Update: Organisers of the Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) in Singapore have confirmed its cancellation over the weekend.
Earlier, according to Yahoo News, the two day event was rejected twice by the Singapore Police due to worries of drug use. Despite the situation, ticket sales continued until the official ban.
Also, the organisers created a social media campaign, #KeepFMFAAlive, which failed to succeed.
This is the statement sent to the press:
The organisers of Future Music Festival Asia 2015 are saddened to announce that we have had to cancel the festival which was scheduled to be held this Friday and Saturday, March 13 & 14, at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore.
Full ticket refunds will now be made to all FMFA ticket buyers, details of which will be made available by Monday evening. We are also aware of the many fans overseas that have made travel arrangements into Singapore for the festival. We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience you’ve been put through.
At the moment, we have also set up a care team to help answer your concerns directly. Our care team can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FMFA wishes to thank all artistes and event suppliers for their incredibly hard work and support during the last few days. To the fans, we thank you for your patience and support.
Meanwhile Lauretta Alabons, director at LAMC productions said that it is a common practice by event organisers to market their shows and apply for licensing from the government at the same time. She added that it is the event organisers’ responsibility to convince the government bodies and educate them on the security procedures put in place for the shows.
“To start marketing the event and selling the tickets only after the licensing has been approved would be too late in the game. However we cannot blame the government in this instance either because of the negative track record the event has had from last year’s incident in Malaysia,” said Alabons.
She explained that events such as ZoukOut also draw in similar crowds but because of the black cloud hanging over the FMFA event since last year, the organisers are having to overcome more boundaries.
FMFA 2015 picked up several major brands as sponsors, such as William Grant & Sons, Evian, Scoot, Sony, NTUC Income, Zalora and others.
In a statement to Marketing, William Grant & Sons, which is the official spirits partner said: “Our understanding was that the relevant government agencies were supportive of FMFA 2015 and its positive impact on the country’s tourism sector. While we would be disappointed if the event is cancelled, we look forward to other opportunities to engage with our customers.”
Speaking to Marketing in an earlier interview, The Livescape Group CEO Muhammad Iqbal said that Singapore was the ideal market for the concert as it has now “outgrown itself”. Muhammad added that putting up last year’s show cost a total of RM15 million and the estimated total cost of production of the show this year is 30% more.
In total, nearly 20% of its total cost is budget for marketing efforts.
“We are humbled by the growth of the FMFA brand and Singapore is an international destination which is easy to access and has great infrastructure and support system. The event going crowd here is also forward thinking making it ideal for us,” Muhammad said.
He added that the festival also aims to draw in regional tourists and hence much of its marketing efforts are done overseas. These efforts depended heavily on OOH, radio and digital platforms. Markets such as Malaysia, Australia and even US were also a huge focus for the concert.
In Singapore the publicity efforts are more on ground efforts and the team worked closely with MediaCorp and Clear Channel on a lot of its media buys. Meanwhile, Fulford PR was appointed to handle its public outreach in Singapore.