Music festival cancelled after drug overdose deaths, say organisers

PETALING JAYA - Organisers of the Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) will not proceed with the last day of the festival after six people died of drug overdose on Friday.

"In the interest of public safety, we have heeded the authority's advice to not proceed with Day-3 of Future Music Festival Asia 2014.

"This is also to help in the on-going investigation. We appreciate the understanding of all parties and will share updates on this matter as soon as possible," the organisers said in a statement its Facebook page.

One person died on the spot at the venue in the Bukit Jalil Stadium, while another died on the way to the hospital. Three others died at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital (HUKM).

Another four people, two of whom are in a coma, are in critical condition at both hospitals, said police.

Kuala Lumpur deputy CID director ACP Khairi Ahrasawas later confirmed one of those in a coma, a 27-year-old woman, died Saturday evening at HUKM.

The five, all Malaysians, were between 21 and 28 years of age.

The organisers said they had filed a police report and are working with the relevant authorities. Police have already closed the roads leading to Stadium Bukit Jalil and have sealed off some parts of the venue to prevent concert goers from entering the festival grounds.

Major international acts like DJs Martin Garrix and Bassjackers had tweeted pictures of themselves making their way to the venue only to announce that their sets might be cancelled.

Hundreds of people were seen waiting at the festival entrance, unsure if they will be let in.

According to local rapper Sayla, the other performers scheduled for today are also in the dark.

"I don't know what's going on. We're all just hanging out backstage waiting to be told what to do. We've been scheduled to play now but we're still waiting. Bassment Syndicate were supposed to go on before us but they played for a bit and then their set got cut," he said.

Also meant to perform today are music A-listers like Pharrell Williams, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Rudimental.

Hip-hop jazz group Bassment Syndicate had already taken stage only to have their set cut short.

Now in its third year, FMFA has been dubbed the largest music festival in Southeast Asia with an estimate of 85,000 attendees from across the region based on the tickets sold.

The organisers said details of refunds will be announced within one week and that ticket buyers are urged to logon to www.futuremusicfestival.asia for updates.

Here is a statement by Future Music Festival Asia on March 15:

This statement is in response to news reported in the media on the 5 alleged deaths associated with FMFA last night. As the health and safety of all festival goers are our primary concern, we have lodged an investigation into the media reports. As at 5.00PM on March 15, we can confirm that one death, and not five, took place on festival grounds on March 14. A police report has been filed and we are working very closely with all relevant authorities in examining and determining the cause of this very unfortunate incident.

FMFA underwent regular meetings with all agencies involved in the festival (including the Royal Malaysia Police, The Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, Bukit Jalil National stadium, Millennium Patriot Security, Jabatan Sukarelawan Malaysia (RELA) and our certified on-site medical doctor and paramedics) prior to and during the event.

In the interest of public safety we have heeded the authority's advice to not proceed with Day-3 of Future Music Festival Asia 2014. This is also to help in the on-going investigation. We appreciate the understanding of all parties and will share updates on this matter as soon as possible.

Details of refunds will be announced within one week. Ticket buyers are urged to logon to www.futuremusicfestival.asia for refund details.

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