Pennsylvania’s Agitator have apparently been kicked off of Fluff Fest 2012, scheduled to be held this July in the Czech Republic. The band reported that they were told they could no longer play after organizers of the festival became aware of the band wearing “patriotic shirts” at a show three years ago, although the band claims it was done in jest. No official statement about the cancellation from Fluff Fest organizers has surfaced yet.
As a result of the festival appearance falling through, Agitator have also said their European tour alongside Code Orange Kids may not happen, although they also suggest in the post linked above that they may still do the UK portion of the original itinerary, with Code Orange Kids still planning to do the entire tour.
In related news, Some Will Never Know (in an article about the political shift being felt in the European hardcore scene that can be read here) have noted that Fluff Fest organizers are also getting pressure to cancel Defeater’s appearance at the event as well for similar reasons of patriotic affiliation.
UPDATE: Agitator have given us a link to one of the photos that stirred the controversy, which can be seen here.
UPDATE (04/03): I emailed with the organizers of Fluff Fest a number of times to get their comments on this situation and was told at first they would send me a statement, then that one would be posted on their Facebook page… neither of these things has happened.
UPDATE (04/10): Well it seems the controversy has continued to bubble on the B9, leading to Dave “Sausage” of Six Feet Under Records posting the email Agitator supposedly received from Fluff Fest regarding the issues they had with the band. Notably, the fest organizers mistook an image of the Zodiac killer used by the band on their demo cover (viewable here) as being somehow related to white power symbolism (possibly mistaken for a KKK member). Here’s the email the band reportedly received:
my name is tomas and i confirmed agitator for a festival we organize in summer, called fluff fest. a friend just pointed me to your website, to some pictures etc. i am talking about your singer wearing t-shirt with crossed guns in front of american flag saying “protect our american traditions” and t-shirts and tapes with a white power symbol. i have no idea what you as a band wanted to say by that, but we strongly believe that any form of patriotism or nationalism is tottaly wrong and dont think it makes sense if 2 parties with totally opposite believes would work together…
i would obviously be happy to find out more about your stands on mentioned topics. but generally we dont feel comfortable with seeing people wearing national flags, white power symbols etc at our festival…”