Thirst 2015 Has Been Cancelled. Here's Future Sound Asia's Official Statement
ALIFE and Thirst organisers to host press conference to address issue of event cancellations
Arts, Live International Festivals and Events Association (ALIFE) will be holding a press conference to address the concerns of major live events cancellations happening frequently. Thirst organisers, Future Sound Asia will also be present at the press conference to share their thoughts.
The statement announcing the press conference reads:
"ALIFE stands united alongside Future Sound Asia, the organisers of Thirst 2015, whom we strongly believe are victims of a flawed and archaic permit application system. Event cancellations in Malaysia has happened one too many times impacting Malaysia's vision and aspiration of becoming a leading, vibrant and liveable country, impacting local and international stakeholders and consumers.
ALIFE will be hosting a press conference this Tuesday, 5/5/2015 at 1500 Black Box Publika Kuala Lumpur to address these constant changes and for the first time, Thirst 2015 organisers will also be sharing their journey.
Local and international media are invited to attend with their respective photographers/videographers.
Stakeholders and industry members are also welcome to observe or participate in the event. Do join us, lend your support and show that arts, events & entertainment matters!
Please rsvp to [email protected] by 4 May 2015."
29 April: With a defamation suit in the works, the Thirst cancellation debacle is far from over
PAS' Noor Hanim said she was merely acting for the sake of public safety as she believed the organiser of the highly controversial FMFA was also behind the Thirst event
PAS Seri Serdang assemblyman Noor Hanim Ismail says she had to act on complaints from the public. “I’m more concerned about the safety of the people, and it was the authorities who made the decision to cancel it. As an assemblyman, I needed to give my views on this,” she told The Star Online.
In the letter, Noor Hanim said the concert organiser tended to use different company names to apply for permits, but it was always the same people behind the scenes. She then claimed that the organisers were the same people involved in the controversial Bukit Jalil concert and similar activities had been carried out in a programme in SIC Sepang previously.
“The Sepang Municipal Council has blacklisted the organiser for violating the terms and for excessive entertainment. It was suspected that there was widespread use of drugs and other banned substances,” she said, describing the Thirst 2015 concert as a “mega disco”.
Following Noor Hanim's statement, FMFA organiser, Livescape is possibly taking legal action against the Sri Serdang assemblyperson for defamation
Livescape Group, the organiser of Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA), said today it may file a defamation suit against PAS’s Noor Hanim Ismail for linking it to music event “Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust” in her complaint to the police, which eventually got the latter shut down.
Its co-founder and group CEO Iqbal Ameer refuted the Seri Serdang assemblyman’s claim that Thirst 2015’s organiser Future Sound Asia was just Livescape in disguise, stressing that the company has no involvement in the planning or execution of the scrapped event.
“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,” Iqbal said, adding that Livescape sympathises with Future Sound over the cancellation.
The police, however, said the cancellation of the event was in no way influenced by Noor Hanim's objection letter and was cancelled due to safety concern
Police have denied that they were influenced by PAS with regard to the cancellation of the ‘Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust’ concert.
Serdang OCPD Asst Comm Razimi Ahmad said the concert was cancelled due to security reasons and that police had followed strict standard operating procedure in doing so.
“We did receive objections from certain quarters but that did not influence our decision.
“It was purely made to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved,” he told The Star on Tuesday.
MPSJ, who has been receiving heat from the public, puts the blame on Thirst organiser for not having the proper permit before selling the tickets
The organiser of the cancelled “Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust” was wrong to sell tickets for the event ahead of obtaining an entertainment permit from the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), officials have said.
“We issued a letter stating that a permit will be issued on condition that the organiser cooperate with either the police or National Anti-Drugs Agency to ensure that there will be no drugs at the concert. The Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali’s office has requested we write a report on this matter,” he said, adding that the state government should come up with a policy and standard operating procedure for concerts and similar events to avoid a repeat of this incident.
“The public is blaming MPSJ when it was the police who objected to the concert,” Nor Hisham said yesterday.
28 April: Serdang assemblyman Noor Hanim's objected to Thirst despite the event being outside of her constituency
Serdang assemblyman Noor Hanim Ismail was wrong in objecting to the Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust concert, as the concert venue was not even in her constituency, said DAP lawmaker Dr Ong Kian Ming.
