Metal Concert Canceled For Safety

Promoters of a heavy-metal festival in Montreal, Quebec, canceled a sold-out headline show Nov. 26 because of protests against the appearance of a Polish black metal band that is allegedly racist. 

Graveland was to play its first North American show at the Messe des Morts Festival Nov. 26 at Théâtre Plaza but the band’s previous comments deemed racist and anti-Semitic prompted an “anti-fascist alert” from militants to be sent to the Montreal Gazette and promoters regarding Graveland. “A band with racist and anti-Semitic ideas has no place in Montreal,” Karine Fortier wrote in the alert.

“Montreal must remain a safe place for everyone and where racist people who think they have an opening to express their discriminatory ideas must meet with resistance.”

Sepulchral Productions’ Martin Marcotte told the Gazette neither Graveland nor the festival are white supremacist or neo-Nazi as some claim.

“There has never been, and there will never be, a political aspect to Messe des Morts, and absolutely everyone, regardless of their origins, is welcome at the festival,” he said in a statement. Graveland founder and frontman Darken also emailed the Gazette to say although the band’s music is popular with National Socialist black metal fans – who allegedly side with neo-Nazis – that label doesn’t apply to them and neither he nor the band has a political agenda.

However, protestors gathered outside the venue prompted organizers to cancel the show about an hour before its start time because of security concerns. In a Facebook message, organizers encouraged fans to “go home peacefully and to make a good impression as [they] have demonstrated since the beginning of the festival,” the paper said.