Hellfest - Refuse To Drop Down From Lineup; French Government Yanks Funding


According to HuffPo France, after the controversial video was posted a few weeks ago showing Phil Anselmo giving the Nazi salute and shouting "white power", something he has apologized for multiple times, French senator and President of the General Council of the Vendée, Bruno Retailleau asked the promoters of French festival Hellfest to drop Down from its annual summer fest for promoting hatred. Dutch festival FortaRock canceled Down's appearance "to make clear that there is no room for racism or fascism at FortaRock."

The senator was offering Hellfest promoter Ben Barbaud an ultimatum. Either pull Down from the fest, or the fest loses it's € 20,000 subsidy funding from the city of Region Pays de la Loire, which senator Bruno Retailleau oversees. Retailleau said that the city will not promote anything with "incitement to racial or religious hatred."

Hellfest isn't dropping Down from the lineup and have released a lengthy statement explaining why. Ben Barbaud, President of the association Hellfest Productions, wrote: "Dear Mme Garnier, Mr Retailleau, President of the Cultural Commission and President of the Regional Council of Pays de la Loire respectively. It has taken you barely more than two months to elaborate your famous pretext used to cancel the 10 year long, historical partnership between the Pays de la Loire region and the Hellfest festival; the biggest modern music festival in France, which I represent.

"No, Madame Garnier you have had no intention of meeting with me, despite my many requests since your appointment, in December 2015, to the regional council. An appointment had indeed been arranged, but only with your 'assistant.' I consider this proof of your lack of consideration for our festival, just recently voted best French festival for the second year in a row. Today we were informed of a sudden change to this appointment; finally you will be present. To what do we owe this honour of your presence so suddenly? Is it out of necessity to defend your stance, given your recent media outpourings.

"I have read with great interest your recent statements to date. Statements published on social media networks to your 5000 followers. I would hasten to reply under the same form but before the scrutiny of our 300 000 followers. I would gladly have given you answers had you had the courtesy to contact me before throwing opprobrium onto an event which has never had the slightest incident to mention. An event for which the majority of the Loire's inhabitants, national media and Prefecture have nothing but praise for its organisation and harmonious atmosphere. For I have learned of your 'demand to exclude the group Down from our festival' via the press - a strange way to communicate with an organisation that is a so-called partner.

"I will endeavour to give you my version of events, and by beginning with the facts your real intentions against our festival will come to light. Unlike you, I have no reason to hide my intentions, and I have no reason to lie to the electorate since I am not standing for office. To be honest, I am disgusted by politics, like many of my fellow citizens. It is my passion for my work and music that obliges me to write to you; regrettably, as I would have greatly preferred it were otherwise. You received on February 2, an email from the collective 'Provocs Hellfest ça suffit' (a collective renowned for their fierce opposition to our festival) informing you of an incident in the USA. You would see the artist Philip Anselmo, whom you had never heard of 72h previous, giving a Hitler salute and shouting 'White power.'

"We, like you, and I speak on behalf of the heavy metal music community, denounce this inexcusable effusion. Nevertheless, you deliberately omit to mention that this man has made multiple, public apologies, and has sworn that he is not anti-Semitic nor does he have hateful feelings towards any creed or kin. Moreover, we know this person and consider ourselves responsible and able enough to justify his presence among the many guests at our festival. This is in no way an act of complacency with regard to inappropriateness, as you have insinuated, for the festival that I head is, and never will be, a platform for racist or hateful rhetoric. This person committed a grave error that he regrets sincerely, it would be fallacious to consider him as someone he is not. I could send you a long list of artists known for pushing the boundaries of provocation under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Rock 'n' roll has always had its excesses that only its fans and connoisseurs can understand and forgive. David Bowie in his time, Sid Vicious, I could go on... Philip Anselmo has acted, I grant you, on this occasion as an imbecile. He is a provocative and fiery artist like many born out of Rock 'n' roll, but an artist that I would defend because I am certain that he does not belong among those who are hate-filled and spread nauseating ideas... Admit it, though, this does not interest you, only the pretext by which to please your electorate through cutting your ties to our event. Must I remind you that you have continually voted against supporting our cause (financially and morally) for the past 10 years in the opposition government? To hear you say that since your election, your regional council has never 'withdrawn support for the festival nor even threatened to,' is but another of many political machinations designed to beguile the electorate in the Loire of your real intentions.

