Manowar file lawsuit against Hellfest organisers

Manowar (Image credit: Magic Circle Entertainment)

Manowar have filed a lawsuit against Hellfest organisers after confusion over their non-appearance at last month’s festival.

The metal legends were lined up to headline the French festival on June 21, but just hours before they were due onstage, the festival announced that the set would not take place as Manowar had “decided to leave the site.”

Manowar then hit back with a statement of their own, stressing that they had not cancelled and said that organisers “obstructed our efforts to put on the epic show we had promised.”

And at their concert in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday night, bassist Joey DeMaio gave fans an update on the situation and confirmed that they’ve taken legal action against Hellfest.

He said: “When people talk about Manowar leaving a concert and not playing for some stupid reasons, they have their head up their ass.

“Manowar played out first show for seven people, so if somebody says, ‘Manowar, they have to have a big stage etc’, No. We have to have our people treated like they deserve. And we have to have a promoter that honours their agreements and their contracts and doesn't just pick and choose what they're going to do and what they want to do. That's the fucking reality.

We have to have our people treated like they deserve

Manowar's Joey DeMaio

“We signed a contract in blood in 1983, and the reason I signed that contract is I wanted the world to know Manowar was the one band that will never fuck our fans and never play shit music or make the fans eat shit with bad sound, bad lights and without our equipment. That's the fucking reality.

“I didn't see any of these promoters sign a contract in blood, but they're happy to talk shit about people. I want the world to know the fucking truth, exactly what happened over there. It was the promoters that caused every fucking problem, not Manowar.”

DeMaio pointed to the 30 shows they’ve played on their current tour in 13 different countries and said: “So you tell me who's wrong. You think it's Manowar that's wrong? One country, one show out of all of these, and there's a problem. You tell me who fucked up.”

He continued: “The truth of the matter is we have filed a lawsuit against Hellfest organisers. We don't fuck around. People try to fuck with our fans – nobody's going to push Manowar around. 

“I’m sorry that people travelled from all over the world. You have no idea how sorry I am, how sorry Eric Adams is, how sorry Anders Johansson is, E.V. Martel, our loyal crew. We feel terrible. People flew from all over the world to that place, and Manowar didn't play.”

DeMaio reported that he thinks the band will win the lawsuit and adds: “And when we do, we’re going to take some money and find a country and a city that will have us, and we're going to play a free concert, and the whole world is invited. You have my word that that will happen.”

Meanwhile, DeMaio will head out on a spoken word tour across Germany throughout November

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.