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Down Pulls Out of Hellfest, Announces It Won’t Play Any European Festivals This Year

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Last month, French metal festival Hellfest announced that it would not drop Down from its 2016 bill, despite the fact that the local government was refusing them grant money for not doing so, citing Down frontman Phil Anselmo’s racist outburst at Dimebash. Hellfest organizer Ben Barbaud even penned an open letter to a number of government officials claiming they were using Anselmo as a convenient tool to deny the festival money they had been wanting to withhold from Hellfest for years.

But today, the festival posted a letter from Phil to Ben on Facebook, which stated that Down would pull out of Hellfest, and that they wouldn’t perform at any European festivals this year. Hellfest says Puscifer will sign onto the bill instead, and that Saturday will be headlined by Fu Manchu.

The post is below, first in French but then in English:

It’s good to see Phil is being responsible in the aftermath of this. That “justly so” is important, and it’s in keeping with the attitude expressed in his recent letter to the public. Every so often, I remember that initial post with the “white wine” excuse, which now seems so fucking silly, and I’m at the very least warmed that Phil didn’t try to continue hiding behind that. The dude is manning up, and for that we give him props.

What will be interesting to see, now, is whether or not Hellfest will get that grant money back. If the local officials who denied the festival those funds were actually upset about Anselmo performing, it stands to reason that they would now release that $22k to the organizers. If they don’t, it suggests that Barbaud was right, and that this was just a convenient opportunity for these chuckleheads to withhold money from an organization and event they don’t particularly care for.

We’ll let you know how things pan out when we hear about them.

[via Metal Hammer]

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