"This festival has been such a successful adventure and example of human success. It has eradicated much prejudice against a stigmatised and caricatured public, too often wrongly judged as violent, occultist, even satanic. You must doubtlessly belong to those few remaining persons to realise this fact. This is as much a pity as it is worrying as the people in the Loire have put their trust in you to deliver a policy of cultural diversity in the Pays de la Loire region. This dynamic region should rejoice and be proud to see a group of passionate youngsters succeed in creating such a successful venture in rural France! We have created 15 full-time jobs, 500 part-time and temporary contracts in an unpredictable cultural sector! We have generated more than €5m of revenue for the Nantais wine industry and have been a formidable communication tool for tourism in a lesser known area! I dare to hope that as a taxpayer in the Loire and Vendée, that my colleagues and cultural peers will not have to face the same wrath of your moralising convictions which, to me, are a barrier to freedom and cultural creativity. It is one of the few remaining cultural jewels in our economic crown that France can be proud of. Throughout its existence, the festival has remained apolitical, yet we are not and have never been fooled by your intentions. An interview in December 2015 on the television channel France 3 confirmed our concerns. You replied in the interview: 'Hellfest? I don't like it...' 'Have you ever been to Hellfest?' 'No, because I don't like it.'

"Easy to see that you would have a hard time convincing many inhabitants that your main priority was to strengthen the partnership with our event, which you see as satanic and violent. So, allow me to reiterate: keep your grant. We who love extreme music have no moral lessons to learn from politicians who have never taken the time to come, see and understand our event for themselves and then try to impose a code of conduct. Wouldn't you agree that it is the organisers and festival-goers to decide what is good and proper for our event of which you know nothing? Wouldn't it be better as elected officials to concentrate on the real problems that eat away at our society rather than to vent your anger on a festival and community of music lovers who, for 3 days, celebrate their passion in peace and harmony; and that almost the entire population of Clisson praises for their respect, politeness and kindness? Madame Garnier, Monsieur Retailleau, you are going the wrong way and I am sad to have to say it, but your political tactics cannot mask the reality of the situation: you simply had to find a pretext with which to put an end to our partnership. One matter of concern on our side, we have been prepared for this since your election. Hellfest is, and will always remain apolitical, pacifistic, and independent. A festival organised BY fans FOR fans that will never cease to make heard the music you deem so diabolical and unsavoury, contrary to all those who have the chance to come and hear it.

"I challenge you to find but one person who has attended our event who is able to prove that our festival incites racial or religious hatred. You would not find a single one, Madame and Monsieur elected officials, once again you are fighting the wrong fight. Madame Garnier, I am aware of your candidacy for the mandate to the city of Nantes; a place dear to my heart, a town of cultural richness I am so proud. I urge you to rethink your position for I would find it hard to bear living (and many Nantais too) in a Nantes with 'selective culture.' May our extinguished grant go to help other dynamic, innovative and creative cultural associations that dare to dream and know when to push the limits of political correctness… BORN TO LOSE, LIVE TO WIN, LONG LIVE ROCK'N'ROLL!

"Ps. Forgiveness and understanding are not only Christian virtues. Those of us passionate about Hellfest and extreme music are also people capable of debating and accepting differences of opinion. The doors of our 'festival of hell' are always open to you, and I remain convinced that our hundreds of thousands of fans would be delighted to show you to what extent our event is just love and fraternity!"

Source: facebook.com
Band profile: Down
Event: Hellfest Open Air 2016
 
Posted: 11.02.2016 by Bad English


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Comments: 50   Visited by: 249 users
12.02.2016 - 03:44
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
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2016 - 2017
2018 - 2019
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12.02.2016 - 04:27
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Spirit of dead on 12.02.2016 at 03:37

Actually the oversimplification is exactly what you said

I said that the past half millenium of Euro/American imperialism justifies people of color being racist? Exactly that? You're either delusional, dyslexic, or just someone who likes to over-simplify peoples' arguments to make them easier to attack. Perhaps all three.

