THE GATHERING, Concert Promoter Engage In War Of Words Over Toronto Show Cancellation

February 15, 2004

Holland's THE GATHERING have accused the owners of a Toronto venue and associated concert promoters of trying to "rip [them] off financially" during their recent appearance in the city.

THE GATHERING's second Toronto show (Feb. 14),originally announced on Wednesday (Feb. 11) as a last-minute replacement for their canceled New York (L'Amour) date, was called off early Saturday "due to unreasonable demands and a breakdown in communications between THE GATHERING's management and the promoter," according to the promoter's (Inertia Entertainment, web site) original statement announcing the cancellation.

In a posting to the band's official web site dated Feb. 14, THE GATHERING singer Anneke van Giersbergen gave her own explanation for the cancellation, stating, "the Canadian audience made us feel very welcome yesterday [Feb. 13]. Thank you for that. The owner of the venue however, left us playing without a sound system and tried to rip us off financially. We will come with a more detailed explanation later."

Responding to Anneke's posting, a representative for Inertia Entertainment has issued the following statement offering a more detailed account of what (supposedly) transpired Friday night:

"Seeing as [THE GATHERING's management] wants to start the mudslinging, as opposed to a simple statement as I released, here is the story (and many were in the room who can verify this)

"That message [attributed to Anneke] was from [THE GATHERING via] their manager. As signed.

"It is a crock, but they want the mudslinging.

"Their management showed absolutely no respect for their fans.

"They arrived 5 hours late, and then subjected their fans to sub-zero temperatures as they fucked around needing a complete soundcheck, refusing to open the doors to their fans, forcing their fanbase to wait 2 hours in -15 Celsius temperatures. (One IN FLAMES show, the band arrived 15 minutes before doors, and loaded in, doors opened, no soundcheck. When KREATOR played, same scenario, both bands respected their fans and did not subject them to grueling waits due to their negligence).

"Their problem was they wanted a full soundcheck, and then there was a slight crackle in one monitor. Unless the sound was perfect in that one monitor, they were not opening the doors.

"Rather than put my fist through their manager's face, I put it through a wall after 9:30, when the doors were still not open, as this fellow was quite the dickhead.

"Anyone who was there saw the joy on the band's face while they played, so I cannot see Anneke saying that. The band seemed happy.

"For the following day, they wanted me to bring in a whole new monitor system (which I agreed to, to keep fans happy by having the 2nd show) but then things started to fall apart. They wanted me to absorb the cost on it, not include it in the budget for show day expenses. (although any other act who has used it — STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, LACUNA COIL, THE HAUNTED, CEPHALIC [CARNAGE], THE END, OPETH, SYMPHONY X etc.> has been fine with it as is.)

"Last night, I hosted another sold-out show (Wavelength 200) which was booked and confirmed months ago. This event agreed to move their soundcheck time to accomodate the matinee.

"Management said the only way the show was going to happen was if I moved doors to 4:00 and wrapped the show at 8:00, as the band needed rehearsal time. Not possible.

"I was accomodating them, doing them a favor by having a second show. Really I could have cared less.

"I was willing to run around all day to make this show happen for them, including put in a new monitor system (now ask any band who has played or ask them after MWMM on March 13) and they should say the system is fine, but I wanted to try to help keep management happy, which in turn failed.

"In the end, had the band not been negligently late, that crackle could have been repaired, as it was not an issue/existent the previous show, but at 7:30 at night, it is not resolvable.

"But the bottom line was I was not moving the other show, as I had a commitment with them and the showtime for the 2nd show was as is, as arranged 2 days prior.

"I should have put my fist through this guys face instead of a wall. Idiot.

"I feel sorry for the fellow from The End Records. He still has to put up with this fellow for 2 more days."

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