Foo Fighters are set to replace Pantera at two German festivals after the metal band was dropped from the line-up earlier this week (January 23).
Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park festivals announced that they were removing Pantera from the line-up over an outcry relating to past allegations of racism.
The reformed band, featuring Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown, Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante, were due to perform at the festivals that take place between June 2-4 in Nürburgring and Nürnberg, respectively.
The statement from the festivals announcing news of their decision said: “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 programme.”
Now, Foo Fighters have revealed they will be performing at both festivals.
Writing on Instagram, the band said: “Germany – we’ll see you Friday, June 2nd at Rock Am Ring and Sunday, June 4th at Rock Im Park! Tickets on sale now!” You can see the post below.
NME has reached out to representatives of Pantera for comment.
The allegations of racism against Pantera date back to 2016 when frontman Anselmo offered to leave his band Down following an incident in which he was filmed carrying out a Nazi salute and shouting “white power”.
Anselmo was forced to apologise after being caught on film making the salute at the end of his performance at Dimebash 2016, a festival held in Hollywood in tribute to his late bandmate Dimebag Darrell.
Anselmo initially dismissed his actions as a “joke” before later issuing a statement that read: “Every citizen in this entire world has the unalienable right to live with dignity and respect without hate or oppression. And I mean this, with all of my crushed, yet, guilty heart.
“It’s common knowledge that we can choose to either learn from our mistakes, or continue on a path of insensitivity and destruction. I am utterly responsible for the mistakes I have made, and can only give you my word to no longer do them in the present, through action, not just mere words.
“My band mates are now experiencing the consequences of my behaviour, and I now publicly apologise to them as well. Never in my entire lifetime would I drag them down with me, and I’ve privately suggested to them that they move on without me.”
Anselmo also described himself as “repulsed by my own actions”, saying that he “understand[s] if I’m shunned till I hit the dirt”.
He later issued a video apology. In that, he said: “Philip H Anselmo here, and I’m here to basically respond to all the heat I’ve been getting that I deserve completely. I was at the Dimebash and it was extremely late at night, there was heavy-duty talk between myself and those who love Dime. Heavy emotions were flowing, jokes were made backstage, that transpired upon the stage, and it was ugly, it was uncalled for, and anyone who knows me and my true nature knows that I don’t believe in any of that.
“I don’t want to be part of any group,” he continued, “I’m an individual and I am a thousand percent apologetic to anyone that took offence to what I said, because you should have taken offence to what I said. And I am so sorry. I hope you give me another chance… I love all of you. Anyone who knows me knows that I love all of you. Bless you.”
His actions were condemned by members of the music world at the time.
Pantera were also dropped from another festival this week in Vienna. It’s not yet clear if the band’s planned appearance at Planet.tt Bank Austria Halle Gasometer relates to the cancellations in Germany. Organisers issued a statement saying that “all tickets can be returned where they were purchased,” before thanking fans for their “understanding”.
Meanwhile, Foo Fighters issued a statement earlier this month (January 1) confirming they will continue without late drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died last year.
Hawkins died in Bogotá, Colombia, in March 2022 while the band were on tour in South America. He was 50 years old.
Foo Fighters’ only performances since his death came at two massive tribute concerts in London and Los Angeles in September.
“As we say goodbye to the most difficult and tragic year that our band has ever known, we are reminded of how thankful we are for the people that we love and cherish most, and for the loved ones who are no longer with us,” the band said in a statement posted to social media.
“Foo Fighters were formed 27 years ago to represent the healing power of music and a continuation of life. And for the past 27 years our fans have built a worldwide community, a devoted support system that has helped us all get through the darkest of times together. A place to share our joy and our pain, our hopes and fears, and to join in a chorus of life together through music.
“Without Taylor, we never would have become the band that we were – and without Taylor, we know that we’re going to be a different band going forward.”
They concluded the statement by acknowledging how much Hawkins had meant to Foo Fighters’ fans and promised: “We know that when we see you again – and we will soon – he’ll be there in spirit with all of us every night.”
They later announced their first round of gigs – details of which can be found here.