And for the record, if you admit that your interpretation of something I said was an oversimplification, well then... it's not what I said initially, is it? It's your simplified understanding of it

All I said was that due to the fact that white, European civilization has dominated the globe for the past 500 years, with numerous cases of oppressing and persecuting POC communities far and wide, that could serve as a possible explanation of why white hatred towards people of color is generally less tolerated than the opposite in today's modern culture. I didn't say that that kind of slanted intolerance is right. I didn't say that there weren't cases of POC-dominant communities doing the same towards white minorities in that time period. And I'm certainly not attempting to justify racism on the part of people of color. But go ahead and maintain that I am, cite examples of how African societies had a role in the slave trade, and explain how things "didn't really change much for your average POC" (wow, look at that, I'm actually not distorting your words!) with the arrival of European powers to Africa. Just don't necessarily look for a response.
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Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
You tell em that God's gonna cut em down
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12.02.2016 - 05:10
Spirit of dead
Written by Apothecary on 12.02.2016 at 04:27

Written by Spirit of dead on 12.02.2016 at 03:37

Actually the oversimplification is exactly what you said

I said that the past half millenium of Euro/American imperialism justifies people of color being racist? Exactly that? You're either delusional, dyslexic, or just someone who likes to over-simplify peoples' arguments to make them easier to attack. Perhaps all three.

And for the record, if you admit that your interpretation of something I said was an oversimplification, well then... it's not what I said initially, is it? It's your simplified understanding of it

All I said was that due to the fact that white, European civilization has dominated the globe for the past 500 years, with numerous cases of oppressing and persecuting POC communities far and wide, that could serve as a possible explanation of why white hatred towards people of color is generally less tolerated than the opposite in today's modern culture. I didn't say that that kind of slanted intolerance is right. I didn't say that there weren't cases of POC-dominant communities doing the same towards white minorities in that time period. And I'm certainly not attempting to justify racism on the part of people of color. But go ahead and maintain that I am, cite examples of how African societies had a role in the slave trade, and explain how things "didn't really change much for your average POC" (wow, look at that, I'm actually not distorting your words!) with the arrival of European powers to Africa. Just don't necessarily look for a response.



Actually you initially didn't condemn non-white intolerance. It sounded very much like you were defending it as there was no hint of criticism. Instead there was a clear sense of righteous indignation about your initial post.
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12.02.2016 - 15:06
FreddeSwede
"Ps. Forgiveness and understanding are not only Christian virtues. Those of us passionate about Hellfest and extreme music are also people capable of debating and accepting differences of opinion.The doors of our 'festival of hell' are always open to you, and I remain convinced that our hundreds of thousands of fans would be delighted to show you to what extent our event is just love and fraternity!"

That's the dumbest and most consenting bullshit I've ever seen. "Differences in opinions?" Since when is being a racist, perfectly ok(?), since it's just a matter of opinion? Debating? The guy made a nazi salute and shouted white power. Hellfest organizers, you're a bunch of morons.
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12.02.2016 - 18:22
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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12.02.2016 - 21:48
Malignar
So we are all assuming Phil is a raging racist and has been active in being a racist for years? If he made some one time drunken hand gestures, I think he has already paid the price. I'm sure he won't be doing that again. What are we scared of here? Do you all honestly think he is and has been an active racist for years?

What do you think and how long should his punishment be? If everyone is really upset, this needs to be broken down. We would need to look into his background and truly determine if he has been an active racist for years. Only after we determine that, will we be able to come up with a punishment.

