The Swedish death metal band Soilwork will perform in Singapore as planned later this year, said the concert organiser, amid controversy over a petition calling for the event to be banned.
In a post on its Facebook page, Street Noise SG, the organiser of Soilwork’s concert at EBX Live Space on 29 October 2019, said late Thursday (7 March) that “Soilwork is here to stay. So are the other shows. And the future shows to come.”
“For as long as we can hold up against those bulls**t we will continue to stand tall and fight on. We have always done the right thing, getting the right licenses and approvals, placing licensed security personnels where necessary, doing whatever it takes to make things work. We break no rules. We harm no one,” said Street Noise SG.
Earlier on Thursday, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that the “Watain Live in Singapore” concert, originally scheduled to take place at EBX Live Space later that night, had been cancelled, as advised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The concert by the Swedish black metal band, organised by Ravage Records, was initially allowed to take place with a rating of Restricted 18 (R18) with other “stringent requirements” in place, including the removal of religiously offensive songs, references to religion or using religious symbols, and ritualistic acts on stage.
Watain and Soilwork were listed in a petition signed by more than 17,000 people who called for the two bands 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.”
Explaining the reason for the ban, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said at a doorstop interview at the Ministry of Law on Thursday that allowing Watain’s concert to be held will be “against public order interest” and “affect our religious and social harmony”.
Shanmugam noted that the band’s music is “very offensive towards Christians, Jews, supportive of violence, including encouraging the burning of churches.”
When asked if the concert by Soilwork will be banned, an IMDA spokesperson said “each performance is assessed on a case-by-case basis”.
On Friday afternoon, Street Noise SG posted a screenshot of the approval of its Arts Entertainment License by IMDA dated 22 November 2018 alongside the event poster of Soilwork’s upcoming concert on its Facebook page.
The early-bird tickets for the Soilwork concert are sold out. Street Noise SG has also lined up other metal artistes to perform in Singapore this year including Cryptosy on 5 July and Chris Holmes (ex-Wasp) and the Mean Man on 21 August.
In an indirect reference to the petition, Street Noise SG wrote in its Facebook post on Thursday, “So until the day comes for us to say good bye, please continue to support your local promoters…And with all these drama mamas coming in at us, we are now at a new low. This is (the) reality here in Singapore.”