Reformed group will no longer play Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park
Pantera has been removed from Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park, two German music festivals taking place simultaneously this summer. The removal stems from outcry over singer Philip Anselmo making a Nazi-style salute and screaming “white power” during a 2016 Dimebash event in Hollywood.
“Pantera will not be performing at Rock am Ring and Rock in the Park 2023, as announced,” the statement reads. “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 singer claims he made an “off-color joke” about drinking white wine backstage and made the comment and gesture to audience members taunting him. He apologized later that month stating, “I was at the Dimebash and it was extremely late at night [and] there was heavy-duty talk between myself and those who love Dime. And heavy emotions were flowing, jokes were made backstage that transpired upon the stage, and it was ugly, it was uncalled for. And anyone who knows me and my true nature knows that I don’t believe in any of that; I don’t wanna be part of any group. I’m an individual and I am a thousand percent apologetic to anyone that took offense to what I said, because you should have taken offense to what I said. And I am so sorry, and I hope you just… Man, give me another chance to… Just give me another chance. I love all of you. And anyone who’s met me, anyone who knows me knows that I love all of you.”
However, the German Green Party for the Nuremberg City Council, where one of the festivals takes place annually, released a statement earlier this month asking that organizers remove the band for “stirring up anti-racist and anti-fascist circles.”
“The former Nazi Party Rally Grounds is a place of perpetrators and thus a place of admonition,” they write. “As a place of learning and remembrance, Nuremberg’s citizens and actors in educational work and civil society always take on the special responsibility associated with this. Only signs of human dignity and peace should emanate from here, as our self-commitment in the Nuremberg City Council also states. As the Green City Council faction, we take this very seriously.”
The band has yet to make a statement regarding their removal.
The reformed group featuring original members Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown joined by guitarist Zakk Wylde and drummer Charlie Benante paying homage to the late Abbott Brothers who founded the band in the 1980s, will play their first European shows in 22 years this summer as they headline Tons of Rock 2023, Finland’s three day Rockfest and 2023 Sweden Rock Festival.