WATAIN's Concert In Singapore Canceled on Religious Grounds
Watain's concert tonight in Singapore has been cancelled over concerns of the band's history of James Bulger
Channel News Asia reports:
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) had initially allowed the concert with a rating of Restricted 18 (R18), but called it off at the last minute, following advice from the Home Affairs Ministry (MHA).
[One of the concert organizers, who wanted to be known as Khaal] said IMDA had called to inform him earlier in the day that the concert might be cancelled but only confirmed the cancellation later in the afternoon.
"MHA has expressed serious concerns about the concert, given the band's history of denigrating religions and promoting violence, which has potential to cause enmity and disrupt Singapore's social harmony," said IMDA in a statement.
Later on Thursday, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam confirmed his ministry had advised IMDA on the cancellation.
He said that upon "further security assessment", MHA "decided that in light of the responses that the band has evoked and taking into account of course the history which we know, it will be against public order interest and will affect our religious and social harmony if we allow the concert to go ahead".
“My concern is about all those who travelled all the way here for the concert, it’s a total waste,” said Khaal.
Refunds are being planned for fans who came to the show. The article notes many metalheads traveled from Indonesia for the event.
The next metal band scheduled to play the venue is Soilwork in October. A petition has been launched to ban both Watain and Soilwork from performing with over 16,000 signatures. "Their subliminal messages in their songs include death and suicide," it reads.
For what it's worth, Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta chimed in with some commentary on the situation:
I played in Singapore once, they told us we couldn’t chew gum and we would be ARRESTED if we did! LOL They obviously do not appreciate the joy of a fresh bag of BIG LEAGUE CHEW or Norwegian Black Metal. https://t.co/OsuO46E5H4
— Jamey Jasta (@jameyjasta) March 7, 2019