Cancellation of Future Music Festival Asia in KL after drug deaths
Thousands of concert-goers were left disappointed at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, after the three-day Future Music Festival Asia was abruptly cancelled on its final night following six drug-related deaths.
An estimated 85,000 festival-goers were to have attended the event, which would have culminated last night with performances from Grammy winners Pharrell and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Many Singaporeans, including student Nikki Shalina, had made the trip to Kuala Lumpur just for the festival.
"I saved up for more than a month just for this, I barely ate or went out," said Miss Shalina, 19, who had spent over $300 on gig tickets, coach tickets and accommodation.
Having planned for the festival since January, she was informed of the cancellation by police officers, she said.
Another Singaporean, 23-year-old student Benjamin Kok, who had won a pair of tickets to the festival in a contest with MTV Asia, said: "I'm shocked and disappointed. I've been gearing up for today from two weeks ago. I was so excited to see Pharrell." Mr Kok also said that he saw CPR being administered on someone near the bar sometime after midnight on Friday.
"I saw a crowd gathering but couldn't see much else. Then I heard this sad news," he said.
When The New Paper on Sunday arrived at the concert grounds at about 5.15pm on Saturday, hundreds of concert-goers had already arrived but were stopped by police from entering the stadium.
Several notices announcing the cancellation, printed on A4-sized paper, were seen plastered at various locations. Many concert-goers were seen checking their mobile phones for updates on the situation.
By about 6.15pm, people were seen standing at the entrance shouting "Open the gates" and "We want in", while others threw bottles, ice cubes and other small objects at concert staff on site.
In a press conference on Saturday evening, organisers Livescape Asia cited the "interest of public safety" as a reason for the cancellation, and said it will be helping with the ongoing investigation.
Director of Livescape Asia, Mr Iqbal Ameer, said the organisers have been meeting with all related agencies, including the Malaysian police, the fire and rescue department as well as on-site doctors and paramedics.
Details of refunds will be announced within a week. Ticket buyers can go to www.futuremusicfestival.asia for refund details.
Get The New Paper for more stories.