The backlash from Phil Anselmo’s incident at the Dimebash event late last year has been big, not just for him, but for his bandmates for his various bands including Down. The southern boys felt the backlash of Anselmo’s action when their own hometown and a Dutch festival cancelled their schedule appearance which ended up with fans calling other European festivals to do the same.
Despite of the peer pressure from the public, Graspop Metal Meeting and Hellfest decided to openly keep the band on their bill but seems like their efforts went in vain, as Down has officially cancelled all their European performances for this year.
In a recent letter sent to Hellfest, Anselmo announced the cancellation of their show at the French festival and the rest of the European festival dates scheduled. The letter reads as follows:
As a result of the latest events, we are sorry to announce that DOWN has to cancel their venue in Europe and thus won’t play in Hellfest 2016. We are glad to propose the band PUSCIFER (Featuring James Maynard > Tool’s singer) as a replacement. The latter will perform under the Valley on Sunday, June 19th and as for FU MANCHU, they’ll play as headliners on Saturday, 18th. We’ll keep you aware of all the schedules. Stay tuned.
We also wanted to thank you again for the big support that you showed when we had to make a decision after Anselmo’s case! Here is the artist’s statement :
Philip H. Anselmo here Brother…
First, and foremost, there is NO WAY I can possibly thank you enough for “fighting the good fight” for me, and ALL of my bands, namely Down in this instance. Your love & backbone will never be forgotten, and from this point on through the rest of my fighting life, I owe you every ounce of praise!
My AWFUL mistake has taken a toll on my reputation, and justly so! However I must point out, you damned-well KNOW ME better than this drunken incident could ever describe.
Hellfest is my heart!!!
And my embarrassment is tremendous, because I only have LOVE for people all over this skirmishing earth.
So my brother, it fucking rips my heart into further pieces to let you know, I don’t think I should do ANY Euro festivals this year.
So PLEASE I BEG YOU, give me this time to get my brain clear, and to come back (if you will have me back) next year my brother, I implore you!
Plus, the re-emergence of the knee injuries have been plaguing me of late as well, so I must address this too, through physical rehabilitation & rest.
Knowing my character, when I put my mind to something THIS DIRE, I come back 100-times better, and THAT’S what the Mighty Hellfest deserves!!!
My love for you & the rest of the gang that makes Hellfest THE TOPS, goes on and on and on…
Much love & respect-
Philip H. Anselmo (and the H. stands for HEALING)”
Anselmo has apologized for his actions in multiple occasions to the fans and to his bandmates in Down suggesting that he’s even willing to step down his singer role in order to not hold them back. Guitarist Pepper Keenan accepted Phil’s apology but seems like it will take more to leave all this incident behind and that’s what Anselmo seems to be pursuing at this point.