Egypt police stop Sepultura heavy metal concert for 'incomplete permissions'

Adham Youssef, Sunday 5 Jun 2016

The concert was scheduled to take place at the Nile Country Club, but was later moved to a villa in Sheikh Zayed

Setting of the stage in a private villa in Sheikh Zayed, before the police interfered (Photo: Nader Sadek's promotional photo on the events Facebook page)

Police forces stopped a heavy metal concert featuring popular Brazilian band Sepultura that was planned for Saturday 4 June in Sheikh Zayed. 

General Ahmed Hegazy, head of the Giza Security Directorate, told Ahram Online that police forces stormed into the villa and physically stopped the concert after necessary permissions for the show were not provided.

Hegazy added that security personnel negotiated with the organisers and asked the audience to leave the vicinity of the villa.

The concert was slated to take place on Saturday at the Nile Country Club, but was later moved to a villa in Sheikh Zayed on the outskirts of Cairo.

The organisers posted on social media shortly before the concert that it would still be taking place but would be hosted in a different venue.

A Nile Country Club representative, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed that incomplete permits were the cause of police action.

He told Ahram Online that the Nile Country Club asked the concert organiser, Nader Sadek, to submit a list of official permissions from several official bodies, including one from the National Security Agency, a few days prior to the event.

The representative added that that the organisers only delivered the permission of the Musicians Syndicate.

"We are a touristic location and we always have to receive several permissions. Other locations might not need all this paperwork," the Nile Country Club representative continued.

With the Nile Country Club declining to host the event, the organisers searched for another location in a private villa in Sheikh Zayed, which was announced to the audience shortly before the concert.

According to eye witnesses and assistants to Nader Sadek, shortly prior to the concert, police entered the private villa where the concert was supposed to be held and asked for the permissions.

When the organisers failed to provide the necessary documents, police asked the bands and the crew to leave and remove their equipment. Assistants to the organiser confirmed to Ahram Online that the audience left upon request of the police.

Nader Sadek and the owner of the villa were not available for immediate comment. Some eyewitnesses have claimed that the two were arrested and are currently being interrogated.

General Hegazy noted that a detailed statement will be published by the Interior Ministry's media office.

Privately owned newspaper Al-Watan reported that the Giza Investigation Bureau acquired information that the concert was going to take place in Sheikh Zayed. The report, titled "Police thwart Satanists concert", mentioned that three were arrested, including two of the organisers.

The article and the event's cancellation received wide criticism by metal fans who were eager to see live the international band's first performance in Egypt.

After the concert was cancelled, unconfirmed posts on social media claimed that the band took their gear and performed in a café in Maadi. Ahram Online could not confirm the authenticity of these posts.

Several assistants to the organisers, who planned bus trips and helped bring food to the concert, told Ahram Online that they fear persecution as the matter now is investigated by Egyptian National Security.

Sepultura held a press conference on Saturday and affirmed their excitement to play for the first time in Egypt.

The band told Ahram Online that they are happy to share with Egyptian metal fans their struggle and effort to hold concerts.  

The concert was also supposed to include local heavy metal musicians Nader Sadek as well as bands Gorynov and Perpetual Ferocity.

For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture

Short link: