IMDA cancels Watain’s concert in Singapore due to black metal band’s ‘Satanist views’

Swedish black metal band Watain is scheduled to perform in Singapore on 7 March 2019 at Ebenex Live Space. IMAGE: Facebook

Swedish metal band Watain, known for Satanist references in their music, has had their concert in Singapore cancelled due to “security concerns” raised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

In a statement on Thursday (7 March), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that the “Watain Live in Singapore” concert, which was scheduled to take place at the EBX Live Space on Thursday evening, will no longer go ahead.

An IMDA spokesperson noted that MHA had 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”.

He said that Watain is known for their “Satanist views”, adding, “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 had earlier allowed the concert to take place with a rating of Restricted 18 (R18). The agency also “imposed further stringent requirements including the removal of songs which are religiously offensive, that the band cannot make references to religion or use religious symbols, and that no ritualistic acts are performed on stage.”

On Wednesday, a petition was launched calling for Watain and Soilwork, a Swedish death metal band, to be banned from performing in Singapore.

The creator of the petition, Rachel Chan, wrote, “These heavy metal bands do not represent the culture which we want in our youths. Their subliminal messages in their songs include death and suicide.” The petition is addressed to the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

The petition has since garnered more than 16,000 signatures as of 4.45pm on Thursday.

Related story:

Petition calls for ban on 2 Swedish heavy metal bands to perform in Singapore