MANOWAR canceled its appearance at Hellfest just hours before the band was supposed to take the stage.
The band was scheduled perform at the annual festival in Clisson, France tonight (Friday, June 21), but Hellfest organizers announced that MANOWAR called off its appearance.
Hellfest issued the following statement: "Despite a presence on site on June 20, the teams and members of the group decided to leave the site.
"The MANOWAR concert, scheduled Friday, June 21, will not take place for reasons beyond our will.
"We are sincerely sorry for all MANOWAR fans and more widely for all the fans attending Hellfest."
MANOWAR has since responded in a statement posted on its official web site and social media pages. "After 18 months of tireless work and preparation we arrived at the Hellfest site yesterday, ready to play today," the band wrote. "The Hellfest organizers obstructed our efforts to put on the epic show we had promised.
"Despite what you may hear or read, the Hellfest organizers did have control over the circumstances that prevented our performance.
"We always have and always will fight to give our fans 100%. Our French fans and press know, if MANOWAR come to France and are unable to perform, the fault does not lie with us. Remember the Élysée Montmartre.
"We are very sorry that you are being made to suffer. We want you to know that everything we do is for our fans. We stand together with all of you as we always have, and we will not allow anyone to lessen the quality of our shows.
"Be very sure the truth will come out!
"Thank you to the Greatest Fans In The World for your continued loyalty and support."
A number of fans expressed their anger and disappointment to the cancelation, with some saying they had traveled from other countries to see MANOWAR perform.
A fan named Michael Pearson commented on Facebook: "I came from South America to Hellfest this year largely because MANOWAR were headlining. Seeing them at Hellfest 10 years ago was one of the best shows of my life and I've been a fan for over 20. I couldn't have been more excited and now more disappointed that these divas have thrown their toys out of the their pram and screwed over thousands of fans for the last show on their last tour. MANOWAR are not kings of metal riding into battle, they are the real wimps and posers that left the hall."
Last month, MANOWAR bassist Joey DeMaio said that the band was "not retiring," despite the fact that it announced its "final" tour more than three years ago. " I'm too young to retire," he told Bulgaria's Z Rock Radio. I'm like Peter Pan — I'm a boy in a man's body. I'm, like, 15 years old in my mind."
Back in May 2016, MANOWAR revealed that it would say "thank you", "farewell" and "goodbye" to its fans on a world tour that would be "bigger and beyond anything" the group had ever done.
MANOWAR released a new EP, "The Final Battle I", in March. Parts II and III of the trilogy will arrive at a later date, inspired by MANOWAR's adventures on the remainder of "The Final Battle".