There's nothing that quite says "Ghost have come to town" like a sea of painted Papas, nuns and masked Ghouls turning out to see the band play. But the band's US tour with Amon Amarth hit an unexpected snag on Friday (August 11) when fans were notified ahead of the show at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis, Missouri, that they would be turned away if they wore "face paint or masks covering the face" that were "not removable on request".
Needless to say, this didn't go down well with Ghost's typically exuberant fanbase, especially those who were told to remove face paint that had been meticulously applied pre-show and couldn't enter until they had.
Instagram user @aggressivesquirrelartandstuff wrote that, "We were stopped and my daughter was forced to remove her Papa III makeup. She was devastated and embarrassed beyond words…"
Another fan posted a video on Facebook of her make-up pre-show, writing that "Yeah this was super weird. I was told to wipe my mouth lol. I mean I did bc I’m not missing Ghost over it."
Even some fans just wearing make-up say they were instructed to remove it, the fan Ghostlyghoul writing on Instagram that "I was told my foundation was too light and it looked like facepaint to them so I had makeup wipes given to me and told that the white eye contact didn't help..."
After the show the venue issued a statement apologising for "the confusion" around the policy however, and Ghost themselves shared it with a short, simple and entirely unambiguous statement stating "we will ALWAYS encourage creative expression, we will NEVER stifle it".
Considering how integral fan participation has become to the mythos and lore surrounding Ghost, and bandleader Tobias Forge explicitly lending his support (and delight) at fan-raised events like the Ghost Convention held in a cave called The Devil's Arse, it's hardly surprising that they would be irked at their fanbase being singled out.
Ghost's tour with Amon Amarth continues tonight in Clarkston, Missouri. For the full list of dates, visit the band's official website.