No stranger to censorship, Alice Cooper‘s “Theatre of Death” tour won’t be making its scheduled December 11 stop at Tampere Arena in Tampere, Finland.
Cooper has been banned from performing in Finland’s third largest city because the organization that owns and operates the facility says it is based on “Christian values” and prohibits “performances including representation of false gods, demons, evilness and forces of darkness and all these kind of symbols, words or markings,” it noted in a statement.
Harri Wiherkoski, managing director of Tampere Areena Oy (Tampere Arena Limited) said, “Artists who express suspicious values from Christianity’s point of view cannot be allowed to perform at the venue.”
The concert has been relocated 110 miles south of Tampere to Barona Arean in Espoo, a western suburb of Helsinki. Residents of Tampere are being offered a discount on their already purchased tickets because of the distance they will have to travel.
“We hope fans from Tampere denied access to these ‘suspicious values’ can come to Helsinki and make their own judgment,” Cooper’s management said in a statement. “What’s really ‘suspicious’ to us is the act of judging something that one has never seen, heard or otherwise experienced. There’s nothing like an open mind and, clearly, Mr. Wiherkoski has nothing like one.”
Censorship of Cooper dates back more than 35 years, including the 1972 BBC ban for the “Schools Out” video, which he also performed at this spring’s ASU graduation where President Obama delivered the commencement address; the 1973 ban from performing in Binghamton, NY.; a proposed ban from the Soviet Union in 1974; and in 1990 the Greek Orthodox Church called for Alice to be expelled from Athens, to name a few.