THE organiser of a black metal festival in Glasgow has been forced to move his headline act to a secret location after claims the band were neo-Nazis.

Dimitris Artofsin who organises November’s three-day Darkness Guides Us event at the Classic Grand said the allegations about the Norwegian band, Taake, were “absurd”.

Controversy has dogged the black-metallers since 2007, when the lead singer Hoest appeared on stage in Germany with a swastika painted on his chest. The band has denied Nazi connections claiming it was “a provocation” and “not any kind of call for right-wing ideology”. They have, they added, only worn the swastika in Germany the one time.

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In 2012, the band were at the centre of an Islamophobia row after they were nominated for a Grammy with a song which included the lines “to hell with Muhammad and the Muhammadans”. Anti-fascists in Glasgow, as well as a number of local musicians, have mobilised against Taake, and promised protests if their set at the festival goes ahead.

It’s understood the Classic Grand has also been under pressure to cancel the booking, That’s led to the promoter moving the musicians to a secret location “less than a 10-minute walk away” to be revealed on the day.

Artofsin said the decision to move Taake – and only Taake – to the new venue was “so things won’t escalate”.

He told The National that the decision to move was “after pressure” to the Classic Grand.

He added: “Taake with numerous statements have denied any such allegations in the past. Bear in mind that Taake have toured the UK at least three times in the past, having three past shows in the city of Glasgow as well, playing in respectful venues without any incident whatsoever.”

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Artofsin said the band’s performance history was proof that they weren’t white nationalists.

He said: “Last year they played in one of UK’s largest metal festivals [Bloodstock] in front of 14,000 people headlining the Sophie Lancaster stage which is dedicated against any form of discrimination and racism.

“Furthermore, the band has done concerts in Israel which certainly makes any claim that they are Nazis absurd.”

Artofsin said black metal music is supposed to be “controversial, dark and full of hate,” but, he added, “the claims of some individuals don’t make Taake either Nazi or racist.”

An anti-fascist group told The Sun they were ready to protest outside if Taake were allowed to perform.

Taake were forced to cancel 10 shows on their North American tour in 2018 after venues pulled out following protests. In a statement released afterwards, Hoest denied that Taake supported Nazi views.