On Saturday (25th April), this year’s #Thirst2015 themed, “We Are All Stardust” was abruptly cancelled at the 11th hour. In fact, the announcement only came in barely an hour before it was supposed to have opened its doors to partygoers at the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre (MIECC), Mines Resort City.
While most of us are still reeling from shock and disappointment over the news, a new finding might take you to a whole new level of disbelief.
MMO today reported that Seri Serdang assemblyman Noor Hanim Ismail had submitted an objection letter on the day before “Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust”, which led to its cancellation. The PAS representative had admitted being the person behind an official complaint letter, saying it was her responsibility as a Muslim to oppose the concert, which is sponsored by beer company Heineken.
“It was the local authority’s decision. It is my responsibility as a Muslim and assemblyman to oppose it,” she was reported as saying by online news portal TMI.
A copy of the letter dated 24th April revealed that Hanim had expressed concerns over the concert’s organisers, although the letter did not name the entertainment event company.
But here’s the huge plot twist: While she expressed concern over drugs, she also said in the letter that the concert organiser tended to use different company names to apply for permits and that it was always the same people behind the scenes.
“The same people organising this programme were also involved in the programme in Bukit Jalil,” she wrote in the letter, referring to the Future Music Festival Asia event that left 6 dead from drug overdose in March last year. She also described the #Thirst2015 as a “mega disco”.
Just in case you didn’t know, “Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust” was organised by Future Sound Asia while “Future Music Festival Asia” (FMFA) was organised by Livescape Asia. So yes, perhaps a case of mistaken identity on her part had caused #Thirst2015 to have been abruptly cancelled, for nothing.
Meanwhile, Serdang MP Dr Ong Kian Ming said that Noor Hanim was wrong to object to the concert venue which was not even in her constituency. He said that Noor Hanim should have brought her concerns up with him and Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, as the venue was located within his constituency.
He said her objections, without checking the facts about the concert’s conditions, has also painted a negative image of the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor government. “If Seri Serdang wanted to make objections, at the very least her office should have informed Seri Kembangan, who is also the Selangor exco for local government,” said Ong in a separate TMI report.
According to him, the concert had been approved by the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) and officers from these agencies would have been on duty during the concert to ensure that no substance abuse or other illicit activities were committed.
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EVENT CANCELLATION STATEMENT FROM FUTURE SOUND ASIA Kuala Lumpur, 25 April 2015 — Disappointing news came through late yesterday, and we are saddened to announce that Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust, which is scheduled to take place today (25 April 2015) at Mines International Exhibition & Contention Centre (MIECC) has been cancelled. All prior approvals were fully obtained. We have worked tirelessly through last night and all of today trying to resolve these issues. Despite all efforts taken to make sure it is a suitable and safe environment for everyone, the authorities have decided to cancel the event and we are obliged to follow their decision. We were all looking forward to this great music event. Unfortunately the universe is not on our side this time, despite having worked closely with all relevant bodies and agencies to secure the necessary regulatory compliance. The team has relentlessly spent the last 1 year organising Thirst 2015, along with our partners and international experts to put together a full-fledged security, safety, issue and communication plan, in order to provide dance music lovers a safe and secure platform to share their passion and come together. We are extremely upset at this outcome. We want to extend our most heartfelt apologies to all those who are holding tickets for the event. We would like ask for your patience as we work on the mechanics of the ticket refund process. Details will be announced in 72 hours. Even with this unexpected turn of events, music will continue to live, grow and speak louder than words. The dreams we had, and the love we share for music is universal. Please allow us to stand in the moment together with you, and spread the love for music one beat at a time. All enquiries regarding the event can be forwarded to [email protected] .
UPDATE (28th April, 3:30pm):
Our friends at The Livescape Group have released an official statement regarding the matter above, stepping forward to make clear that they had no involvement whatsoever in the planning or the execution of #Thirst2015.
Full statement as follows:
The Livescape Group sympathises with Future Sound Asia on the recent cancellation of Thirst 2015. We would like to state on record that we have no involvement in the planning or execution of the said event. The comments from the ADUN of Sri Serdang is regrettable and tantamount to defamation. Our lawyers have been informed. As a tax paying business operator in this country, we advise all politicians of both political divides to check their facts prior to releasing statements that could harm or jeopardise the live events industry. Evidently, false reasoning has been used to justify an objection and yet another organiser have been made to pay as a consequence.
What are your thoughts on this, dance music community of Malaysia? Do you too agree that all of the above could’ve been easily avoided if thorough fact-checking was made prior to the inital objection? Was it necessary to penalise an event organiser on such a scale over mistaken identity?
Feel free to voice out in the comments box below.