STRYPER Defend Decision To Cancel Mexican Festival Appearance, Keep Show Deposit

Christian hard rockers STRYPER have issued a statement defending their decision to cancel their appearance at the Revolution Metal Festival in Mexico City and keep the $56,500 deposit paid out to the band by a small Mexican "underground church," who served as the promoter for the event. The group's statement reads as follows:

"Hello everyone, I wanted to take a moment to share a few things with you.

"So many things have been said from many people regarding the cancelation of the Mexico City show.

"A very disturbing part to this story is the fact that some people choose (Steve Rowe [MORTIFICATION], for example) to question and judge our motives yet at the same time do so without knowing all the facts.

Here are some facts that many of you may not know:

1) STRYPER did originally cancel with the promoter before any money was paid out to the band — months before the show!

2) The promoters started calling the band members asking STRYPER to re-consider. We directed them to management.

3) It was not a good time for the band to perform (management explains this in the statement they released) therefore it would be MUCH more expensive for the band to come to Mexico.

4) We had to pay for flights to Boston, hotels, per diem, rental cars, float for other expenses (strings, batteries, drum heads, tape, tools, cables, parts, fuel), as well as being obligated to pay management (who had an office full of people working on this show for over 6 months) and we were obligated to pay the band and crew. Our time was taken from our other jobs, and other shows that were 'on the table' were cancelled to do the Mexico City show. It was VERY costly to us and those costs and expenses had to be paid. Also, time after time contracts are breached. If the promoter breaches, the Agency, Management, and band legally have the right to keep the deposit that was paid by the promoter. If the band breaches the agreement, they are required to send the money back. This was part of the agreement and it was made very clear to the promoter within the agreement that was signed.

5) The work visas were not in place and this is what led to the final decision to not go the Mexico. It's been said that this was the fault of management — not true! It's been said that the work visas were in place — not true! Management did all that they could do to resolve the work visa issue. My question is — if it was the fault of our management then why didn't any of the other bands have work visas? If you read all the statements from all those involved you will find that no one had work visas. Why? The promoter did not provide them. We have, on many occasions, been detained by customs due to improper paper work or not having work visas. We have had to pay obscene amounts of money to customs in order to get in to a particular country to perform. Also, to bring our equipment in to the country. Again, there are times when you have to use wisdom and you can't blindly say 'just trust in The Lord'. God calls us to be smarter than that. We have learned the hard way and we don't make those same mistakes anymore.

6) Once management knew that this show was just too much for the promoter to handle, they pleaded with the promoter to re-schedule and set another date - the promoter did not take the advice and decided to move forward with the date. It's been said that they could not change the date? Any show date can be changed that far in advance. It's been done many, many times before in the industry and will be done many, many times again in the industry. It happens all the time.

"All the promoter had to do was tell management that the work visas were a problem or the finances were a problem or the arrangements were a problem — he did not. He continued to to tell our management that everything was fine and in place — it was not.

"Now, all the facts aside, we are a band and a ministry that cares for people and we are 100% serious about our faith, our message and the gifts and the calling that God has given to us. We will do all that we can to help the promoters and the people in Mexico.

"Regardless of what Steve Rowe, NARNIA, SAVIOUR MACHINE and or the people that represent them say, we love the Lord with all of our hearts, minds and souls and only He know our hearts and motives. We also rely upon Him for guidance and wisdom. We are a ministry but this is also our job, our livelihood. It seems impossible for Steve Rowe, NARNIA, SAVIOUR MACHINE, MORTIFICATION and those who believe their false views, to comprehend this fact. Do I have the right to protest other Christian bands for what they ask as a guarantee for performing a show? Of course not! It's none of my business. There are Christian bands and Christian artists that I know personally that get paid $150,000, $200,000, $250,000 per show and sometimes even more. Is it my business — absolutely not! This is a job as well as a ministry for STRYPER. We have to be concerned with the business side of things as well as the spiritual side. It may not be this way for the other bands involved but it is for us. Once again, this is our livelihood as it is our Ministry. If we heard that MORTIFICATION received money to do a show and pulled out due to breach of contract on the promoters side would we question why? Of course not! Would we force ourselves into their business and judge them? Of course not! Nor would be say anything about what they are asking to perform. It's not our business. We have not personally spoken to any of you who choose to judge and attack our Ministry without knowing all the facts and without hearing both sides, but one can only hope that as you sit there reading these words that you will feel convicted for the the contradictions in your faith, and that someday you'll find peace."

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