Blastfest pulls Peste Noire from bill in face of 'Antifa' protests
Controversial French black metal band Peste Noire are off Blastfest 2017 bill amid protests from anti-fascist groups
A festival in Norway has pulled a controversial black metal band from the bill in the face of pressure from left wing protest groups.
French band Peste Noire (Black Plague) were due to appear on the bill of Blastfest, scheduled to take place in Bergen from February 22-25 next year. But relentless pressure from Antifa (ant-fascist) groups has led organisers to remove Peste Noire from the bill.
Blastfest organisers say: “As much as we love the brilliant music of Peste Noire, and how much we have stated that we are a musical platform, and no politics are involved in our concept, the amount of political focus created due to this booking is badly affecting our existence.
"Our partners have been pushed very hard and we now reached the point where we had to decide to stand by our choice, and ultimately cancel the whole festival, or cancel Peste Noire.
"So, we will keep going, creating a great metalfest for all metalheads, unfortunately without Peste Noire.”
Finnish band Horna have pulled out of the festival is a show of solidarity with their "friends" in Peste Noire.
Peste Noire have faced accusations of racism throughout their career, but they insist they are French nationalists as opposed to racists. Napalm Death – well known for their forthright anti-Nazi views – were originally on the bill for Blastfest but pulled out after Peste Noire were announced.
Also on the bill for Blastfest 2017 are the Devin Townsend Project, Akercocke, Dying Fetus and Phil Anselmo's Scour.
Festival organisers have also faced pressure to remove Scour from the bill after Anselmo's "white power" outburst earlier this year.