Why Singapore Would Make A Better #FMFA2015 Host Than Malaysia

After a successful three-year run in Malaysia, Asia's largest music festival will be making the Lion City its new home next year.

Cover image via Facebook: Future Music Festival Asia

Moving away from where it all began, Livescape Group and Future Music Australia has announced that next year's Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) will make its home in Singapore instead

The annual cross-genre music festival - which not only features Electronic Dance Music (EDM) acts but also some of the biggest names in pop, hip hop, indie and rock - has been held in Malaysia for the past three years since its inauguration in 2012. Some of the big names who have headlined FMFA include Psy, Fun., Rita Ora, Deadmau5, and Armin van Buuren.

The festival is a franchise of Future Entertainment's successful Future Music Festival that has been running in Australia since 2006.

The two-day festival is expected to attract more than 50,000 fans across the region and well on its way to be the biggest in the series, with multiple mega stages and an impressive line-up of over 50 artists that have yet to be announced

Image via FMFA

Over 50,000 revellers are expected to attend the festival over two days next year of which, organisers are expecting an influx of over 10,000 music tourists to specifically make their way into Singapore for FMFA. According to Livescape CEO Iqbal Ameer, the festival has plans to stay in Singapore for the long term and has set itself a target to become Asia’s largest music festival within the next three years while targeting a 20% year-on-year growth in its number of foreign attendees.


The FMFA 2015 in Singapore is set to be the biggest ever with multiple mega stages, world-class sound, lights and stage production and huge star power, with a huge pool of music superstars from Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia has ever seen.


According to Future Music Australia's director Brett Robinson, a new home has been chosen for next year's event because Future Music Asia has finished its contract with Kuala Lumpur in regards to hosting FMFA and that the organisers may choose to move the festival around Asia to cater for its widespread audience

“Future Music Asia has always been a brand that we wanted to move around Asia,” Festival Director Brett Robinson told Australia's The Music Network. “We’ve had a three-year deal in KL and we are now building towards an announcement next month in a different Asian city; and we’ve got great Government support from that city."

Robinson told TMN there has been huge demand from Southeast Asia and Asia itself for Future Music Festival; its organisers may choose to move the festival around Asia every year.

"We want to keep travelling. We want to make sure that Future Music Asia truly becomes Future Music Asia and not Future Music Malaysia," Robinson told TMN. "We want to try and be able to be dynamic and jump around a little bit."


Livescape Group CEO Iqbal Ameer also said that the move is "a progressive next step" for Future Music Festival Asia, as its name suggests that it belongs to music fans across the whole of Asia

The group's Head of PR Jason Kong added, "The major reason behind the move is that Singapore will allow us to reach our three-year goal of being the largest music festival, not only in Southeast Asia, but in the whole of Asia."


The decision to move the annual music event across the causeway may also be partly due to the tragedy that occurred at FMFA 2014 earlier this year, where six concert-goers died of suspected drug overdose, causing organisers to cancel the third day of the festival

Image via theantdaily.com

Livescape Group's head of public relations Jason Kong said the unfortunate incident played a minor part in the decision to move the festival’s venue, which had been held here for three consecutive years.

The 2014 festival held in March was cancelled on its third day as 20 people, locals and international participants, had a drug overdose, said to have been consumed during the fiesta.

Police and media were in frenzy over the incident which saw six people dead, soon leading authorities to launch an investigation into the organisers being negligent in ensuring that no drugs were taken there.


For Malaysian music fans, this recent development came as a bittersweet mix. While we can rest assured that FMFA is happening again following the fiasco this year, the bad news is that we might have to fork out more moolah to make it to next year's event.

But as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. For one, the mysterious venue that has been secured for the venue is said to be big enough to house the 50,000 attendees the event is expected to receive with "fantastic world-class infastructures and support systems" in place

Livescape CEO Iqbal said, "Singapore also has fantastic world-class infrastructures in place and support systems that work hand-in-hand with live events organisers in ensuring a successful event. We’re especially excited about our new venue, which we are keeping a secret for now. What I can say is that we fell in love with the place from the moment we saw it for its sheer size and amazing infrastructures, and we are very sure the fans will too.

If you look at some of the biggest festivals in the world, Glastonbury, Coachella, Tomorrowland, the venue plays an important role in setting the festival’s vibe. They all have a sense of escapism to it, which is what the fans want – the opportunity to be cut off from their day-to-day stress and worries and hang out with like-minded, fun-loving people over two or three days. So for us, we know it’s critical to have the right venue and we believe we’ve found it."


Besides being more liberal in terms of approving international performers, the Singaporean government are also more supportive of such events in comparison to Malaysia. To organise a music event in Malaysia, one has to go through a series of rules and procedures to apply for a permit from PUSPAL... And that's just the surface of it.

Image via Coconuts KL

Even once you pass all this and get your permits, they can still be cancelled at any moment, even minutes before the event. And of course, no compensations are paid if they are.

“If PUSPAL decides half way that the act is somehow deemed ‘not suitable’ for whatever reason it may be, they can just pull the plug anytime – even after approvals are given,” Livescape's Iqbal said. “So the promoter loses money on booking the act, marketing the act, paying suppliers, etc and the company goes bust, people lose jobs.”


PUSPAL (short for The Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes) actually has a 20-page guideline on applying permits for events that involve foreign artistes on Malaysian soil.

Image via Cilisos.com

Holding the event in Singapore may also mean that new rules and regulations may be imposed upon attendees of next year's festival, considering the country's stricter law reinforcements and the tragically abrupt end to this year's event

Following the drug overdose cases in FMFA 2014, the organisers would have learned a thing or two about preventing drugs from being peddled on the event site by now. However, it wouldn't be fair to place the responsibility solely on their shoulders as the consumption of drugs among the festival's attendees is out of the organisers' hands.

It is also worthy to note that Singapore has the lowest rates of drug use in the world, in part to the country's very strict drug laws, which include mandatory death sentences for some drug trafficking offenses. Hence, we can probably expect tighter security checks on-site.

The two-day festival will be held on 14 and 15 March 2015. The venue and line-ups have not been announced as of yet, but do head on over to FMFA's Facebook page for the latest updates.

Limited Early Bird discounted tickets will be available for purchase from 19 November at 12pm onwards here.

Check out the highlights from Future Music Festival Asia 2014 HERE:

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