This weekend, the Ventura County Fairgrounds, owned by the State of California, were to play host to the Monster Jam Fest; a three day Halloween themed extravaganza. The event was to be capped off on Sunday night with a heavy metal show featuring the bands Dio Disciples, Static-x, POD, HellYeah, Ill Nino among others. That was until earlier this week when Ventura County Fairground officials sent an email to event promoter and organizer Ezio Van Horst. Fairgrounds sales manager Lilia Kenneally stated according to the Ventura County Star "that the Christian metal band P.O.D. would not be allowed to perform its 2001 No. 1 hit song 'Youth of a Nation' at the event because the lyrics were too 'touchy and controversial,' especially, she said, in light of what happened in Colorado, possibly referring to the movie theater shootings there earlier this year."
The promoter tried to resolve the issue but states the fairground "wouldn't budge." Van Horst had to ask P.O.D.'s manager to have the band censor themselves, something the band has never had happen. The band have never been forbidden from playing an entire song by a venue. "This form of censorship was not taken lightly, and was not considered typical," he said.
The concert has now been moved to the Ventura Theater, a venue that doesn't censor bands. Tickets already sold will be honored and new tickets may be purchased for $35.
Sadly this is nothing new for Ventura, CA. I lived there from age 3-20 and recall several stories of band's having permits pulled from playing at the Fairgrounds. Two that come to mind were Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam (they fought officials and ultimately were allowed to play) and The Grateful Dead (Ventura doesn't like hippies).