Pantera isn't having a great week. The band's appearances at both the Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park festivals in Germany this summer were cancelled, and now their May 31 show in Vienna, Austria has been cancelled as well. Festival promoters Mind Over Matter Music didn't give a reason for the cancellation other than issuing the following statement:
"Pantera concert on the 31st May 2023 at the Vienna Gasometer will be canceled. All tickets can be returned where they were purchased. Thank you for your understanding."
However, the cancellations for both the Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park festivals were explicitly due to accusations of past racism. "Pantera will not be performing at Rock in the Park and Rock in the Ring 2023, as announced," read the organizer's statement earlier this week. "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 program."
The accusations at least partially stem from an incident at the 2016 Dimebash show where Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo did a "Sieg Heil" gesture and yelled "white power." Anselmo has since claimed it was a joke due to drinking white wine back stage and issued an apology, though Machine Head vocalist Robb Flynn had claimed at the time there was no white wine backstage.
According to Blabbermouth, the criticism also comes from the fact that both Rock Im Park and Rock Am Ring are being held in Nürnberg where Nazi party rallies were famously held between 1933 and 1938.
The German Green Party said during a recent city council meeting that Anselmo had "repeatedly and deliberately made Nazi gestures and yelled racist slogans." Spokeswoman for the Greens against racism and right-wing extremism Réka Lörincz added "the former Nazi party premises" were "being deliberately misused for the staging and reproduction of racist and inhuman ideology."
The cancelled show are now as follows:
5/31 – Vienna Gasometer – Vienna, Austria
6/2-4 – Rock Am Ring & Rock Im Park – Nürnberg, Germany