Her letter to the local authority to oppose the concert sent a day before it was scheduled to be held, and without checking the facts about the concert's conditions, has also painted a negative image of the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor government, the Serdang MP added.
Her reason for objecting Thirst was on the basis of her "responsibility as a Muslim", despite having safety measures and other pertinent terms and conditions imposed by the organisers
Noor Hanim should also have checked the terms and conditions imposed on the concert organiser as part of the entertainment permit issued by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), Ong added.
Among them, individuals below the age of 18 and Muslims are not allowed to attend the concert. Muslims working with the performers or the organiser for the concert were also not allowed in areas where there is alcohol.
In a subsequent response to The Malaysian Insider, Noor Hanim had also said that it was her "responsibility as a Muslim and as assemblyman to oppose it".
"I think her concerns are justified but she should have checked first with the organiser whether safety measures would be taken to avoid similar incidents happening."
27 April: Support for Thirst 2015 withdrawn due to public objection, says Serdang police
In a statement this evening, the police said that they originally had no problems with the application for the temporary entertainment permit for the concert by organisers Future Sound Asia Sdn Bhd on March 25.
“The MPSJ (Subang Jaya Municipal Council) had then rejected the application on April 6, although it was then approved with certain conditions imposed on April 22 after the organisers appealed to MPSJ."
“On April 24, PDRM (the Royal Malaysian Police) had concluded to not support (the concert) after receiving objections and feedback on April 23 from society, as well as the office of the state assemblymen about the concert,” the statement read.
But the authorities did not specify which state lawmaker had objected to the concert.
26 April: Thirst 2015 cancelled because cops withdrew support at the last minute
The Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust concert, scheduled to take place last night, was cancelled because the police withdrew their support for it at the last minute, Serdang MP Dr Ong Kian Ming said.
He said the police sent a letter to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) on Friday saying they would not support the concert, leaving the council no choice but to withdraw the concert's permit at the 11th hour.
“On the afternoon of Friday, April 24, the police sent a letter to MPSJ stating that they would not support the concert. As a result, MPSJ was forced to withdraw the entertainment permit to the organisers of the event.
“The reason for the withdrawal of the police support for this event was not stated. This is the only reason why MPSJ withdrew the entertainment license,” Ong said in a statement here, along with a screenshot of MPSJ’s letter to the organisers stating the withdrawal of the entertainment licence.
“While the police have the right not to support any entertainment event based on valid and legitimate reasons, it is unfair to the organizers of any large scale event when the withdrawal of support comes at the 11th hour and without any stated reason,” Ong added, saying that he was made to understand that the event organisers had already obtained the support of the Anti-Drugs Agency as well the police’s narcotics division.
He said the Serdang IPD had initially issued a letter on March 25, 2015, saying that they had no objections to the staging of this event.
This had led MPSJ to issue a temporary permit to the organisers, Future Sound Asia Sdn Bhd, on April 21, to stage the concert, subject to certain conditions being fulfilled, including ensuring that there would be no one under the age of 18 attending the concert and ensuring that no Muslims would be allowed to attend the concert, Ong said.
DAP's Serdang MP Ong condemned the police's decision to withdraw support at the 11th hour
"It is very disappointing for the ticket holders, the organisers, the performers and all the other stakeholders that this event had to be cancelled at the last minute. It also dents the reputation of Malaysia as a destination to hold international level entertainment events because of the possibility that such events may have to be cancelled at the last minute due to the withdrawal of permits."
He said the organisers had already obtained the support of the Anti-Drugs Agency and the Narcotics Division, which would place their officers on duty on the night of the event. He added that the sponsors had already spent millions of ringgit to organise and promote the event.
"At the very least, I hope that the police can come out to give an explanation on why they withdrew their support for this event at the last minute.
"Moving forward, I call for a transparent Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on the part of the police for such events so that all stakeholders can take the necessary steps to prevent such a cancellation from happening again, without legitimate reasons given."
25 April: Sad news for Malaysians who were going to attend 'Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust' as the event has been cancelled, according to the official statement posted by Future Sound Asia on its FB page.
Future Sound Asia, whose team relentlessly spent the last one year organising 'Thirst 2015' are extremely upset at this outcome
This is a developing story. Please come back for more. In the meantime, you can e-mail Future Sound Asia for additional details.