Petition to Ban Metal Bands Results in Canceled Concert in Singapore
Tonight's performance in Singapore from black metal act Watain has been canceled following public outcry after a petition aimed to prevent the band and fellow Swedish metalheads Soilwork from playing in the country.
The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IDMA) board of the Singapore government officially scrapped the gig to take place today (March 7) after concerns were raised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Those worries were first signaled in the Change.org petition titled, "Ban satanic music groups Watain and Soilwork from performing in Singapore." Launched two days ago, it now boasts over 17,000 signatures.
"These heavy metal bands do not represent the culture which we want in our youths," the petition states. "Their subliminal messages in their songs include death and suicide. Sign this petition to get our lawmakers to ban these bands from performing in Singapore."
The show was to be Watain's first-ever concert in the country, scheduled to take place at EBX Live Space. The IDMA had originally set guidelines for the event that restricted entry to concertgoers below the age of 18.
But the petition seemingly changed the tune of the government arm, and Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam framed the decision as an appropriate response to what he described as the group's stated directives.
"Over the last few days, there were a lot of concerns expressed and if you look at the band they do have a history, very offensive towards Christians, Jews, supportive of violence including... the burning of churches," he told The Straits Times today. "They have even said they encourage any terrorist act committed in the name of the band and various other statements which are quite offensive."
Watain have yet to comment on the matter, but this is not the first time they've courted controversy. Last year, the band's guitarist left the group after a photo circulated online that showed him giving a Nazi salute.
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