Egypt: Heavy metal concert cancelled, three arrested
Concert promoter and musician Nader Sadek, along with two others, were arrested by Giza police when they stopped a heavy metal concert on 4 June 2016 featuring Brazilian band Sepultura before it even started due to a lack of permits, reported Ahram Online on 5 June 2016.
Head of the Giza Security Directorate General Ahmed Hegazy told Ahram Online that they stopped the concert because organisers did not have the “necessary permissions” and dispersed the concert-goers.
According to a representative of the Nile Country Club, the original venue for the show, who spoke anonymously to Ahram Online, Sadek and the rest of the organisers only had permission from the Musicians Syndicate, but as the country club is a tourist location, they needed other permissions as well.
Information remained unclear whether Sadek and two others were arrested that evening, but Sadek posted on his Facebook page in the early morning of 8 June 2016 that he had been released from prison, and confirmed the same with IQ magazine.
Though there was an attempt to change venue at the last minute to a private villa, Sepultura and the rest of the metal bands, including Sadek’s own band, did not play.
Ahram Online reported that several assistants to the organisers now fear being persecuted as the matter is being investigated by the national security agency.
Fear of heavy metal returns
This is not the first time this year that Sadek has found himself in the middle of the heavy metal controversy in Egypt. In February 2016 a heavy metal festival he organised, entitled ‘Masters of the Middle East’, and performed in, was met with a renewed worry of the music style, causing two bands to drop out.
Further, in the days leading up to the festival, Hani Shaker, the current controversial head of Egypt’s Musicians Syndicate appeared on several tv channels saying that he had cancelled performances of two “Satanic bands” and called the fans “devil worshippers” who “dressed in a weird style”.
The unfavourable perception of heavy metal dates back to the 1990s in what has been called the “devil worshippers saga” when a group of some 100 teenagers were arrested in a police raid while partying in a neglected mansion. The teenagers were charged with drug possession and accused of practicing demonic rituals. For years after anyone wearing a black t-shirt or a belt with a large buckle and listening to hard rock was viewed with suspicion by conservatives.
Photo of Sepultura in Egypt from band’s Facebook page
» Ahram Online – 6 June 2016:
Interview: “We are happy to share the struggle of Egyptian metalheads”, says Sepultura metal band
» IQ Magazine – 6 June 2016:
Egyptian promoter arrested over Sepultura show
» Ahram Online – 5 June 2016:
Egypt police stop Sepultura heavy metal concert for “incomplete permissions”
» Daily News Egypt – 5 June 2016:
Police suspend concert of Brazilian metal band Sepultura in Egypt
» El Watan News – 5 June 2016:
Giza police stop concert for “Satanists” inside Villa Boktopr and arrest three
» Freemuse.org – 8 March 2016:
Egypt: Fear of heavy metal returns