Popular music venues in Williamsburg and Tribeca hosted a festival featuring skinhead bands this past weekend, some of which promote white-supremacist views and have been denounced by anti-racist anarchists.

Black Bear Bar in Williamsburg was scheduled to host both nights of Oi! Fest, but canceled Sunday's shows following social media backlash. The festival was then moved to the Tribeca nightclub Santos Party House. Hours after the Sunday show, DNAInfo reported that Santos Party House had confirmed its closure. The venue did not respond to multiple requests to confirm whether its closure was related to the white-supremacist aspect of the event.

The blog NYC Antifa posted a warning about the impending festival on Saturday afternoon, urging readers to contact Black Bear Bar in protest (for those not familiar, antifa is a label used by anti-racist anarchists who oppose what they deem fascist ideologies, sometimes by busting skulls).

"The challenge is that venues don't want to know about the politics of what they are booking," NYC Antifa member Damien, who declined to provide his last name for fear of retribution, said on Monday. "They just want people to come in and buy drinks. If you're going to do this, we're going to let people know and people aren't going to want to come to your venue."

While Black Bear ultimately apologized for Saturday's show—denying that it was aware of any neo-Nazi ties—the bar also made early attempts to squash the accusations, posting pictures of women and people of color at the show in an apparent effort to prove that it was not condoning white-supremacists.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a non-profit with a stated mission of monitoring domestic hate groups, issued its own denunciation of Oi! Fest this month, breaking down how the genre of "hate music" has evolved to include far-right skinheads from around the world. While the symbols on display aren't necessarily as explicit as swastikas, the racist messaging is still strong. "Far-right skinheads of different races who harbor shared bigotries are now occupying the same spaces," they write.

AFFECT, another anti-Fascist group, tweeted from outside Santos Party House on Sunday night, documenting stickers with hateful messages like "Burn Your Local Mosque." There were no arrests or complaints filed for either venue this weekend, according to a spokeswoman for the NYPD.

The Oi! genre originated in London in the late 1970s, as a working-class rejection of what some Punk fans deemed a genre-shift to accommodate over-educated fans. A recent Guardian essay quotes the British music critic Garry Bushell, who coined the term "Oi!" to describe the opposite of "bands who dropped literary references you wouldn't have got if you didn't have a masters' degree."

According to SPLC, "Most Oi! fests and concerts book bands who offer little-to-no political overtones or messages. Their songs and the shows themselves often revolve around drinking and other subcultural markers, like banal expressions of patriotism."

But Oi!, known for its skinhead look, has long attracted neo-Nazi musicians and fans, and several of the bands that participated in Oi! Fest disseminate racist views. Tweets from outside Santos Party House and Facebook posts of festival organizers feature the logo for Rock Against Communism, a subset of Oi! defined by the Anti-Defamation League as an umbrella term for "several types of white power/hate music."

Skinhead culture has deep NYC roots. As for allegations of explicit white-supremacist ideology, Greenpoint bar Coco66 canceled an alleged neo-Nazi concert in 2014 following anti-fascist pushback, and East Williamsburg punk venue Acheron publicly apologized for a 2013 concert that featured several of the same bands that headlined this year's Oi! Fest.

Videos from the Saturday night show at Black Bear Bar show concert goers making what appear to be Nazi salutes during an Offensive Weapon set.

The song "New Glory" performed above is a cover, originally performed by Youth Defense League—the skinhead group Eater editor Nick Solares recently apologized for participating in. Solares admitted that he had been a member of YDS as a teenager, adding that he was "deeply ashamed."

Gawker recently reported that YDS has described itself as a "white-pride" group. The "New Glory" lyrics confirm this sense of superiority:

'Cos only the strong will ever be hailed
It will be our new nation, built by blood and brawn
And for years to come this will be our marching song
Take it for granted as the same old story
We'll hang 'em high as we hail new glory

Screenshots from earlier this month also show Oi! Fest organizer Dennis Davila of the NYC record label United Riot Records seeming to discourage attendees from open displays of racism. (Davila did not immediately respond to a request for comment; the "Kyle" reference seems to refer to the Seen Kyle meme):

053116_Dennis.png
(via Facebook).

Black Bear posted a lengthy apology statement on Sunday afternoon, taking "full responsibility for the lack of oversight" that prompted it to host Oi! Fest.

In a separate statement, the event promoter, identified as Curtis, said that Oi! Fest was pitched to them vaguely. (Critics have countered that Black Bear has a documented history of booking neofascist acts).

"The show was explained to us as a punk rock show and underlying details were obscured," a Black Bear management representative said via e-mail. "We missed the mark."

Reached for further comment on Monday evening, the representative reiterated that "the full reality of the situation wasn't clear until the day of the event," adding, "we were not involved at all with the moving of the event to Santos Party House. As far as we were concerned the event was done." He added that Curtis was a trusted, third-party promoter.

Santos Party House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the decision to host Oi! Fest, but venue manager Sean Kane told DNAInfo that, "I don't sit here and do a background check on people," adding, "as long as they don't display aggression towards people in my venue I'm not going to have an issue here."

The rapper Despot, a Santos Party House co-founder, distanced himself from the controversy on Monday, tweeting that he had no knowledge of the show, and that "once I was made aware I tried to put a stop to it and was ignored." He also tweeted that he is Jewish, apparently as further proof that he would not promote a neo-Nazi event.

The musician and Santos co-owner Andrew WK did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Correction: An earlier version of this piece identified New Island Entertainment as the promoter for Oi! Fest. While that company books some programming for Black Bear, it did not book this show in particular. Black Bear is managed by 70 N. 6th St. LLC, a company that shares management with New Island.