Filter’s concert in El Paso, Texas was canceled by the venue after the band posted an anti-Trump joke on their Facebook post advertising the gig. The venue also warned the band against using an upside-down American flag as part of their video display.
The band was scheduled to perform at Speaking Rock Casino on Thursday, but the venue was offended by the flag, along with an anti-Trump joke the band made in the caption of a Facebook video, “This is sound check!! We’re Playing El Paso!!! Get here later and it will be packed!! A lot of Trump bashing! Does anyone know Beto?? Bring Beto!”
According to a separate Facebook post from Filter, the venue told the band they were “getting threatening phone calls and bomb threats from Texans” because of the band’s anti-Trump post. The band claims that their tour manager was napping in the green room and was woken up to 30 security guards and the general manager “shouting expletives and telling the band they were not welcome at the venue.”
Frontman Richard Patrick was also allegedly told by the venue that it was “illegal” to display an upside-down flag as part of their video backdrop, which could refer to Title 4, US Code “The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”
After Patrick said the venue was impeding on their freedom of speech, the venue’s guards allegedly told the band, “The First Amendment does not exist in this Casino. Get the fuck out.”
Following the show’s cancellation, Patrick told Billboard that there were no police involved. “It was all about us. And they still had a show that night; I think the opening band still played,” he said.
Patrick also revealed that despite the fact that the band was “gutted” about the show’s cancellation, the band wouldn’t be pressing charges: “I’m not gonna sue anybody, you know? I mean, according to them, people were calling and threatening us.”
Speaking Rock Entertainment Center general manager Karl A. Maahs told Billboard that Filter wanted the venue to post the upside-down American flag image on their equipment and Patrick told the staff “he wanted to desecrate it with different markings and everything else, and our staff didn’t feel comfortable doing that.”
“We told him he could sing the songs, but we’re not gonna stop in the middle of the show, put an American flag upside-down and desecrate it so we could turn a rock show into a political rally,” Maahs said.
In response to Maahs statement, Patrick said he was “straight-up lying.”
“I told Scott, the production manager, that I would not use the image of the flag being upside down. I swallowed my pride. I conceded because I really wanted to play my concert and told him I wouldn’t use the image. And then all hell broke loose because they didn’t like my Facebook post. And if you’re getting bomb threats, why wouldn’t you call the police, FBI or Homeland Security? I think he’s fully lying,” Patrick said.