News — April 14, 2015 at 8:51 pm

Future Music Festival Asia denied permit over drug concerns

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Drug related incidents at previous Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) events and the inability of organizers to assuage authorities concerns that they could prevent such activities were cited as the reason the event was banned earlier this year.

 

In reply to a question from Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng, Second Minister for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said the cancellation of the festival planned for Singapore earlier this year was based on serious concerns from police about the potential for drug abuse at the event.

 

The event organizers, Livescape (in partnership with Australian based Future Music Festival) had been engaged by the Police and Central narcotic Bureau to assess their security plan on multiple occasions. The event was under heightened scrutiny after a number of drug related deaths during FMFA 2014 in Kuala Lumpur as well as a more than 100 drug related arrests during the Sydney event just weeks before the event was to be held.
The event, due to take place at the Changi Exhibition Centre on March 13 and 14, was cancelled by organizers on March 8. Many ticketholders were left significantly out of pocket, having  purchased travel and accommodation packages from outside Singapore but no longer having an event to attend.

 

“It would have been irresponsible to allow it to be held in Singapore without adequate safeguards and assurances”

 

“Considering the repeated drug-related incidents, including deaths and serious illness, that had occurred at the FMFA and FMF (Future Music Festival) events in Kuala Lumpur and Australia respectively, it would have been irresponsible to allow it to be held in Singapore without adequate safeguards and assurances,” said Mr Masagos.

“The event would also not have been consistent with our zero-tolerance stance towards drugs. Therefore, the police decided to reject the application for this event to be held in Singapore.” 

Mr Masagos went on to say that the organizers had continued to advertise and market the event without having obtained the proper approval from the relevant authorities.

 

“The event would also not have been consistent with our zero-tolerance stance towards drugs.”

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Since the cancellation of the event, Future Music Festival has gone on to say they will no longer be running the event in Australia.

“We’re very sad to say that we’ve decided 2015 was the last year for Future Music Festival.  It’s been a difficult decision to make but in the end travelling the festival in its current form across Australia simply doesn’t make financial sense anymore.  We want to thank you all for your support over the years – we’re grateful for all the unforgettable times we’ve shared together.”

Whilst no specific mention was made of Future Music Festival Asia, it seems unlikely the event will continue in the future. The basis of the decision to disallow the festival to continue in Singapore raises concerns about the viability of Ultra Music Festival, another large scale electronic music festival set to touch down on Singapore’s shores later on this year.

 

 

After the cancellation of the event, Livescape Asia released an official statement that they will be refunding all ticket purchasers who had purchased ticket to the event. The refund process is expected to take between 30 – 45 days to complete from March 10, when the process was initiated.