Better access to water could have prevented deaths, say partygoers

Better access to water could have prevented deaths, say partygoers

KUALA LUMPU - Better access to drinking water and awareness about staying healthy during concerts could have prevented the deaths of six people at last year's Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA).

Some of those who attended the concert said the high cost of water and the few places where partygoers could buy it, were among the causes for heatstroke and dehydration.

Communications manager Eileen Woo, 24, said a 500ml bottle of water was sold at RM10 (S$4), adding that she ended up only drinking mostly beer.

"The organisers shouldn't have charged for water. It was humid and the haze was bad. Not having enough water just made it worse," said Woo, who brought her own gas mask to the festival as protection from the haze.

Pharmaceutical consultant Tarun Dev, 28, said partygoers were not allowed to bring their own water bottles into the stadium.

"Places to buy water were few and far between within the festival grounds.

"There were long lines, and some of them didn't want to sacrifice their time lining up to buy drinks and miss out on the fun.

"A lot had to do with awareness. I kept myself hydrated. People should have been gi­­ven guidelines on precautions before attending such events," said Tarun.

Penang World Music Festival 2015 artistic director Brian Kwan said he found himself dehydrated once at an earlier concert.

"I was just having too much fun, watching shows and chasing after acts. It was probably the adrenaline rush, which kept my body going, but when I slowed down, I felt it. If you are a smoker or drank alcohol it would have been worse," he added.

He said concertgoers in South Korea ate and drank more during such events compared with Malaysians.

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