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FMFA team calls for greater government transparency in the Malaysia event scene

Yesterday, The Star reported that records show that the deaths of the six people at the Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) 2014 event were not due to drug overdose but rather, heat stroke.

According to the article, post-mortem results which were issued within two months after the incident indicated that drugs played a considerably small role in the deaths. The article also accused Malaysian authorities of not making the results known and using this as a reason to cancel several concerts locally.

In a statement to A+M, The Livescape Group added that over a year, the team has been led to believe that the deaths at FMFA 2014 were due to drug overdoses. Despite the company’s multiple attempts at getting information from the authorities, it was not “privy to the information”. A spokesperson from The Livescape Group explained that this association has not only impacted the FMFA brand globally but has also affected the live events industry in Malaysia, particularly EDM related events.

Earlier in March this year, a two-day FMFA event organised in Singapore was also cancelled as the Singapore Police rejected its license due to worries of drug use.

“We call for greater transparency and for the authorities to work closer and hand-in-hand together with us event organisers,” she said. Giving the example of Australia, she added that the Malaysia market has much to learn from. With large scale events, the local authorities in Australia are just as invested to a festival or an event as much as the organisers are. The state police in Australia also launch ad campaigns and YouTube safety and traffic reminder videos directed to the festival-goers, she explained.

“Essentially, what we are asking for is greater cooperation, involvement and transparency[…]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,” she said.

In response to The Star article which said that dehydration was the main cause of death, she added that the team also took sufficient measures to ensure event goers could keep cool. Water dispensers and non alcoholic drink booths were set up at the event arena and a few days leading up to the event, its 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.”

Meanwhile The association of Arts, Live, International Festivals and Events (ALIFE) has also released a statement saying that it is shocked at the latest report that has surfaced in The Star today regarding the causes of death at Future Music Festival Asia 2014 (FMFA 2014).

“Like the Malaysian public, the arts and live events industry, for over a year, has been led to believe that drugs played a decisive factor to the unfortunate deaths at FMFA 2014. Since the incident of that day, FMFA has been made as a scapegoat for the decline of the live events industry in Malaysia, particularly when it comes to events that promote the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) genre,” the statement read.

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