Festival organiser shocked by revelation

Festival organiser shocked by revelation

When contacted by The New Paper, Mr Iqbal Ameer (right), the group chief executive officer of festival organiser The Livescape Group, expressed his shock and dismay at the news.

"For over a year, we've been led to believe that the deaths were due to drug overdose, which obviously impacted the FMFA (Future Music Festival Asia) brand globally and on a larger scale, the live events industry in Malaysia.

"It was one of the main reasons our permits and appeals were denied when we wanted to host FMFA in Singapore this year," he said.

The festival was scheduled to take place at Changi Exhibition Centre on March 13 and 14 before it was cancelled.

Mr Iqbal said that after the incident, Livescape had gone to the hospital to get the toxicology reports and post-mortem results.

"But we were turned away and were told to obtain the reports from the police directly," he said.

"All information regarding the incident we got was only through verbal communication with the police.

"In fact, we have been pressing for both the toxicology and police investigation reports after FMFA last year.

"But our numerous requests were turned down (by police) citing an 'ongoing police investigation'. We were pretty much left in the dark."

FMFA is an offshoot of the popular Australian event Future Music Festival (FMF), which also faced difficulties related to drug abuse this year.

In February, 177 concert-goers from the Sydney FMF 2015 faced charges for allegedly possessing or supplying drugs at the event.

ARRESTS

This was followed by more than 50 drug-related arrests at the Melbourne leg of the event.

In April, the Australian organisers of the festival The Mushroom Group said both the Australian and Asian events had been axed.

When asked if the revelations would have an impact on Livescape's future plans, Mr Iqbal said: "Whether or not drugs were involved, our safety, security and medical plans will always be held to the highest of standards and that doesn't change one bit.

"But if you're asking if we will revive FMFA, for now, I'm afraid none of us know the answer to that question."

djenn@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 02, 2015.
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