Download bosses confirm Down are off the 2016 bill

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Download bosses have confirmed that Down have removed themselves form the bill for this year’s festival.

Earlier today, French festival Hellfest announced that Phil Anselmo had informed them the band would not play any European festivals and now organisers of the Donington event have confirmed Down are off the bill for 2016.

In a statement, Download bosses say: “Down have cancelled all of their remaining European tour dates and therefore will no longer be playing Download festival 2016.”

It comes after Anselmo’s “white power” outburst at the Dimebash event in January. Following the incident, which was captured on film and uploaded to YouTube, Anselmo originally claimed he was making a joking reference to drinking white wine backstage, but he later offered both a video and a written apology.

Hellfest published Anselmo’s letter on their Facebook page. It reads: “My awful mistake has taken a toll on my reputation, and justly so. However, I must point out, you damned-well know me better than this drunken incident could ever describe. Hellfest is my heart.

“And my embarrassment is tremendous, because I only have love for people all over this skirmishing earth. So my brother, it fucking rips my heart into further pieces to let you know, I don’t think I should do any Euro festivals this year.”

There is no word yet from Down as to whether they will add any further North American dates for 2016. They are due to play at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas on August 26.