artists, partners, and fans.
Past Allegations of Racism
The allegations of racism date back to 2016 when Anselmo was filmed carrying out a Nazi salute and shouting “white power” at the end of his performance. At Dimebash 2016, a festival was held in Hollywood in tribute to his late bandmate Dimebag Darrell. Anselmo initially dismissed his actions as a “joke” before later issuing a statement. And a video apology in which he said, “I don’t believe in any of that.”
Anselmo’s actions were widely condemned by members of the music community at the time. Including Machine Head frontman Rob Flynn who addressed the story in a video, calling Anselmo a “bully”. Later he suggested that the joke may have come from the fact that Anselmo had been drinking Beck’s German beer backstage.
Festival Organizers’ Statement
In a statement released on Monday (January 23), the festivals said, “The band Pantera is removed from the performers list at German Festivals Rock Im Park and Rock Am 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.”
The decision to remove Pantera from the lineup is a clear indication that the organizers take the allegations of racism against Anselmo and the band seriously and are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all festivalgoers.
As of yet, Pantera has not released a statement regarding their removal from the festival’s lineup.
The music industry has been grappling with issues of racism and discrimination for many years. And the decision by German festivals Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park to remove Pantera from their lineup shows. That they are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all festivalgoers. While Pantera has not yet released a statement regarding their removal, it is clear that the allegations of racism against Anselmo and the band have been taken seriously.