In last week’s GO! Magazine, I wrote about a house show scheduled for tonight featuring Los Angeles punk/metal band ACxDC and a bunch of other bands that was supposed to take place on a property on Bend’s east side.
As of yesterday, the show is not happening in that yard, or even in Bend. It has been moved to Salem. Below is a poster with the address, if you’re interested in making the trip. (Please note: I cannot vouch for any or all of the bands being there and performing. I can tell you that I saw a couple of Facebook comments from ACxDC frontman Sergio Amalfitano indicating that his band would play, and that there has been a swarm of activity on Facebook trying to get all other bands and their gear to the new spot.)
Here’s that poster. Below it is more about why this happened.
So … why the switch? I’m not even going to begin trying to explain why. I’ll let Preston Krull, one of the organizers, explain. Late Monday night, he announced via Facebook that the show was canceled. I’ll paste that announcement below, but it’s worth clicking here to read not only Krull’s message, but also 115 comments worth of Oregon punk and metal fans rallying and scrambling to keep this show alive.
I am overwhelmingly distraught to have to bear this news, but due to recent events and the safety of those assisting us all, we have to cancel this event.
Over the last few hours, the owner of the property has received calls and visits from Bend City Works, Bend Police Dept., Bend Fire Dept., and her own landlord. The conversations were lengthily, so I’ll summarize. Beginning yesterday afternoon, a small group of helping hands began posting a final round of flyers in the neighborhood surrounding the show’s location. At around 6:00 in the evening today, the home owner was informed via telephone as well as direct Police presence that our show cannot be allowed to happen for the following reasons:
1. Over the last 24 hours the Bend PD received dozens of officially cited and anonymous calls demanding the show be canceled. Reports were given to the home owner of threats up to and including public protest and Arson in retaliation. I have no explanation for the outrage as of now, nor why an investigation involving physical threats to an entire group has occurred. I am still working on gathering more information.
2. Due to the event being outdoors and the possibility it may draw over 250 people, we were required to secure a public event permit and insurance, at a cost of $370 or more. These were to be filed 45 days prior to the event. At that time we had lost the initial venue and didn’t have $400 on hand.
3. Because we passed out handbills we had knowingly crossed into a public event situation, which requires an inspection by the Fire Dept. prior to permits being granted. This needed to be handled weeks before the permit request. It was entirely my fault.
4. The home owner’s Landlord was contacted by several concerned parties threatening civil action against both his company and the private renter involved if this show went on. Due to the threats the Landlord didn’t feel safe continuing to honor the home owners lease if the show went on.
5. Due to the amount of negative reaction to this event, the City Works Dept. and Bend Police have declined to grant us an emergency permit at any cost. They feel any relocation or support will create an upset.
6. During her conversation with the Police officers involved, the home owner was told several times that her actions and the actions of those involved with this event are being monitored for any activity, which I assume includes this post. The home owner was concisely informed of the impending effects involved with having the event as well. If any sound is audible above 65 Decibels a $250 fine will be issued. After the second complaint, a $1500 fine. If a third complaint is received the fine raises exponentially as the event is shut down by the City, not limited to arrests made of those involved.
If anyone wishes for more official information or discussion, you are welcome to contact myself, (but try to keep the hate mail down,) Bend City Works or the Bend Police Department in reference to this show, just as we have been told to do. I’ll get the extensions for the two specific Public officials involved up for use, but the numbers for their offices are public ally posted when searched.
On a personal note, I’d like to apologize from the center of my being to ACxDC, Immoral Majority, Vomit Violence, I Have No Friends, Skatter Bomb, E.F.A., Funerals, The All For Dogs Rescue of Central Oregon and everyone who planned to come to this show and support. Words can’t describe the crushing feeling of guilt and remorse in my chest. I sincerely hope I haven’t disrupted anyones schedules too severely, and I am more than willing to discuss any reparations needed on behalf of the touring bands. Another of my many hopes is that this doesn’t damage the standing of bands and organizations from our area, who are just as much victims of a corrupted system as those of us involved in this concert. I deeply apologize to all of you on behalf of my community. I may have been out of my league, but our intentions were nothing but positive. I am truly sorry.
Again, the show is not canceled. Just moved 133 miles.
Some of the stuff cited above — securing event permits from various government agencies, for example — sound like things that should’ve been taken care of by the folks behind the show. But those kinds of things sneak up on event organizers all the time. I understand.
The “dozens” of calls to police about the show, though? That’s the kind of thing I’d like to look into, if I had more time and/or resources. Because while I’m sure there were legitimate complaints related to the show, such as noise, traffic or maybe fire hazard, I’d also bet many callers were spurred by the creepy poster, the name of the headliner — ACxDC stands for Antichrist Demoncore — and some of that band’s rhetoric.
I received an email on Monday expressing concern about the show. The subject line was “July 17 Anti Christian concert in Bend Violent” and in it was a link to an ACxDC video for a song called “We Kill Christians.”
I think we can all agree that’s an inflammatory song title.
But rhetoric is rhetoric and art is art. This band isn’t going to actually hurt anyone. They’re just playing their music, and that music is gaining them significant notoriety, not to mention selling T-shirts and patches to disaffected punk kids. I mean, you can’t judge a book by its cover, I know, but does this photo, taken from Facebook, look like the kind of guy who actually endorses the killing of Christians?
Nope. It doesn’t. It looks a dude who sings songs in a punk band. A dude who makes art. It’s art that may not be for everyone, and it may be offensive to some, but that’s the nature of art.
Personally, I’m most disappointed in the fact that Bend lost another heavy show here, after Red Fang rolled its van, a planned Skeletonwitch concert fell through and High On Fire canceled its show rather than brave snowy mountain passes, all in the past three years. As a fan of punk rock and metal, we don’t get enough of this stuff as it is; for these kinds of acts to be so close to Bend only to have the shows go up in smoke is such a bummer.
If police received complaints about this show based on the content of the music or the name of the band, that’s a shame. And it’s a shame that whatever complaints were made were augmented by a lack of permitting on the part of organizers.
Most of all, it’s a shame this show is happening in Salem tonight.