Pantera has reformed with Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown, Zakk Wylde, and Charlie Benante as their lineup. They’ve recently announced a North American tour alongside dates around the world. However, two of those dates aren’t happening now due to the controversies that singer Phil Anselmo has faced in the past. The previous incidents that Anselmo has owned up to involve throwing up Nazi/White Supremacist gestures and screaming “white power”.
The two dates in question are at the Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park festivals taking place in Nurburgring and Nurnberg, Germany between June 2-4 in 2023. They both make up the largest annual music festival in Germany, and one of the largest in the world. Here’s the statement made on behalf of both festivals.
Pantera will not be performing at Rock am Ring and Rock in the Park 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 German Green Party rallied against Pantera’s inclusion on the festivals because Anselmo “repeatedly and deliberately made Nazi gestures and yelled racist slogans.” The incident in question happened in 2016 during the Dimebash Tribute event for Dimebag Darrell. Anselmo can be heard screaming “white power” and seen doing the Nazi salute on video. Since that event, Anselmo has owned up to his mistake and made a formal apology video.
In an interview with Eddie Trunk in 2016, he explained the actions were a misjudged mistake on his part to people heckling him in the crowd. He’s since gone on the record about moving past the incident and that he’s not a racist/white supremacist/Nazi.
I feel like it’s ridiculous. I made an off-colour joke and ‘Boom!’ – it’s like I’m literally Hitler! I’m not. I take each individual one at a time, in the way that any logical individual will. I have love in my heart.
Over the years I’ve learned to take the first step with love and to put good faith first. I get along with everybody. If there’s any doubt about my political leanings, people should get it out of their heads.
I was raised amongst a dazzling [cast of characters] from the theatre, from the mental hospital, from all walks of life – all colours, creeds and kinds. It’s absurd to me that anyone in this day and age would judge anyone by the colour of their skin, their heritage or their religion. I’m a harmless guy. I’m a reactionary, not a troublemaker.
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Source: Rock Am Ring/Rock Im Park Festivals