Artists / Bands, News — March 5, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Future Music Festival Asia 2015 In Doubt As Police Reject Application Over Drug Concerns

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The future of Future Music Festival Asia is up in the air as Livescape, the concert organizers for the festival, submit an appeal to the Minister for Home Affairs to hold the event after their application was rejected for a second time.

 

In a similar case to notoriously hedonistic festival Kazantip being cancelled in Cambodia earlier in February, authorities have rejected the application for Future Music Festival to be held in Singapore, this time citing concerns over the drug deaths in Kuala Lumpur during the festival last year.

During last year’s festival, the third to be held in Kuala Lumpur, concert organizers were forced to cancel the final day of the event after six people died of drug overdoses and 16 people were hospitalized for drug related reasons. 19 people were arrested across the festival and others were later charged in Kuala Lumpur. Those due to attend the festival’s final day were refunded the cost of their tickets, resulting in a huge economic loss for Livescape.

 

According to Channel News Asia, Livescape applied for an application for a permit on January 12 which was rejected on January 29 due to serious concerns over the drug abuse controversy at the Kuala Lumpur festival last year. An amended application was submitted to the Police Licensing & Regulatory Department on February 16 and again rejected on February 27 addressing drug use concerns by saying security personnel will conduct random drug tests and the number of security and medical staff would be increased. Following the second rejection, Livescape then submitted an appeal to Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean on March 3. A lawyer acting on behalf of Livescape Singapore, Mr Samuel Seow, has said that organizers expect a response by Friday.

 

Following the Channel News Asia report, Livescape released an official announcement asking for patience from ticket holders whilst they attempt to resolve the situation.

“At the moment we have gone up to the highest level to appeal for the festival to proceed. No final decision has been made as yet and we urge you to stay calm and have faith. Regardless, the show must go on.

We would also like to go on record to address the Singapore Police Force’s concerns regarding the isolated drug related incidents that happened in Malaysia last year. Isolated incidents which happened outside of Singapore cannot and do not carry any implication that FMFA is in any way linked to drug use nor is it any indication that there will be drug abuse at the event. FMFA firmly stands behind our goal of creating a drug-free event for our festival goers to enjoy, and we are working with the best international organisations in the world with a combined 50 years of experience working on similar events to ensure that this is the case.

To the fans, at the moment, we are working relentlessly around the clock to fight for your right to party. We ask that you give us 48 hours to work on the issue at hand. An update will be provided then.

In the meantime, join us in making our voices heard. Music unites, and we believe that together, we can make a stand for our right to ‪#‎KeepFMFAAlive‬”

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This comes as little consolation to fans who have purchased tickets and accommodation already and have taken to social networking sites to vent their frustration. Other ticket purchasers have lamented the fact that refunds from last year’s event still had not been processed almost one year on from the original event.

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Livescape have launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #KeepFMFAAlive which has gained some momentum on Twitter.

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Livescape co-founder Iqbal Ameer has been reported as saying that there are contingency plans in place if police objections are upheld. The event, due to be held at the 140,000m² Changi Exhibition Centre would need to move headlining acts like The Prodigy, Afrojack, Avicii and Fat Boy Slim to various other venues across Singapore whilst refunds will be offered to patrons that wish them. Ameer went on to say that already around half of the S$5 million dollars had been spent on the event already and that there would be catastrophic financial losses if the event was unable to go ahead as planned at the Changi Exhibition Centre.

 

Around 15,000 tickets have already been sold to the event and organizers are still confident that the event can go ahead as planned. “All is not lost, it’s still under review. One of the main reasons why the Future Music Festival came to Singapore in the first place is because of Singapore’s no-tolerance stance on drugs.” In the meantime, we’ll keep you updated with any news as it comes to light.

 

Comments

  1. […] but still sell tickets like normal. That’s irresponsible. They better prepare money to refund. Some friends told me their money from the KL gig still pending. You see what he post on […]

  2. […] but still sell tickets like normal. That’s irresponsible. They better prepare money to refund. Some friends told me their money from the KL gig still pending. You see what he post on […]