NewsAugust 21, 2023 4:45 PM ET16,777 views

Blackbraid removed from Midgardsblot Metalfestival by security, Sgah’gahsowáh won't overlook racism


UPDATE: More details and video emerge

Over the weekend Native American black metal band, Blackbraid, performed a headlining slot during Friday's lineup at Midgardsblot Metalfestival in Norway.

After the band's performance, a band member supposedly laid down in a seating area and was approached by security. During this interaction, some "unfortunate miscommunication" took place between the band and security.

This initial engagement was settled, however, later in the evening the situation was re-escalated elsewhere backstage and the band was removed from the grounds prior to Blackbraid vocalist Sgah'gahsowáh performing a special flute set at the festival bonfire. According to ThePRP and MetalAddicts, security claimed excessive intoxication as the reason behind the band's removal.

Shortly after being removed Sgah'gahsowáh took to the band's Instagram story to share this original statement:

We have been asked to leave @midgardsblot early because of the color of our skin. I am so
sorry to the fans that came here to see us. I was really looking forward to playing a flute set at the
bonfire tonight. I have been forced to cancel it unfortunately. I hope our fans can understand. Thank you to everyone that came here to see us from the bottom of my heart. I wish the staff here
shared the same values as the beautiful people that have attended the festival. I promise we will
return to Norway one day, to a festival that can appreciate blackbraid for our true worth, regardless of our nationality. We shall return.

However, another statement appeared the following day which gives a more insight into how "the situation was handled poorly on all sides." Sgah'gahsowáh shared that throughout the day festival security had trouble discerning between the native members. That, along with "continious negative interactions with both the security and a handful of festival goers" led to a "tipping point" with security, which ultimately resulted in the band's ejection. 

In the second, more detailed statement Sgah'gahsowáh apologizes for his behavior and "especially the spitting situation." You can read the Blackbraid vocalist's statement in full below:

Regarding the situation at Midgardsblot last evening.

Unfortunately there was some unfortunate miscommunication between the festival organizers at the security regarding the actions of one of our band members, whom momentarily laid down in a sitting area.

While the festival organizers of Midgardsblot were helpful in handling this situation peacefully at first, unfortunately the company handling the security re-escaled the situation a couple of hours later in the evening and this is when the band was officially removed from the festival.

While were originally informed following the initial incident that we could overlook the situation and that the band was still welcome at MgB; this sentiment was seemingly not communicated to the security staff elsewhere in the festival.

It was also at this time that the other native members of the group who were unaware of the situation were being told they need to leave by security as well. At multiple times yesterday, security was not able to the difference between the native band members, leading to further confusion and misunderstanding both sides.

While we have wanted to give the benefit of the doubt in terms of racism, we have unfortunately had continious negative interactions with both the security and a handful of festival goers. The anger which negatively impacted our actions in the moment of this altercation was fueled by many different interactions which finally got a tipping point here.

The situation was handled poorly on all sides.

I apologize for my behavior in the situation, especially the spitting situation, and to the fans who have been upset by the situation, and to the festival staff who tried to handle the situation with security before it got out of hand. I was livid with the treatment we were receiving, and did not handle myself in a responsible way whatsoever. I let my anger get the best of me and my actions were out of line. We are grateful for any opportunity to play in Norway and hope to return one day under different circumstances.

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