Music festival which was accused of neo-Nazism moves to Edinburgh

A black metal music festival due to include bands accused of promoting neo-Nazism will now take place at an unnamed location near Edinburgh after a Glasgow venue cancelled its booking.

By Gary Flockhart
Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 2:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 2:07 pm
A music festival featuring bands with neo-Nazi links has been moved to Edinburgh
A music festival featuring bands with neo-Nazi links has been moved to Edinburgh

Anti-racism campaigners Unite Against Fascism and Hope not Hate voiced concerns over an event called Darkness Guides Us, which was due to take place in Glasgow this November.

In response, Glasgow music venue Classic Grand, which was due to host the festival, cancelled the event, saying it had been made aware of “certain connections to fascist ideology being associated with the festival” and that it would not provide “a platform to any form of hatred.”

The organiser of Darkness Guides Us, Dimitris Artofsin, rejects claims that some of the bands invited promote neo-Nazism and has issued a statement saying the event will now take a place at an unnamed location near Edinburgh.

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Posting on Facebook, Artofsin wrote: “People from 20+ countries visited Glasgow last year for the event and everyone that attended can attest to that.

“Being blackmailed to remove certain bands from the bill to ensure the fest will go ahead is something I could never agree to.

“If people find some of it offensive, that is unfortunate but to me to compromise on that would be betraying the very core of what this fest is all about - unrelenting, uncompromising black metal.”

Artofsin went on to say the festival was now moving to a “special space closer to Edinburgh – 15 minutes away using public transport.

“We will be having a limited capacity of only 450 and some minor changes on the line-up, to ensure an early closure for all of you to get back to the city," he added. "Website and tickets will be available soon. In Strife we prosper.”

The bands invited to play at Darkness Guides Us include Norwegian black metal outfit Taake, who were forced to cancel a 19-date North American tour in 2018 after being accused of anti-semitic and anti-Islamic views by anti-fascist protest movement Antifa.

Other acts invited to play at Darkness Guides Us include Finnish bands Satanic Warmaster, whose lyrics deal with "occult and warlike themes", and Kalmankantaja, who are open about their links to Nazism.

Unite Against Fascism said it will try to locate the new venue for the festival and put pressure on them to cancel the event.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Unite Against Fascism said: “The event organiser Dimitris seems to think that there is something great about being ‘uncompromising’ in showcasing bands with fascist links in the festival.

“If fascists organise at this event there will be more attacks on the innocent and vulnerable, I can’t see how this is heroic. We shall do all we can to find the venue and pressure them to cancel this event outside Edinburgh.”

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