Update: on June 6th, Sepultura posted a statement on their Facebook page apologizing to their Egyptian fans for the cancellation of the concert, stating that it was out of their control and that it was an issue between the promoter and authorities.
Before I get into this, let me make one thing clear, this is all based on what I was told and on my personal experience; I wasn’t shown documents by anyone. I was attending this event as a journalist, trying to cover a much-anticipated concert, and as a fan. Standing alone in a dark street in 6th of October, hoping the police would only evacuate us and nothing more, waiting for someone to pick me up, I was disappointed on both fronts.
When I heard about the concert I immediately contacted Nader Sadek, who was very welcoming of our coverage of the concert, and even told us that all the paperwork and permits are solid.
The concert was supposed to take place on June 4th, at Nile Country Club. On June 2nd, Nader Sadek posted that the venue has been changed to a villa in Sheikh Zayed. Everything went according to plan, however, and on the morning of June 4th a press conference was held where the band seemed excited to perform in Egypt.
“I think it started on Chaos AD when we kind of achieved including percussive instruments”, Andreas Kisser, Sepultura’s guitarist, says, “we use percussion on some songs and it’s something very natural for us to deal with nowadays”
Sepultura’s sound is known for its unique use of traditional Brazilian percussion in heavy metal songs, “I think it started on Chaos AD when we kind of achieved including percussive instruments”, Andreas Kisser, Sepultura’s guitarist, says, “we use percussion on some songs and it’s something very natural for us to deal with nowadays”. They’re also known for their expressive political lyrics, “I know a song we had called Mask was used, they made a video in Chile of the students fighting against the government”, Derrick Green, Sepultura’s frontman, says, “and they used our song because they felt that it was a strong representation of the government hiding behind those masks”.
Before the concert begins, police showed up with armored trucks and central security trucks. This show of force was a prelude to the concert being cancelled. Not only that, we were all urged to leave immediately. In addition, it was reported later on that Nader Sadek was arrested. Later on that night, someone posted on the group saying the band was about to perform at The Tap. This, again, was stopped by the police, according to people who were present there.
“Disappointed attendees, arrested organizer, and a band that spent the night in their hotel room instead of on stage”
We may never know why the concert was canceled, but as far as we were told, this concert was supposed to have had a permit. And even if the permit was made for a different venue, the concert could have been canceled without involving so much force and arresting the organizer. It seems that for some reason, Sepultura weren’t meant to perform in Egypt. It is ironic how earlier in the press conference, we had discussed with them the stigma against metal music, “it happened with Elvis Presley and The Beatles, the kids were crazy and the dads and moms were crazier”, Andreas says. Not only did this happen, but our local media started already writing stories about how the police stopped a “Satanic” concert!
We don’t have physical proof of Nader having a permit, but this was an ugly situation that could have been easily avoided. Disappointed attendees, arrested organizer, and a band that spent the night in their hotel room instead of on stage, could have been enough; bad, but enough. However, to add insult to injury by calling it a satanist gathering is just uncalled for.