Woe & Ultha Removed From Hamburg Ist Droneburg
According to a lengthy post on their Facebook page, New York City black metal act Woe, along with their tourmates Ultha, have been removed from the bill at Hamburg Ist Droneburg at Hafenklang. While the venue has yet to make an official statement regarding booting Woe and co. from the show, Woe's Chris Grigg claims that they were informed via SMS that they were being kicked off for booking a show with Inquisition, who have a habit of associating with white supremacists. This is in spite of the fact that Woe have made their own left-leaning politics fairly public. More details on that in the post, embedded below:
Admittedly, it's pretty strange for anyone to want to share a green room with a band like Inquisition, but Grigg claims that they have a vested interest in exposing black metal fans to explicitly anti-fascist politics in a live setting.
"We never backed down from an opportunity to discuss it in interviews, we never shrank from it online, we covered a classic anti-fascist punk song to extremely apolitical black metal crowds, and we doubled down with songs like "No Blood Has Honor" on our new album." says Grigg, "Along the way, we introduced countless black metal fans who had never considered politics that it is possible to take an anti-fascist stance without sacrificing the harsh, abrasive stance of a black metal band."
This isn't the first case of a venue getting skittish about being associated with heavy metal's right wing, and it likely won't be the last. For reasons that should be pretty fucking self-evident, metal bands that have played footsies with hate speech or Nazi-friendly imagery have rightfully become the target of a great of scrutiny lately. Droneburg choosing the nuclear option for Woe & Ultha wasn't the most nuanced or well-researched approach, but it isn't hard to see them simply trying to be safe rather than sorry. Woe & Ultha are only the most recent example of a well meaning act caught in the crossfire of the PR nightmare that is heavy metal politics.
UPDATE: the venue has addressed this cancellation in their own Facebook post here.
Facebook's translation feature reads the post as such:
"Dear guests of the drone castle festival,
Contrary to our announcement the bands ultha and wkd[sic] here today don't play.
Reason is the participation of the bands at the conspiracy of the damned-Festival in Rotterdam on Easter Sunday in the headlining band plays the inquisition which we nsbm.
We throw the bands no right tendencies, but quite a clean right wing bands. We would like to in Port Klang no stage.
Unfortunately, we received this information on such short notice that a timely cancellation was no longer possible.
We thank you for your understanding.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office will be returned."
More updates as they come.