Freedom of speech and belief has long been preached in the United States, but recently that prerogative is being challenged in society. Just this past summer I saw a man getting beat up at Electric Forest Festival because he was carrying a Confederate flag. Well, I definitely don't support the clown who was carrying the flag, but is it right to physically attack him for carrying it, especially at a music festival?
But I digress, more recently UNSOUND Festival in Poland has had to cancel certain gigs and find new locations due to reports that the artist performing supported Satanism. Another belief that is not widely supported by society as a whole and definitely shouldn't be (in my humble opinion).
The accusations were made in an anonymous letter to St Catherine's Church where David Tibet and his band Current 93 were due to perform. His music is classified as Apocalyptic Folk, but he states that he definitely does not support or practice Satanism. He and the festival have both issued statements expressing their feelings toward the "crazy allegations" and "ridiculous slander". Tibet goes on to quote a few bible verses like Matthew XV:14: "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." He's clearly an interesting character and who really knows how he feels about satanism, but if a church doesn't want him to perform in their sanctuary, they definitely have that right.
"With great shock, it has come to our attention that accusations have been posted on a Polish Internet website that our festival — as preposterous as it is to even repeat — allegedly promotes and propagates Satanism. These accusations, initially made in a letter to St Catherine's Church, are completely unfounded, unreasonable, and slanderous. They undermine the good name of the festival, which since 2003 has been an enthusiastic participant in Krakow's cultural life, and we reject the accusation unequivocally.
Were it possible to ignore this as a sick joke, we would. Unfortunately, this statement harms not only the festival organisers, but also our guests – including both artists and the festival audience."
Music has always been used by those in search of a way to express themselves freely. Art in general can get away with expressing dark and interesting things, but it seems like judgement is always around the corner and there's nothing any artist can do about that, especially when performing in a church.
Read the full statement here.