Manowar Cancel Their Hellfest Set at the Last Minute, Feud with Festival Organizers
Hellfest, one of the biggest, most beloved metal festivals in the world, was supposed to kick off tonight with a mainstage headlining performance by the one and only Manowar. But just this morning, Hellfest organizers announced that won’t be happening… and although they did not say why, their statement did place the blame squarely with Manowar:
“Despite an on-site presence on Thursday 20 June, the teams and members of the Manowar band decided to leave the festival site.
“The concert of the artist Manowar scheduled this Friday, June 21 will not be possible for reasons beyond our control.
“We are sincerely sorry for all the fans of this artist and more broadly for all the fans of Hellfest.”
Manowar, meanwhile, have since issued a statement of their own… in which they place the blame squarely with Hellfest:
“After 18 months of tireless work and preparation we arrived at the Hellfest site yesterday, ready to play today.
“The Hellfest organizers obstructed our efforts to put on the epic show we had promised.
“Despite what you may hear or read, the Hellfest organizers did have control over the circumstances that prevented our performance.
“We always have and always will fight to give our fans 100%.
“Our French fans and press know, if Manowar come to France and are unable to perform, the fault does not lie with us. Remember the Élysée Montmartre.
“We are very sorry that you are being made to suffer. We want you to know that everything we do is for our fans. We stand together with all of you as we always have, and we will not allow anyone to lessen the quality of our shows.
“Be very sure the truth will come out!
“Thank you to the Greatest Fans In The World for your continued loyalty and support.”
The Élysée Montmartre, if you’re curious, is a music venue in Paris. I guess Manowar played there once and people had a good time? I dunno I can’t find shit online.
In any case, this is just the latest in a recent string of Mano-mishaps, including guitarist Karl Logan getting arrested on child pornography charges, appearing to try and shut down the “feminist Manowar tribute band” Womanowar solely because it’s fronted by a woman, and trying to gaslight fans into thinking the band never announced their impending retirement.
So, yeah, personally, I’m dying to know the “truth” of how Hellfest’s organizers “obstructed” Manowar’s “epic show.” I want to know what aspect of that show was so important that the band decided if they couldn’t perform with it intact, they would rather not perform at all. I don’t think it’s gonna turn out to be a can of French onion soup, but I’m guessing it’s not far off.
The silver lining is that Hellfest has SIX stages, with the first bands going on as early as 10:30 a.m., and the staggered schedule means that there will be some other bands playing at least part of the time Manowar were scheduled to perform, including Carcass, Tom G. Warrior’s Hellhammer tribute, and the Descendents. There’s also Gojira and Sum 41, both of whom will play after Manowar’s set would have finished, as they were always scheduled to do. So fans aren’t exactly getting robbed here.
Still, I’d wager this dude’s feelings aren’t entirely unique amongst festival goers: