Sure, we’re all reeling from the shocking new findings with regards to the Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) 2014-related deaths. But we’re not the only ones.
Take into consideration, the people behind FMFA 2014 – The Livescape Group.
In case you missed it, The Star published a front page piece just today (1st June) on what really caused the FMFA 2014 deaths. It was revealed that drugs were not the cause of the deaths of the 6 people at FMFA last year but instead, heatstroke. The Star cited University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) forensic pathology department head Prof Dr K. Nadesan, who confirmed the cause of the deaths.
UMMC handled the post-mortem for 3 of the dead and also treated 9 others. Dr Nadedan said those who died tested positive for ecstasy or MDMA, but it was much lower than the average recreational level of 0.1 to 0.25 microgram per millilitre. Autopsies on the “virtually dried up” bodies, including one which had a temperature of 39°C, led Dr Nadesan to rule the deaths as caused by heatstroke.
As such, following the latest turn of events as reported in The Star today, The Livescape Group would like to go on record to state the following:
Despite numerous requests for the official investigation report to the incidents which supposedly occurred at FMFA 2014, we have till this day, not been privy to the information. The report that has surfaced today is news to us. Our requests for the toxicology report to the police and to the hospitals involved following FMFA 2014 were both turned down with both parties citing an “ongoing police investigation”. All information that we have garnered with regards to the investigation has been communicated to us only through media reports. Till this day, we have yet to know the contents of the investigation and toxicology reports.
For over a year, we have been led to believe that the deaths at FMFA 2014 were due to drug overdoses. This association has not only impacted the FMFA brand globally but has also affected the live events industry in Malaysia, particularly EDM related events. Our decision to cancel the third and final day of FMFA 2014 was also made in the interest of public safety purely due to the statement by the police linking the deaths to drug overdoses.
FMFA 2014 was organised in accordance to a strict and detailed Code of Practice and Event Management Guide, which are of international standards and practiced by major event organisers in the region. Strict adherence to the Code of Practise and Event Management Guide was a prerequisite set forth by our Australian counterparts in order for FMFA to be able to be organised by The Livescape Group.
Contrary to what had been quoted, FMFA did have free drinking water which was distributed at the front of all 4 stages (as this is where human congestion is highest) and at all medical posts throughout the festival site (3 medical posts in total each with water dispensers). We also had 6 dedicated non-alcoholic bars throughout the site in very public areas that were only selling water, soft drinks and energy drinks.
We also took into account the Malaysian weather by ensuring that the event starts only later in the evening as the sun is setting (doors opened at 4pm on both days) and providing various areas for guests to rest and cool themselves down. They include, one indoor air-conditioned dome, two misting tent areas and numerous activation zones with roofing and shades. In the few days leading up to the event, our social media and email-direct mailers were also switched to constantly drive reminders to guests to rehydrate themselves, rest, cool down and ultimately, to party responsibly.
In addition, we also had extensive medical facilities on site which included:
- 3 x Marked Medical Posts (with 2 x Paramedics per posts)
- 1 x Onsite Emergency Trauma Centre
The Onsite Emergency Trauma Centre were further staffed by:
- 2 x Medical commanders (certified doctors onsite)
- 14 x Paramedics
- 10 x Nurses
- 7 x Ambulances (staffed with 2 paramedics per ambulance)
- 12 x Roaming paramedics
We call for greater transparency and for the authorities to work closer and hand-in-hand together with us event organisers as we move forward to ensure not only a fun, but more importantly, a safe event for our guests in our future events. Countries like Australia for example who boasts a very vibrant music scene and is also home to one of the top three most livable cities in the world (Melbourne) encapsulates this practice very well. The authorities are as invested to a festival or an event as much as the organisers are. The state police in Australia would themselves even go to the extend of publishing unique ads and YouTube safety and traffic reminder videos directed to the festival-goers. Essentially, what we are asking for is greater cooperation, involvement and transparency.
With how things are going at the moment, there are no winners. Will the fans be able to see another music festival take place in Malaysia? Could huge financial losses to other event organisers due to last minute event cancellations or objections be avoided? And more importantly, could lives have been saved if transparent and accurate information was released in the first place? The only way this industry in Malaysia will be able to progress and for everyone to benefit is if the authorities come together and genuinely work hand-in-hand with us event organisers.
As this latest development is news to us, we have no plans to file a lawsuit as yet. At the moment, we are not thinking about the money but what we are seeking for are answers and the truth. It is only fair that we allow the relevant authorities to provide their feedback.
Our hearts also go out to the families and friends of those affected by this tragedy as they are once again, forced to seek closure even after over a year on. With this in mind, The Livescape Group vows to do everything in its power to ensure that the truth of what transpired is discovered and told in a transparent manner.
For more information, visit their Facebook page.
Feature image from Her World Plus.