Singaporean authorities cancelled Swedish black metal band Watain’s debut concert in Singapore on 7 March 2019 following “security concerns” raised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
“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,” the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said in a statement announcing it will cancel Watain’s scheduled performance on 7 March.
“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.”
IMDA said it agreed to the MHA’s request to consider cancelling the concert “for reasons of public order”.
In addition, an online petition asking lawmakers to “ban satanic music groups Watain and Soilwork from performing in Singapore” gained 10,000 signatures within one week. It was sent to Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu before the IMDA cancelled the Watain concert.
Bishop Terry Kee, president of the National Council of Churches of Singapore, thanked the MHA on 8 March for its “swift and decisive action”.
“We view WATAIN’s sacrilegious attacks on the Christian faith through their songs as particularly disruptive and hurtful to the cause of religious harmony, and we are concerned that WATAIN’s open endorsement of satanic violence could have deleterious effects on impressionable and restless youths,” Bishop Kee said in a statement.
Despite having their gig cancelled, Watain band members still met with fans and thanked those who had travelled to Singapore to see them “but were robbed of their experience in the last minute by Singapore’s tragic excuse for a government”.
“It was an honour to meet you all yesterday and to sense the fire in your eyes and in your spirits,” Watain said on Facebook on 8 March.
“We look forward to the day we can perform for you without the interference from lesser men.”
The statement continues: “To the honorless rats behind the ban, rest assured that you in your cowardly act have only stirred the cauldrons of your own misfortune. If these men and women didn’t already feel mistrust and contempt towards ‘authorities’, they sure do now. The flames of discontent have once again been kindled, may they scorch your heavens…”