In August of 2007, British woman Sophie Lancaster, 20, and her long-time boyfriend Robert Maltby, 21, were viciously attacked by five or more teenage males who repeatedly kicked and stomped both of their heads. The attack was initially on Maltby alone but as Lancaster began to cradle him in an attempt to protect him from the beating, the assailants focused their efforts on her as well. Maltby was left with lasting brain damage as a result of the assault, but while in a deep coma doctors said she'd never wake from, Sophie Lancaster passed away 13 days later on August 24. The couple are believed to have been "singled out not for anything they had said or done, but because they looked and dressed differently," according to a prosecutor. Lancaster and Maltby were known for dressing in gothic fashion and were referred to as "moshers" by witnesses of the crime.

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Recently, while on the event page for Napalm Festival—what was to be an upcoming metal fest in Manchester, United Kingdom—a promoter for the event with Napalm Promotions decided to chime in amid a thread already filled with horribly insensitive and disrespectful comments—regarding Sophie Lancaster—with his own despicable brand of incivility. As a result of the comments made by John Owen McTeggart and the others in the thread, almost every band on the bill decided to remove themselves from the festival with one act in particular, Wolfbastard, explaining, "[we] will not be playing Napalm Fest on the 12th September or the Christ Agony gig on 9th October due to the recent happenings which we do not support and are fucking out of order. We will have no dealings with Napalm Promotions in future." As the original post has since been removed, you can view the comment thread in question at the end of this article via a screengrab from Metal Underground, but be warned: it is disturbing, probably upsetting and it's NSFW.

Soon after the festival's scheduled acts began refusing to play, the Napalm Promotions commenter issued the following statement:

“As I am sure everybody is aware, a few disgusting things were said yesterday by myself about Sophie Lancaster. I know that an apology is nowhere near enough but this is my best effort to right the wrong I know I have done. I apologise for how long this reply has took. The reason I have taken so long to comment is because I have been at work and have been unaware of the full extent of the situation until now.

Yesterday, I said some immature and disgusting things. Things that i saw as being just that, stupid and immature jokes. What was posted was not meant to offend anybody, although I understand now just how stupid and irresponsible what I said was. And how offensive it must of been to those reading. It was ill minded of myself in thinking of making jokes so morbid. I understand that this is 100% unacceptable and fully regret my ill-mannered remarks. I personally feel a lot of regret for what I said, as I am sure you think I deserve, to which I agree. I must take responsibility and hold my hands up and admit that, I was 100% out of order. I feel ashamed to have let my family friends and also everybody who attending Napalms events down.

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I can only apologize for my actions, I have contacted a number of people apologizing directly before issuing this. I am very sorry to anybody who was upset by my disgusting remarks, which I am very ashamed by.

Obviously, Napalm promotions may not be continuing, however I feel if there is anything we can do to ensure the gigs can continue then we will. I don’t think that bands/fans and the other member of Napalm (who wishes to remain anonymous) should have to suffer because of my personal stupidity. Obviously, some bands have now pulled out of Napalm festival which is only in 3 weeks due to my unacceptable behaviour, but if there is any solution to the gigs going forward without myself, for understandable reasons, I do hope they do. Fans and bands should not have to suffer for my stupid mistake.

Once again, I would like to apologize to everybody who is offended by my stupid remarks. My thoughts and very deepest apologies go out to the Sophie foundation and Sophie’s family for any upset I have caused. I am currently in the process of contacting the family of Sophie to apologise personally for any upset caused. I am deeply ashamed of myself, and will not be asking for forgiveness. I understand now what I have done is deeply wrong, and I must face the consequences for my actions.”

In the wake of all the commotion, Manchester Metal Collective set up a replacement show for those who originally planned to attend Napalm Fest and those who wanted to help celebrate the life of Sophie Lancaster. The all-dayer is dubbed S.O.P.H.I.E. (Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred & Intolerance Everywhere) and will take place on September 12 at The Star And Garter in Manchester just as Napalm Festival was supposed to. A Facebook event page with all information is available here.