Mexican Drug Wars Prompt Cancellation of Major Music Festival

The Heaven and Hell Metal Fest was all set to go at a fairground east of Mexico City this weekend.  Suddenly, though, the local authorities have ordered the event cancelled.

The official reasons are inadequate plans for fire safety and evacuation in case of emergency.  There was also concerned expressed about planned fireworks displayed.

Sounds good on the surface, but let’s plumb the depths of this one, shall we?


  • The fairgrounds in question have been home to many other major events that attract tens of thousands of people. Some of those other events feature narco corrido bands, groups that sing the praises of the Mexican drug cartels and often speak of much violence.  That subject matter is far, far more dangerous than anything heard from a metal band.
  • Locals weren’t keen on the idea of bands like KISS, Twisted Sister and nearly 50 other like-minded acts dropping in on their township.  They think that the event will attract gangs and other ne’r-do-wells.  Mexico does have a history of being wary against rock festivals for that reason.
  • Supporters of the festival thing that the government is using this to punish certain political interests in the township.
  • There’s always the chance that the drug wars will show up.


More at the Huffington Post.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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