Heavy metal festival will take place

METAL music festival Gothoom will be held in Nová Baňa, Banská Bystrica Region, despite protests. The district prosecutor’s office has found the motion, submitted by some citizens who were saying the songs offend the Christians and were calling on the town to stop the concerts, unfounded. Though it recommended the town to monitor the songs, the mayor has not confirmed whether he will do it.

METAL music festival Gothoom will be held in Nová Baňa, Banská Bystrica Region, despite protests. The district prosecutor’s office has found the motion, submitted by some citizens who were saying the songs offend the Christians and were calling on the town to stop the concerts, unfounded. Though it recommended the town to monitor the songs, the mayor has not confirmed whether he will do it.

According to the decision of the prosecutor’s office, the town of Nová Baňa should appoint a person speaking English to attend the festival and check whether the songs violate human rights and freedoms, the TASR newswire reported.

Nová Baňa Mayor Ján Havran, however, says that the possible violation of law should be checked by the prosecutor’s office.

“Videos with transcripts of texts are publicly accessible on the internet,” Havran said, as quoted by the Sme daily. “If their promotion really leads to offending the religious beliefs, the prosecutor’s office should launch the criminal prosecution on its own and not wait for the supervision of the town.”

The critics of the festival, which is scheduled for August 13-16, were complaining over too much noise and performance of bands that, according to them, advocate intolerance and violence based on religion. They even launched a petition that has been recently supported by Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) MEP Anna Záborská. Since the town has not taken any steps for which they were calling in the petition, they turned to the prosecutor’s office.

The organisers have denied any accusations and have already taken steps to meet new requirements. For example, they moved the festival to the other side of a lake in order to reduce the noise reaching the rest of the town, and moved the planned end of concerts from 3:00 to 0:30.

Organiser Peter Beťko says that the critics lack the broader picture in their minds when it comes to metal music.

“They take it more seriously than those of us who listen to it,” Beťko told Sme.

He plans to sign an agreement with bands that during the performance and between songs they would abstain from anything that might offend the others, but will not interfere into the songs.

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