Enlarge The band says that they didn't cancel their set, and they're looking into legal action against the festival's promoters.

Manowar Issue New Statement Regarding Hellfest Cancellation

  • Axl Rosenberg

The saga of Manowar’s Hellfest 2019 cancellation continues.

For those of you just joining this little soap opera: the band was scheduled to headline the first night of this year’s Hellfest, which took place this past weekend. They ended up cancelling their performance at the last minute though, with the festival organizers blaming the band and the band, in turn, blaming the festival organizers — without either party providing any actual specific information as to why it was the other party’s fault. Rumor has it that the band was pissed about local ordinances which prohibited them from playing at a volume that was to their liking, and were also unhappy with the size of the stage (the same stage, remember, which would be used by bands like Kiss and Tool during the same festival).

Now Manowar have issued a second statement on the cancellation. Once again, they blame the organizers of Hellfest for their not playing and accept no responsibility for the incident. And once again, they provide no specific details as to what the organizers of Hellfest allegedly did, other than to say that “the Hellfest promoters… chose not to honor their contractual obligations.” This time, though, they claim that they didn’t cancel the show. They also assert that that they are “currently seeking every legal remedy available to us by law.” (As opposed to every legal remedy available to them by their imaginations…?)

ANYWAY, here’s the statement:

“Regarding Hellfest cancellation

“Our performance at Hellfest scheduled for June 21, 2019 was NOT cancelled by the band; it was cancelled by the Hellfest organizers in their announcement that appeared on their websites.

“In the days prior to Hellfest, Switzerland, Greece, and Bulgaria all witnessed our massive production that brought The Kingdom Of Steel to life. We brought it to Hellfest because we came to play.

“We fought to give our fans the performance we promised last year at Hellfest, but we will not be pushed around by the Hellfest promoters who chose not to honor their contractual obligations and think they can do wrong to us and to our fans.

“Those of you who have requested information regarding ticket refunds should contact the outlet where you purchased your ticket or the Hellfest organizers directly, as they are responsible.

“We are currently seeking every legal remedy available to us by law.”

Look: without knowing what the heck actually happened here, it’s impossible to really judge the situation. Maybe it’s not at all fishy that this is the first time they’re claiming Hellfest cancelled their set and they didn’t voluntarily walk. Maybe Manowar have a legitimate grievance with the organizers of Hellfest.  But a lot fans got screwed here, so the explanation had better be a good one. Speaking for myself personally, “We couldn’t put on the epic stage show we wanted to put on” isn’t a valid excuse. Suck it up and make the best out of a less-then-epic stage show. When Sabaton were asked to fill in for Manowar, did they say, “Oh no, we can’t, our singer blew out his voice and so we can’t put on the show we’d like to!”? No. They put on a show without the goddamn singer, and the fans were grateful for that. Shit happens, y’know?

I’m sure more details will continue to emerge in the coming weeks. Stay tuned…

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