After five years without a show, Heavy Metal has returned to Baghdad in Iraq reports The USA Today. The ongoing violence in Iraq had previously made it too unsafe for a large gathering but increasing stability in the region has made it possible.
Still, metal fans still face a steep battle in Iraq, suffering discrimination from both Sunni and Shia sects. The story explains:
Sunnis accused metal fans of supporting the Mahdi Army because they wore black like members of the Shiite militia, Adnan says. Shiites, meanwhile, suspected fans of being from al-Qaeda because their unkempt goatees resembled the mustacheless beards popular among hard-line Sunni Islamists.
The plight of independent musicians in Iraq was documented in the critically acclaimed film Heavy Metal in Baghdad which also saw the producers of that documentary raising money to help Acrassicauda escape to Turkey.