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Northside Festival Pulls Shows from Bar Accused of Hosting Neo-Nazi Event

By Gwynne Hogan | June 1, 2016 2:12pm
 Of Montreal played an outdoor show at a previous Northside Festival.
Of Montreal played an outdoor show at a previous Northside Festival.
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Copyright Beowulf Sheehan for Northside

WILLIAMSBURG — A six day North Brooklyn music festival coming up next week has pulled shows it had booked at a bar accused of hosting a neo-Nazi-affiliated event.

Northside Festival, which runs from June 6 to 12 and features acts like Brian Wilson, Kacey Musgraves Wolf Parade and Frankie Cosmos, announced it was working to book new venues for all its shows scheduled for Black Bear Bar.

"Northside shows taking place at Black Bear Bar are in the process of being relocated in light of this weekend’s events," a statement on the festival's website reads. 

"Northside Festival celebrates the diversity of Brooklyn and hopes that all feel welcome at our shows."

Festival organizers declined to comment further on the decision, but it comes days after Black Bear Bar, on N. 6th Street, took heat from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the New York Anti-Fascist Network for hosting "Oi Fest," which critics charged with being a thinly veiled neo-Nazi music festival.

Affiliated bands boasted of being skinheads and posted overtly racist remarks about Muslims on their social media profiles.

Black Bear Bar tried to distance itself from criticism on social media and canceled the second day of events Sunday, May 29, DNAinfo reported.

Still, the bar's logo raised questions among some on social media who said it looks like a Schutzstaffel flag associated with Hitler and the National Socialist German Worker's Party.

Brooklyn Vegan first reported that Northside shows were being moved from Black Bear Bar.

The band Heliotropes, who were supposed to play at Black Bear Bar on June 11, took to Facebook to thank the festival organizers for the change.

"Big ups to Northside Festival for moving all upcoming showcases from a venue that decided to host a right-wing, fascist festival with white supremacist overtones," they wrote.

Northside Festival will be posting updates to their schedule once they secure new venues. To see the full line up click here.