A concert by the Swedish black metal band Watain was banned and cancelled by the Singaporean authorities on the day itself, March 7.
Previously, it had been allowed to perform with a rating of R18, on the condition that religiously offensive songs or ritualistic acts could not be performed on stage.
However, following concerns raised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) decided to ban the concert.
“MHA has expressed serious concerns about the concert, given the band’s history of denigrating religions and promoting violence, which has potential to cause enmity and disrupt Singapore’s social harmony,” said IMDA in its statement.
“Watain is known for its Satanist views and some of their previous controversial performances involved animal carcasses and throwing pig’s blood on its audience. The band also espouses anti-Christian views and advocates Satanism through their songs and endorses violence.
“MHA has therefore asked IMDA to consider cancelling the concert for reasons of public order, and IMDA has agreed,” IMDA added.
Furthermore, an online petition was started on Thursday, garnering over 16,000 signatures on Change.org.
Watain band member Erik Danilsson was furious about the cancellation.
“We have been touring around the world for nearly 20 years and believe it or not, never have we encountered such old fashioned retardation.”Danilsson, in a statement to AFP.
He described the decision as “self-righteous attempts to govern other people’s lives and decisions, as if our supporters in Singapore were incapable of deciding for themselves”.
Do you think that the values Watain promotes should not be propagated amongst Singaporeans, or do you think that the authorities’ decision is too restrictive on freedoms?