Pantera has a number of festival appearances booked as part of the band’s reunion/tribute tour. However, the band has been removed from two German festivals taking place this summer.
Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park have both announced the band will not be performing at either festival. In a joint statement shared by both of the festival’s social media channels, they said, in part, “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.”
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Pantera suddenly dropped from these two prominent German festivals has led to some outlets speculating it’s the result of a 2016 incident involving singer Phil Anselmo. The incident occurred at Dimebash, a concert honoring late Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. Video surfaced from the event showing Anselmo giving a Nazi salute and yelling “White power”.
Anselmo has since apologized and spoken about the incident multiple times. He issued a video statement saying, in part, “I am 1000% apologetic to anyone that took offense to what I said, because you should have taken offense. I am so sorry and I hope you just give me another chance.”
In October 2016, he spoke to Decibel about the incident. Anselmo said, “First and foremost, I do take full accountability. I’m not deflecting at all. What I did was insulting, absolutely, and abhorrent, because it did truly upset people, and it hurts my heart that anyone would think that I’m the dreaded ‘R’ word—a racist … Should I have done it? Hell f–king no. Would I take it back? Absolutely.”
In November 2016, Anselmo touched on the incident in an interview with Clrvynt. He said, “First and foremost, I’ll take that one. I’ll own it. I did something extremely stupid that I know was absolutely stupid … I want people to understand that I have nothing but love in my heart. The whole Dimebash thing was me being crude and lewd and showing an extension of a joke from backstage. I made myself out to be the ugly face of it all. I did that.”
In addition to festival performances, the reunited Pantera is taking part in select dates with Metallica in 2023. The band recently announced their own tour with Lamb of God. The band’s reunited/tribute lineup features Anselmo, bassist Rex Brown and Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante in place of the late guitarist and drummer “Dimebag” Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott. A full list of tour dates can be found at Pantera.com.