College cancels next week’s sold-out Death In June show at Salem Old Town Hall [UPDATE] The show will go on… but where?


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.


Where have you gone, Boyd Rice? The sold-out Death In June show slated for September 19 at Salem Old Town Hall has been cancelled by the school that operates the facility, according to CBS Boston.

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.

Here’s the word according to CBS Boston:

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.

Death In June

  1. I guess a gay vegan goth folk band who uses nazi symbols for “shock value” (joy division and new order both have pretty nazi ass names, but no one cares) is too much for some.

  2. Once again boring boston is left to wallow in self righteous misery of Internet losers. But, they should have known against booming at Gordon of all places. I’ve got three tickets for this!

  3. The tyranny of political correctness strikes again! Massachusetts is a cultural marxist dictatorship with the illusion of “freedom”… freedom, only if you agree with cultural marxist agenda.

  4. Absolutely ridiculous. DIJ have played incident free everywhere. The only people that’d cause incidents are the “protesters” and the reality is that none of them have the balls to actually show up and cause any problems. They won’t leave the safety of their keyboards

  5. To “DeathOfTheWest”: SO True! Being on the internet/Facebook is like driving a car.. everybody’s a tough guy, until after they have to step out of it! -Mätthew Griffin

  6. DIJ is too good for most of the moral world but this is outrageous. Who cares about beliefs… the music rocks and i support them 100%

  7. This school made the decision they felt was in their best interest, which they should not be blamed for. It was daring to begin with, for a Christian school to book a band as Death in June- which is rooted in the punk scene. What is not so lame as the school, is the idiot so called punks and so called goths that call Death in June nazi or fascist- when they are not, and behave exactly in some of the same manners of fascism and Nazism that they rail against, by trying to ban freedom of speech, and freedom of expression through the arts, and trying to ban a good crowd’s ability to enjoy themselves by hearing and seeing a band they love. That is antithetical to freedom. If Death in June publicly stated they were nazi, then that would be a different story, but they do not state that and have not. I interviewed Death In June back in the 90’s for subnormal magazine, and they told me then they were not nazi’s then, and I assume they are not now. I doubt that any of these so called ant-nazi activists are really doing anything worthwhile to actually stop real and active self declared nazis and or fascists around the world, or fighting real problems such as government spying, child trafficking, and human rights abuses. Instead, they jump on the bandwagon of attacking an obscure, talented, and worthwhile underground band and their fans, rooted in the punk scene, to try and posture as do gooders, when in fact, they are not. – subnormal magazine

    1. Gordon did not book the show, Lapin did. Gordon rented the hall, signed a contract and cashed the check, knowing from the beginning that Death In June was playing. They broke their contract after pressure from the Mayor’s office to silence the show.

      1. I’d imagine after the shit hit the fan, it was impossible to just cut Gordon out of this whole situation and just rent the hall yourselves?

  8. I don’t really care a whole lot either way, but I’d think by this point the band could just let the Nazi stuff go and get on with doing something new. No one would complain then. It’s not like the Nazi images really contribute to what they do. It’s a boring controversy for everyone I’d think, but the band is obviously interested in keeping it going. That is, unless I am mistaken and they’ve abandoned it all already. On the other side of things, I’m not really sure why anyone cares about trying to get their shows canceled either as, at the very least, it just gets them more publicity than letting them fade into obscurity. They’ve got some good songs, but I don’t see them exactly blowing up into the pop mainstream. And the fact is, taking away Nazi things makes them better, not worse. What I am trying to say is, I think the band is at least a little at fault at this point.

    1. Michael,
      This is the second time you’ve felt the need to chime in regarding a show being shut down by the Boston thought police. First with Boyd Rice, now this. You are out of your league and woefully inept at creative thought or anything approaching ambiguity. It hurts your “brain”. Please keep the hole in your face shut and retire from your fourth-rate, derivative career of in-joke, audience pandering hipster trash. Please. Just shut your face for a while. Stick to what I’m sure is your very actively updated Twitter feed.

      1. Too bad on Facebook I said I was interested in this show because I wanted to see you perform. That interest has dwindled.

    2. Sure…just take away the imagery so its more easily spoonfed to the public? do you have any idea that these symbols predate the Nazi’s era? Death in June never used them for controversy you weak willed nitwit.

  9. I guess I’ll say this whole controversy made me spend more time going back and listening to them than I would have otherwise, so I suspect it’s part of what keeps them on the radar for the casually interested.

  10. Those of us who have tickets will be enjoying both Thomas, and Douglas’ wonderful music this evening, while the Antifa fascist brigade whines and scrambles, trying to figure out where in RI, MA, or NH(ooooh the mystery) the show is being held. A minor inconvenience from the venue change, but either way I can’t wait, as this will mark my 7th time seeing them.

    1. Did anyone actually expected them to leave the comfort of their overpriced Alston apartments to “smash the fash”? Yeah…..not so much.

  11. In the name of liberalism, the left shows its intolerance for anything it doesn’t agree with or understand. Shame on the censors!

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