Swedish death metal group, Watain’s Live concert in Singapore was banned just an hour before it began because of the concern over the band’s “Satanist views” on Thursday, 7 March 2019.
Initially, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) granted the band a permission with a rating of Restricted 18 (R18) as long as the songs relating to religious violation were cut out from the concert.
But after IMDA took an advice from the Home Affairs Ministry (MHA), IMDA decided to take back the permission and cancelled the concert while the audience was already on their way to the concert.
Due to the band’s previous performances involving “animal carcasses and throwing pig’s blood on its audience” IMDA was afraid that Wartain could “espouse anti-Christian views, advocate Satanism and endorse violence through their songs”.
According to IMDA’s statement, “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,”
One of the concert organizers expressed his disappointment on the cancellation that “Everything was fine, we followed the rules and protocol,” he said. “We had everything solid and because certain things happened, it was cancelled.”
He added more than about 150 Watain’s fan expecting to enjoy the concert were left in confusion and the refund for the tickets has not been confirmed yet because the authorities involved were still in the negotiation.
On 8 March 2019, Watian responded to the incident on its Facebook that “we would like to send a proud hail to our fans and followers from Singapore, Indonesia, Sarawak, Burma, Laos, Philippines and Malaysia who had travelled to see yesterdays performance but were robbed of their experience in the last minute by Singapore’s tragic excuse for a government.”