I concur with the helfest owner for not throwing out the entire band for Phil's actions. Is it possible they are long time racists as well? Let's really do some digging outraged people.
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13.02.2016 - 21:06
FYA
Destroyer
Written by Karlabos on 11.02.2016 at 15:41

People are getting overly reactive over a drunk arm gesture of 2 seconds heh?
Welcome to 2016



Wonder what will happen next, it's just a begining of the year.
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15.02.2016 - 11:24
Big-Al
"...or religious hatred"
wouldn't want to promote that either
?
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I drink moosepiss
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15.02.2016 - 19:13
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Unhealer on 11.02.2016 at 17:00
What other actions from Anselmo? Did he do something like this before? I'm seriously asking because I looked it up and didn't find other testimonies, only people repeating "Yeah, Anselmo is racist, everybody knows that" all over.
Written by Guest on 11.02.2016 at 17:03
Just like people pulling the racist Pantera lyrics thing. Ask them to produce examples and people either can't or pull out the most vague songs that could be about anything. Standard Twitter syndrome: everything gets amplified and exaggerated by keyboard warriors. People say "Oh, they've turned a blind eye to it for 20 years." Well, apparently so has everyone else then if it's that common knowledge. Hypocrites. He may be racist, but internet muppets retroactively ascribing racism to everything he's done annoys me.
Written by Malignar on 12.02.2016 at 21:48
So we are all assuming Phil is a raging racist and has been active in being a racist for years? If he made some one time drunken hand gestures, I think he has already paid the price. I'm sure he won't be doing that again. What are we scared of here? Do you all honestly think he is and has been an active racist for years?


I'm not gonna sit here and start a debate whether the following video (and the second part) can be classed as racist or not. But what is FOR SURE though is the fact that he's still a fucking moron with zero grasp of racial issues with a faulty logic already back in 1999. So at best, he's an imbecile, which fortunately for hi it's not a crime.
I don't want to sound like an asshole. But it took me literally 2 mins to find this video.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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15.02.2016 - 19:18
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.02.2016 at 19:13

Vid.

I've seen the video, and I agree. To be honest I don't think the term "racist" on its own is really enough sometimes, as it covers black-murdering Ku Klux Klan member, or inbred racial ignorance that your dear old granny has. I think Phil is probably somewhere down the line in the misguided, culturally defensive / paranoid white person type racism thing, rather than any kind of strong racial hatred.

My point though was more about people trying to turn Pantera into a racist band, which seems to me to be pretty obvious they are not. I think there's a difference between using an event as a podium, for promoting personal views, and a band espousing a particular ideology. etc. and I still think associates of Phil should have gotten out of there yonks ago if he was like it on a regular basis, instead of just waiting till the shit hit the fan.
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15.02.2016 - 20:10
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Guest on 15.02.2016 at 19:18
My point though was more about people trying to turn Pantera into a racist band, which seems to me to be pretty obvious they are not. I think there's a difference between using an event as a podium, for promoting personal views, and a band espousing a particular ideology. etc. and I still think associates of Phil should have gotten out of there yonks ago if he was like it on a regular basis, instead of just waiting till the shit hit the fan.

To me it's starting to look like Pantera is as racist as...say Drudkh and Burzum. Which means: Bandas without racist content in which some members are racists (or lean towards these way of thinking).
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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15.02.2016 - 20:34
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.02.2016 at 20:10

To me it's starting to look like Pantera is as racist as...say Drudkh and Burzum. Which means: Bandas without racist content in which some members are racists (or lean towards these way of thinking).

I wouldn't be surprised if Phil's brand of racism is actually quite common in metal bands, only not as outspoken perhaps.
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15.02.2016 - 21:00
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Guest on 15.02.2016 at 20:34

Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.02.2016 at 20:10

To me it's starting to look like Pantera is as racist as...say Drudkh and Burzum. Which means: Bandas without racist content in which some members are racists (or lean towards these way of thinking).

I wouldn't be surprised if Phil's brand of racism is actually quite common in metal bands, only not as outspoken perhaps.


it woudn't surprise me either. Which says a lot about the genre. It's a sad but true fact.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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16.02.2016 - 03:44
Gordon Freeman
Written by Guest on 15.02.2016 at 20:34

Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.02.2016 at 20:10

To me it's starting to look like Pantera is as racist as...say Drudkh and Burzum. Which means: Bandas without racist content in which some members are racists (or lean towards these way of thinking).

