IMDA looking into compensating organiser of black metal band Watain's gig

Watain's Singapore concert was cancelled hours before it was due to start after the Ministry of Home Affairs raised concerns about the band's history.
Watain's Singapore concert was cancelled hours before it was due to start after the Ministry of Home Affairs raised concerns about the band's history.PHOTO: WATAIN/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) is looking into compensating Ravage Records, the organiser of Swedish black metal band Watain's concert.

The gig was supposed to have taken place on March 7 at EBX Live Space but it was cancelled hours before it was due to start after the Ministry of Home Affairs raised concerns about the band's history of denigrating religions and promoting violence.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, its spokesman said on Thursday (March 21): "IMDA has been engaging Ravage Records on the reimbursement arising from the cancellation of the concert. IMDA is currently reviewing Ravage Records' claim and will reach a decision soon."

The concert had initially been given an R18 rating, with strict requirements that included the removal of songs which were deemed to be religiously offensive.

The gig was expected to pull in 150 to 200 fans, with tickets priced between $70 and $166.

On its Facebook page, Ravage Records said it is working on reimbursing ticket buyers and that "everything has been paid for, from the flights to accommodation, to transportation, equipment and venue rental, and even band fees". It adds that the company is waiting "for the authorities' answer for compensation".