Pantera have been axed from the bills of two of Europe's biggest rock festivals, Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park, organizers have announced.
The metal juggernaut – which reformed last year with original members Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown, with Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante filling in on guitar and drums for late musicians Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul respectively – will no longer appear at both festivals, which are due to run concurrently in Germany from June 2 to 4 this year.
In a translated statement shared on social media, organizers for the festivals say they have taken the decision following “intensive conversations with artists, our partners, and the festival fans”.
While specific reasons for Pantera’s removal have not yet been issued, several factors may have contributed to the decision.
First, the band’s reunion has been highly divisive since its announcement in July last year. While many have celebrated the metal titans getting on stage once again to perform their classic tracks, some have questioned whether such a reunion should take place without legendary founding members Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul.
Vinnie Paul’s estate even issued a statement last year asserting that the band’s upcoming shows would not constitute a reunion, writing, “There can never be a Pantera reunion without Vinnie and Dime.”
The statement did, however, say that “there is no better way to celebrate and honor Vinnie and Dime’s legacy than to bring the music of Pantera directly to the fans”.
Another issue that has had a lasting effect on the reputation of frontman Phil Anselmo is the 2016 Dimebash tribute show during which he displayed a Nazi salute and yelled “white power” at the crowd. His actions prompted outrage from both the metal and wider communities.
Anselmo declined to apologize for the incident at first, but later said that he was “1,000 percent apologetic to anyone that took offence to what I said, because you should have taken offence”.
Pantera have yet to comment on their removal from the Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park lineups.
The festivals, which are set to take place June 2 to 4 in Nürburgring and Nürnberg, respectively, will feature performances from Rise Against, Limp Bizkit, Kings Of Leon, Tenacious D, Bring Me The Horizon, Machine Gun Kelly and more.