Police Chief Paul Tucker attended the afternoon meeting at Old Town Hall along with representatives from the Fire Department, Building Department and mayor’s office.
Tucker said he is looking into the situation, investigating reports of possible protests and talking with the concert promoter about the police presence that may be needed.
The chief said his only concern is the “safety of the venue...and making sure from a public safety standpoint all of the bases have been covered. We don’t make judgments on the type of music or the message.”
Gordon College officials identified the promoter who signed the rental agreement as Thomas Nolan.
A man who contacted The Salem News and identified himself as the local promoter described Death in June as a “neofolk” group that plays “romantic acoustic music.”
The group is led by Douglas Pearce, also known as Douglas P., and was founded in Britain in the early 1980s, he said.
He said claims the group is neo-fascist or associated with an extreme ideology are “completely unfounded.” While acknowledging the group may have used controversial symbols, he said they also use rainbow, Nordic and gothic symbols.
The man said he booked Death in June at a Cambridge club on its last U.S. tour in 2005 and that the entire tour went off “without a hitch.” He also said the group toured Israel without any problems.
He contended that “antifa,” or militant left-wing groups, have protested in past years and are trying to stir up trouble on this U.S. tour.
Death in June was scheduled to play in Los Angeles last night and make stops in San Francisco; Austin, Texas; Chicago and West Palm Beach before coming to Salem next Thursday, according to the group’s website.
Some of the group’s concerts have been canceled due to past controversies, according to a Wikipedia website.