The northern New Jersey nightclub Dingbatz is under fire for cancelling, then subsequently un-cancelling several nazi bands at this weekend’s Vengeance Fest III. Nyogthaeblisz and Intolitarian – bands signed to, or affiliated with record label Satanic Skinhead Propaganda – were removed from the fest, but then allowed to perform anyway.
Some staff at Dingbatz were unhappy the nazi bands were ultimately allowed to perform and have voiced their disappointment about it. The nightclub, which is a staple in the northern-New Jersey hard rock and metal scene, is receiving a lot of criticism on social media for the flip-flopped decision. One reviewer on the Dingbatz facebook page didn’t hold back:
“Hate has no venue. Unless you include Dingbatz- the musical equivalent
of your step dad’s unwashed above-grou nd pool. I’ve wasted enough $10 words on this place, so allow me to use terms you may sooner understand – eat shit and die. Sound dated? A little tacky? So is Nazism. If nostalgia is the current social climate, I really hope they replace you with a Dipping Dots. Would do more for social unity than your shallow facade of a concert venue ever has.”
Another review from an area teacher was a bit more eloquent:
“I LOVED Dingbatz. As both an active local musician and the General Manager of a local after school music program, I would frequent the venue both independently and with my students and staff.
I was shocked to hear that they had booked Nazi groups for a show, but relieved when I read the statement they posted. They guaranteed that they were unaware of this and that the bands would immediately be cancelled. The show was yesterday. The bands played.
Giving such hatred a platform to preach is bad enough. Making empty promises to rectify such an atrocious act without any intention to follow through is worse.
Bye, Dingbatz. You will not be seeing me or my students there anymore.”
Dingbatz nightclub had originally posted to their Facebook page:
“We at Dingbatz deeply apologize for everything going on right now. We were unaware of any of this until yesterday and can assure you that all three bands in question have been cancelled. We do not support anything that involves any sort of racism, in any form, and will not tolerate it at our establishment.”
Except Dingbatz did in fact allow it in their establishment as all three bands were allowed to perform at the event. The bands were booked by KEP Promotions, specifically Kyle Powell, who claims that protesting the performance of these bands is an overreaction. In a quote on northjersey.com:
“People are hell bent on being PC and get offended. If you’re offended then fine don’t attend the show, but don’t try to ruin it for the people who have traveled and paid to see the artists play.”
Fred Barnes, the owner of Dingbatz, eventually commented on the decision to allow the bands to play:
“You get put in a no-win situation in whatever you do here. Being an owner of the club you look at it as freedom of speech. When does the censorship issue come in and where does it escalate from here?”
Kyle Powell continued:
“It was a decision I made because the guys had flown in to play and there were many people here to see them. I made that decision. It should not fall on the club.”
The band NortherN has also been grouped into mix and was cancelled from the event (and then allowed to perform). Despite their apparent anti-Antifa stance, they took to Facebook to reaffirm they are not a Nazi band:
“CNV / NortherN has never claimed to be a nazi band. If someone can’t understand the true meaning behind Ancient Pagan symbolism this is not our problem… Our lyrics and art have zero to do with political leanings. The thought police should do some actual research before launching a witch hunt… Cheers to all that support our work!!!”