I wouldn't be surprised if Phil's brand of racism is actually quite common in metal bands, only not as outspoken perhaps.



It's hardly fair to call racism in metal as being common. It doesn't really seem to be any more prevalent in the metal community than it is anywhere else in human society. In almost every case a person's beliefs stem from their upbringing.

Phil Anselmo was born in one of the more gentrified parts of New Orleans, Louisiana at the tale end of the civil rights movement in the United States. The feelings of resentment that many whites felt towards blacks in the deep south at the time might explain Anselmo's closet racism.

This doesn't excuse Anselmo's actions or beliefs but it might give a little insight as to why he is the way he is.
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God Dammit Doug! Take off your hat, Night Moves is playing. Don't be a prick man!

http://www.last.fm/user/Axl_The_Viking
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16.02.2016 - 10:56
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Gordon Freeman on 16.02.2016 at 03:44

It's hardly fair to call racism in metal as being common. It doesn't really seem to be any more prevalent in the metal community than it is anywhere else in human society. In almost every case a person's beliefs stem from their upbringing.


That was what I mean; some people fall under the illusion that metallers are on the whole a more enlightened crowd, whereas in reality they run the gamut of types and ideologies, including racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. The fact racism is still common in general leads me to believe that it's just as prevalent throughout metal as anywhere else. I think, for a subset of music dominated by white, often estranged or troubled males, to expect otherwise is ludicrous.
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16.02.2016 - 15:06
Liafev
The dudes are also planned at the Download in Paris a week before Hellfest. Maybe they'll be asked to remove them also.
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18.02.2016 - 00:02
Spirit of dead
Written by Guest on 16.02.2016 at 10:56

I think, for a subset of music dominated by white, often estranged or troubled males, to expect otherwise is ludicrous.



Very good point.

I was going to say something along the lines of this but thought it might antagonise people and you especially would slam me for it for "generalising".
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18.02.2016 - 00:07
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Spirit of dead on 18.02.2016 at 00:02


Very good point.

I was going to say something along the lines of this but thought it might antagonise people and you especially would slam me for it for "generalising".

I think it's fair to summarise metallers as being fairly uniform with the rest of the world outside of it. I don't think metal inherently breeds bad traits, junkies, racists, homophobes per se, but I don't think they're a collection of angels either. They're pretty standard, when you strip away the metal cultural aspects. Get a lot of white guys together in a big group of any sort and it's probably never going to be ideal, or will at least bring out some pretty poor traits (and some good ones too I imagine).

Hmm, you speak as if I know you from somewhere and have spoken about this kind of thing before
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18.02.2016 - 01:03
Spirit of dead
Written by Guest on 18.02.2016 at 00:07


I think it's fair to summarise metallers as being fairly uniform with the rest of the world outside of it. I don't think metal inherently breeds bad traits, junkies, racists, homophobes per se, but I don't think they're a collection of angels either. They're pretty standard, when you strip away the metal cultural aspects.


I agree though I do think the spectrum is probably a little bit more geared towards socially awkward types than the general population.

It also seems that in America, metal is a lot more white orientated. One still doesn't see many African Americans in American metal bands.

Quote:
Get a lot of white guys together in a big group of any sort and it's probably never going to be ideal, or will at least bring out some pretty poor traits (and some good ones too I imagine).


I think it's a case of "get a lot of guys together" irrespective of race. The male of the species is prone to idiotic thinking and behaviour when in herds/packs.
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02.03.2016 - 19:48
Metal Junky
I'm sorry it took me this long to read this article/letter. As I too do not support what Phil did, but you have to look where it's coming from!!!

The Metal seen has always been the type to give the middle finger to a friend taking a photo with a smile...

Phil apologized and I accepted it... let's move on with killer riffs and tasty buzzes.

I take off battle jacket to Hellfest and pump my horns up proud. Brother you fuckin rock!!!!


Metal Junky
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Free your mind, eat your television!
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