UPDATED 5:28pm EST, Sunday, September 15: The Death In June show on Thursday will happen, organizers say, but they are mum on the exact location. “At the moment, all I can say is that the show is not cancelled and will be taking place,” Thomas Nöla of Disques de Lapin tells Vanyaland late Sunday afternoon. We’ll update you when we get more information. But because all the tickets have already been sold, this could very well become a private event somewhere out of the spotlight.
Gordon College, a small, Wenham-based Christian school that books events at the historical building, nixed the show after allegedly receiving complaints via email and by phone that the experimental folk group was “neo-fascist.” According to the Facebook event page, the show has been sold out since July 23.
This, of course, comes a few short months after T.T. The Bear’s Place in Cambridge cancelled a Cold Cave gig on June 26, which featured an opening set by, and collaboration with, controversial noise artist Boyd Rice. Rice has worked with Death In June in the past, and is cited online as a former member.
Protest emails and phone calls poured into school officials, eventually raising enough concerns that they decided to cancel the sold-out concert that was scheduled for Thursday, September 19.
The show was supposed to feature the band Death in June, a controversial two-piece act that has been accused by some groups of being neo-fascist, an allegation that the band denies. The group reportedly uses fascist and Nazi symbols on their albums and during their stage shows.
On Friday evening, the school announced it was cancelling the rental agreement with the show’s organizer, saying the rental agreement allows them to cancel a reservation “under extenuating circumstances.”
“This decision is based on several factors that came to light this week after we learned the name of the band performing and the reputation for unrest that has accompanied many of their performances. These include reports of vandalism associated with Death in June’s most recent concerts on the West Coast. Additionally, negative feedback regarding the show and threats to disrupt it have come to the attention of Salem police and suggest that even heightened security will not be sufficient to forestall or avoid damage to this historic building,” a statement from the school read. “In the interest of both public safety and in our primary responsibility to protect the integrity of an historic property, we do not believe an historic site such as Old Town Hall is the appropriate venue for this performance.”
The veteran ensemble act, which formed in 1981 in England and features chief songwriter and mainstay Douglas Pearce, kicked off their US tour last night in Los Angeles and play San Francisco tonight. Our sources in LA tells us there were more than 800 people paid at the Vex last night, with zero incidents and zero protestors.
Similar to the Cold Cave tour routing a few months ago, Death In June are expected to play Brooklyn the night after the now-cancelled Massachusetts gig. That show, at the Bell House, is still on as planned.