Nuremberg was once the place where race laws were passed and Nazi party rallies were held. To this day, the city struggles with its National Socialist past - and takes a stand against it wherever it can. The fact that the controversial metal singer Phil Anselmo and his band Pantera want to perform at the music festivals Rock am Ring and Rock im Park on the former Reichstag grounds does not fit Nuremberg's motto - the "City of Peace and Human Rights". At least that's how the Greens in Nuremberg's city council see it. They hope that the singer and his band will be unloaded from the music festival.
The background is an appearance by Anselmo in 2016. At that time, the singer was publicly discredited with a Hitler salute. During the so-called "Dimebash" the group held for their late guitarist, Anselmo also yelled "White Power" at the crowd. That's why the singer was not allowed to perform in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2019.
The Greens on the Nuremberg City Council hope that Anselmo will not get a stage at the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park metal festivals either. "It's not about bashing the band or the music," says Réka Lörincz, spokeswoman for diversity and human rights, against right-wing extremism and racism in the Nuremberg city council group of the Greens, the stern.
The apology is not credible enough for your party. The metal singer had dismissed the hand signal and exclamation as a "backstage joke". "We interpret his apology more as trivialization. There was no insight, we find that very problematic," says Lörincz.
Nuremberg is a place of crime and education. The fact that the band, which broke up 20 years ago, wants to celebrate their reunion on the Nazi Party Rally Grounds of all places "clearly exceeds the limit of what is bearable," according to a statement by the Green Party in Nuremberg's city council. They call on the organizer of the festival, Argo Konzerte GmbH, to unload Pantera again.
He had already commented on the case via Instagram. The festivals stand for "diversity, tolerance, equality and against any form of discrimination". The metal band Pantera have assured in discussions "that Phil Anselmo's behavior in 2016 in no way reflects the views of the band". The organizer has so far left a star inquiry unanswered.
The Greens in Nuremberg are not just about Anselmo and his band. "We've been working with the organizer for years on different construction sites," says Lörincz. These ranged from rubbish disposal and the use of reusable cups to protection against sexualized violence on the festival site. In addition, Anselmo is not an isolated case. "In the past we've always had problems with anti-Semitic and right-wing extremist speakers on the festival grounds."
The city is now investigating how this can be prevented in the future. After all, some events are also subsidized by the city. But they don't want to support racism. That is why the Greens faction in Nuremberg has submitted an application to the city. Lawyers would have to decide on the exact measures, says Lörincz. But after Pantera was already unloaded in Auckland, the politician is optimistic that the band or at least Phil Anselmo will not perform in Nuremberg.