A Mexican state decided to cancel a two-day heavy metal concert called Hell and Heaven Metal Fest with top bands like Kiss, Suicide Silence, Korn, Rob Zombie, Opeth, Twisted Sister and Guns ‘N Roses. The canceling of the festival is creating hell for fans and organizers, who say they suspect that political motives, corruption or discrimination are the reason for the end of the event. The Mexico state government says the March 15th and 16th concert that was planned for a fairground just east of Mexico City did not have adequate safety plans, posing a risk to ticket holders. The web pages of all three of the headliners still showed the concert on their tour schedules.
The state sent about 300 riot police to surround the fairgrounds Friday in the township of Texcoco. The state civil defense office and its federal department, said in a statement that it had cancelled plans
“for 70,000 to 80,000 people and 50 musical groups, because safety conditions for potential concert-goers were not ensured.”
It talked of a lack of fire safety and evacuation plans and inadequate planning for pyrotechnics but concert organizers stated that the same fairgrounds are used each year for the Texcoco International Horse Fair, which is essentially a big concert drawing crowds nearly as large, with groups that perform songs directly related to violence. For decades from the 1960s, to the early 1980s, the Mexican government blocked most outdoor rock concerts fearful of gatherings of rebellious youth. But in Mexico, it is drug cartel violence that has cost tens of thousands of lives in recent years.
The town of Texcoco is governed by the Citizens’ Movement party and still supports the festival. It is believed that the state government, which is in the under the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, may have cancelled the concert for political reasons. The event organizers believe that this may be discrimination against the metal community since other Mexican events with over 200,000 attendees are allowed at the same event grounds. Will the show go on? It is unknown at this time but concert organizers say they won’t give up because money speaks louder than music.