We hate to be the bearer of bad news but apparently, the “Forever Summer Beach Festival 2016” party featuring Emma Hewitt at Sunway Lagoon has been cancelled.
Emma Hewitt is a Australian-born vocalist who’s known for her haunting voice and distinctive singing style. To date, she has been featured in numerous tracks from of the world’s most respected names in electronic dance music such as Cosmic Gate, Dash Berlin, Armin van Buuren, and more. Emma was supposed to headline the event alongside a host of other local artistes.
The issue with the event’s permit first came to light when political activist Eddy Casmady, who single-handedly caused the cancellation of a local music festival earlier this month, raised his “concerns” about “Forever Summer Beach Festival 2016”. He called out the event to be “immoral” and branded it an “Alcohol Festival in Selangor” because it’s sponsored by Asahi and Somersby Cider.
In his Facebook post dated 21st April, he stated, “It seems that in Selangor, alcohol festivals like these are so revered, respected, and given permits so easily despite going against the moral values of a country that reinforces the backdrop of Islamic rule.”
On 25th April, in responding to Eddy Casmady, the Arts, Live Festival and Events Association (ALIFE) said, “The organiser of an upcoming event in Sunway Lagoon, a current target of political victimisation, has followed all requirements and have received support and approvals from all relevant authorities. Entry to the event is permitted only to patrons aged 18 years and above with restricted alcohol zones for non-muslims’ access only. Malaysia is a country that is made up of different races and religion, and ALIFE firmly believes that it should be up to the individual to decide the type of entertainment they want to consume, as long as it is not against the federal laws of the country.”
But it wasn’t enough to stop anyone in their tracks, it seems, because yesterday (Thursday, 28th April), Eddy posted up a picture of an entire entourage filing a police report against “Forever Summer Beach Festival 2016” at the Sunway/Subang Jaya police station.
This was followed by the Harakahdaily article, which confirmed that the event will not be allowed due to protests from various parties including the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) and Geng Ustaz. PAS Selangor’s Council Secretary Ustaz Muhammad Najhan Halim, who wrote the piece, said, “We welcome the cancellation of the event with gratitude as preventing wrongdoing is our responsibility.”
Eddy himself uploaded what appears to be an official letter from the Subang Jaya district police chief:
The event, organised by KC&Friends & Electronic Qash, was scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday, 30th April) at Surf Beach @ Sunway Lagoon. As at time of writing, the organisers have yet to comment on the cancellation.
More details to come.
UPDATE (30th April):
The organisers have posted up an official statement regarding the above news, confirming that the event has been cancelled despite obtaining prior approvals from the authorities. “We are extremely upset at this outcome as we have worked tirelessly for months to prepare a full fledged festival experience for all music lovers.
While we are disappointed with this unexpected turn of events, relevant parties have advised us to still host Emma Hewitt who is already on her way to Malaysia at an indoor venue which is deemed more suitable by authorities. We hope this gives both Emma Hewitt a chance to still perform for her Malaysian fans and a chance for the ticket holders to still witness her performance,” the statement said.
“Details of this possibility will be announced within the next 24 hours. Please be patient with us as we try to secure an alternative to all our ticket holders,” it added.