Last month, Hellfest festival announced that they will not drop DOWN from the bill because the local government was treating them with refusing to grant them money if they don’t do so. If fact, festival organizer Ben Barbaud sent them an open letter claiming they just using Anselmo as a tool to not give them money because they’ve been wanting to withhold from Hellfest for quite a long time.
Today, the festival posted a message from Phil to Ben, saying that DOWN would pull of from this year’s HELLFEST, and that they would not perform on any European festivals this year. Instead, HELLFEST have announced the band PUSCIFER (Featuring TOOL‘s James Maynard) as a replacement. The latter will perform under the Valley on Sunday, June 19th and as for FU MANCHU, they’ll play as headliners on Saturday, 18th.
Here’s the letter from Phil to Ben:
Philip H. Anselmo here Brother…
First, and foremost, there is NO WAY I can possibly thank you enough for “fighting the good fight” for me, and ALL of my bands, namely Down in this instance. Your love & backbone will never be forgotten, and from this point on through the rest of my fighting life, I owe you every ounce of praise!
My AWFUL mistake has taken a toll on my reputation, and justly so! However I must point out, you damned-well KNOW ME better than this drunken incident could ever describe.
Hellfest is my heart!!!
And my embarrassment is tremendous, because I only have LOVE for people all over this skirmishing earth.
So my brother, it fucking rips my heart into further pieces to let you know, I don’t think I should do ANY Euro festivals this year.
So PLEASE I BEG YOU, give me this time to get my brain clear, and to come back (if you will have me back) next year my brother, I implore you!
Plus, the re-emergence of the knee injuries have been plaguing me of late as well, so I must address this too, through physical rehabilitation & rest.
Knowing my character, when I put my mind to something THIS DIRE, I come back 100-times better, and THAT’S what the Mighty Hellfest deserves!!!
My love for you & the rest of the gang that makes Hellfest THE TOPS, goes on and on and on…
Much love & respect-
Philip H. Anselmo (and the H. stands for HEALING)”