Pantera are spending the year on a reunion tour, but two music festivals have dropped the band from their bills following an outcry stemming from past alleged racist behavior by singer Phil Anselmo.
The revamped lineup, which features Anselmo, Rex Brown, Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante, were supposed to perform at Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park, two simultaneous German festivals that take place in June, but they’ve been pulled from both.
“The band Pantera will not perform at Rock Im Park and Rock Am Ring 2023 as announced,” a statement from the festivals 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 programme.”
The incident in question happened in 2016, when Anselmo was performing at the annual Dimebash tribute to late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell in Hollywood. He ended the show by giving what looked like a Nazi salute and yelling “white power.” Anselmo first claimed it was an inside joke about the white wine he was drinking backstage, but later shared a video apology expressing remorse for his actions.
‘I’m here to basically resond to all the heat I’ve been getting that I deserve completely,” he began. “I was at the Dimebash, and it was extremely late at night. 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 want to be part of any group,” he continued. “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. Bless you.”