Symphony X, Nile, Dark Tranquillity and More Part Ways with Booking Agent John Finberg
Several more prominent metal bands have ended their relationship with booking agent John Finberg following an investigative report published by MetalSucks on September 28. The report detailed numerous allegations against Finberg, including sexual misconduct, bullying, racism, questionable business practices, and violent physical threats.
By Tuesday, Nightwish, Amorphis, Delain, Battle Beast, Amaranthe, and Swallow the Sun had all announced they were parting ways with Finberg and his company, First Row Talent, while Sonata Arctica revealed that they ceased working with Finberg last winter. By Wednesday, those bands were joined by Hammerfall, Angra and PowerGlove. Additionally, Epica, who fired Finberg in 2014, expressed solidarity with their colleagues. Later in the week, Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, Iced Earth, and U.D.O. all released statements about Finberg.
The latest round of bands to cut ties with Finberg includes Symphony X, Nile, Dark Tranquillity, Primal Fear, Firewind and Leaves Eyes, while Overkill released a statement saying they had previously parted ways with him in 2016. Several of the bands have indicated that their delay in announcing the end of their relationship with Finberg was due to difficulties in sorting out the logistics of future tours he had already booked.
After taking heat from fans over the deletion of comments on their social media pages related to Finberg, Kamelot finally issued a statement of their own on October 1. That statement did not initially mention Finberg or First Row Talent by name, although the post was updated several hours later to mention First Row Talent only. (Fans can view both versions by clicking the triple-dots at the top right of this post and then selecting “view edit history”).
The recent round of band statements follows.
“We do not accept any form of abuse, bullying, racism or sexism.We have stopped working with John Finberg back in 2016.”
“Symphony X and World Entertainment Inc effective immediately no longer work with John Finberg and First Row Talent. All scheduled shows and tours will be canceled and rescheduled with new representation.”
“Nile and World Entertainment Inc effective immediately no longer work with John Finberg and First Row Talent. All scheduled shows and tours will be canceled and rescheduled with new representation.”
“We had to wait several days until World Entertainment Inc had sorted out the legal side of a tour that’s already on sale. Now we can follow all our friends & colleges and officially announce that Primal Fear and Level 10 Music effective immediately will no longer work with John Finberg and First Row Talent. It goes without saying that any form of harassment, bullying, racism has no place in business, music, internet, home or anywhere! All scheduled shows will be canceled and rescheduled with new representation. Mat, Ralf, Tom, Alex, Magnus & Michael”
“Due to the recent allegations against John Finberg, Firewind will no longer be working with First Row Talent in North America.
“As we had a tour on sale, we had to wait a few days for that to be sorted out by World Entertainment Inc. All shows with Symphony X and Primal Fear are now canceled and we will keep you posted if and when they’ll be rescheduled under new representation.
It goes without saying that Firewind does not support or accept any form of harassment, bullying and racism.”
“Dark Tranquillity are no longer working with or being booked by John Finberg / First Row Talent in the US.Dark Tranquillity does not tolerate harassment and bullying in any form.We are working on alternatives to the recently announced North American tour and will inform you as soon as we have any updates.”
“There is no space for any form of harassment, bullying, racism or other abusive manners in this world especially not within the metal family.
“We updated our booking contacts some days ago, and are no longer represented by the former agency in North America or any other territory.”
“It goes without saying that any form of harassment, bullying, racism has no place in business, music, internet, home or anywhere!! Any allegations should be taken serious and due process should be applied. The band will no longer be working with First Row Talent for bookings.”