Dance music festival's appeal for licence rejected

Dance music festival's appeal for licence rejected
OPTIMISTIC: Livescape Group CEO Iqbal Ameer.

FUTURE Music Festival Asia's appeal for a public entertainment licence has been turned down by the Home Affairs Ministry.

In a statement sent last night, a ministry spokesman said: "The Minister for Home Affairs has carefully considered and turned down the appeal by Livescape Singapore Pte Ltd to hold the Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) 2015 in Singapore."

The ministry received the appeal on Tuesday.

When contacted by The Straits Times, Mr Iqbal Ameer, group chief executive of festival organiser Livescape, said that his team was in discussion over what it would do next.

Livescape had already been denied a public entertainment licence twice - on Jan 29 and Feb 27 - to hold the event here.

But it continued to sell tickets and promote the event. Big acts such as Public Enemy and The Prodigy were slated to perform.

About 15,000 tickets have been sold for the event, scheduled to be held for the first time in Singapore on March 13-14, at the Changi Exhibition Centre.

FMFA, which started in Australia in 2006 and is considered one of the biggest dance music festivals in South-east Asia, made headlines last year when six of its concert-goers died from drug overdose in Kuala Lumpur.

In previous articles, Mr Iqbal had addressed drug abuse concerns, saying that random drug tests would be carried out and the number of closed-circuit television cameras on site would be increased to 33 from six last year.

Meanwhile, the Brisbane Times yesterday reported that 7,500 Ecstasy pills had been seized.

The drugs were believed to be bound for the same festival taking place in Brisbane this weekend.

Tickets to the festival in Singapore, which cost between $148 and $388, were sold via Sistic, as well as on the festival's website.

In 2013, when the MBC Korean Music Wave concert was cancelled, tickets bought through Sistic were fully refunded.

But fans who bought them directly from the organiser received only partial refunds after it filed for bankruptcy.

Researcher Joseph Yong, 29, who bought his ticket to the festival two weeks ago from Sistic, said: "While the company shouldn't have marketed the event without a licence, I think that the rejection is too strict. I have friends who booked post-event accommodation. We're in a state of disbelief, dismay and anger."

This article was first published on March 07, 2015.
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