French Festival Bosses Scrap Eagles of Death Metal Sets
Entertainment| | By Sara Wilkins
Rockers Eagles of Death Metal have been dropped from the line-ups at two French festivals after frontman Jesse Hughes reiterated his controversial theories about the November terror attacks in Paris.
The band was onstage at the Bataclan venue on November 13 when gunmen stormed the concert hall and opened fire, killing 89 people. The massacre was part of a series of simultaneous attacks in Paris.
The musicians were able to escape unharmed, but in March, Hughes sparked controversy by telling Fox Business Network that he believed the entire incident could have been a set-up from the beginning, suggesting the venue’s security personnel had been compromised.
He subsequently released a statement apologizing for his comments, admitting his claims were “unfounded and baseless,” but he has since made similar remarks in a chat with online publication, Taki’s Magazine.
During the interview, Hughes recalled noticing a number of members of the Bataclan security “acting suspiciously” before the gig, and saw “Muslims celebrating in the street during the attack.”
His allegations have prompted organizers behind both the Rock en Seine festival in Paris and the Cabaret Vert gig in northern France to pull Eagles of Death Metal from their upcoming events, which are due to take place in August.
A statement released on Friday reads: “Being in total disagreement with Jesse Hugues’ (sic) recent allegations given in an (interview) with an american media (sic), both Cabaret Vert & Rock en Seine festivals have decided to cancel the band’s performance. We thank you for your understanding.”
Eagles of Death Metal have yet to comment on the cancelled sets.
Hughes’ previous statements about the Bataclan security team sparked an angry response from the venue’s owners, who branded his claims “grave and defamatory.”
“A judicial investigation is undergoing. We wish to let justice proceed serenely,” they added at the time. “All the testimonies gathered to this day demonstrate the professionalism and courage of the security agents who were on the ground on November 13. Hundreds of people were saved thanks to (their) intervention.”