Pantera removed from Rock am Ring and Rock In The Park 2023
Photos by Scott Dudelson, Ethan Miller, Sergione Infuso - Corbis, Aldara ZarraoaGetty Images
As two of Europe's biggest rock festivals announce that they're removing Pantera from their lineups, the band's controversial reunion faces its first major snag.
In Germany, Rock Am Ring and Rock in the Park festivals share lineups across two different sites over the same weekend in June. After talking to a lot of festival partners, bands playing this year's lineup, and ticket buyers, Pantera's appearance has been canceled.
The festival organizers shared the following translated statement on their Facebook pages:
Pantera will not be performing at Rock am Ring and Rock in the Park 2023, as announced. 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 program.
Featuring founding members Phil Anselmo on vocals and Rex Brown on bass, and Zakk Wylde and Charlie Bentate on guitar and drums, Pantera's reunion has been extremely divisive. Some fans are thrilled that Pantera's classic tracks will be played live once again, while others are cynical about the prospect of any Pantera tour without the Abbott brothers, Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul, who was very against a Pantera reunion before he passed away.
In 2016, Anselmo's white power outburst shocked the metal community. He initially hesitated to apologize for the incident, but later issued a statement saying he was "100% sorry for anything you took offense to, because you ought to have taken offense."
Last year, Vinnie Paul's estate shared its feelings on the idea of Pantera having a reunion:
There can never be a Pantera reunion without Vinnie and Dime. However, there is no better way to celebrate and honor Vinnie and Dime's legacy, than to bring the music of Pantera directly to the fans. We are honored that Charlie and Zakk, their very close friends and musical brothers, will share the stage with Philip and Rex, to unleash the power of Pantera live around the world.