Clifton, NJ club Dingbatz has been under fire for initially kicking racist bands Nyogthaeblisz, Intolitarian and NortherN off Saturday's (10/20) Vengeance Fest III and then letting them play anyway. "Y'know Dingbatz we really don't like being lied to," the NYC Antifa Twitter account posted. The owner of the club has now posted a statement insisting that he "did not authorize the bands in question to play," and that the outsider promoter who rented the venue made the last-minute decision to let them play, unbeknownst to the club's owner and manager at the time. Here's his full statement:

To our rock and metal community, it is with sincere regret shared by all members of the Dingbatz team that we write this statement to express our apologies to our customers, bands, friends, neighbors, patrons and our entire music community for our part in Vengeance Fest that took place on October 20th at our venue. We understand the anger being expressed and want the opportunity to clarify what happened.

First, it is apparent to everyone who knows Dingbatz and the people who work here that we are far from racist. Our crowds and our staff have always been very respectful to anyone who enters the venue and we have always welcomed people here from all races, creeds, genders, religions, etc. Over the years we have done multiple charity events and anti-discrimination events and will continue to do so.

This was not a show put on by our promoter. This was an outside, out of state promoter who rented out our venue. As soon as we were made aware, 3 days prior to the event, that some of the bands were being identified as racist we decided to cancel the bands. We reached out to the promoter and he told us he would cancel the bands in question. Unfortunately, personal issues kept me away from the bar on the night in question and our manager had chosen not to work the event due to the controversy. When I arrived at my bar after being at the hospital with my son I found out the bands had played. The next day I was asked to do an interview along with the promoter to discuss what happened. Unfortunately, the way I phrased it in the interview made it sound like I allowed them to play. To be clear, I DID NOT authorize the bands in question to play.

After reading the lyrics and hearing the anger from our community I do understand lines must be drawn and we will do our due diligence when booking shows, even shows that are booked by outside promoters. I am truly sorry to have hurt anyone in our community and vow to make sure Dingbatz continues to prove itself an ally against hate. We do not endorse or condone the racism exhibited by the bands that played and we will work to pay back our community in the near future. We sincerely regret our role in allowing this to happen and look forward to proving ourselves a place where everyone feels welcome.

Sincerly and respectively,

Freddy Dingo
Dingbatz Owner

Freddy Dingo (real name Fred Barnes) had previously told that "you get put in a no-win situation in whatever you do here" when he was asked why the bands were back on the show. "Being an owner of the club you look at it as freedom of speech. When does the censorship issue come in and where does it escalate from here?"

The show's outside promoter, Kyle Powell of KEP Productions, did take credit for the decision in that same interview. "It was a decision I made because the guys had flown in to play and there were many people here to see them. I made that decision. It should not fall on the club." Powell also said, "People are hell bent on being PC and get offended. If you’re offended then fine don’t attend the show, but don’t try to ruin it for the people who have traveled and paid to see the artists play."

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