Did Ke$ha concert cancellation hurt MY’s reputation?

Earlier last week, Malaysian authorities once again cancelled another music act. This time the axe falls on American pop singer Ke$ha’s performance. The concert was called off one day before she was due to perform at Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur last Saturday.

The Central Agency for Application of Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (PUSPAL), was the government agency behind the abrupt cancellation of the event.

This is not the first time such a concert that was cancelled by Malaysian authorities. Other cancelled concerts included Lamb of God and Beyonce.

Anger ran high on the concert organiser Livescape's Facebook page, with fans commenting that the Livescape should have obtained a permit from PUSPAL first before selling the tickets. Others added that PUSPAL was at fault.

Livescape pushed a statement on its Facebook page claiming that it adhered to PUSPAL’s guidelines all along and that the government body did not give it an official explanation on the concert’s cancellation. The full statement can be viewed here.

In the statement it said: “We encourage the authorities to engage in a productive dialogue with local promoters to avoid the current situation from repeating... Promoters in this country are constantly bearing the highest risk, despite the fact that all we want to do is to help promote Malaysia as a viable live music destination and to provide music lovers in this country with an opportunity to see their favourite acts live.”

Jason Kong, head of public relations for Livescape Asia told Marketing Events that it will bear all the losses from this event and is still in negotiations with the sponsor on compensation fees.

Marketing Events understands that Tunetalk, a mobile virtual network operator in Malaysia was the only sponsor for the event.

“Brands that sponsor the concert will not face a dent in their image, but the damage is more long lasting for the concert organisers because people are afraid to trust them again,” said Jed Mok, general manager, Pico Art International

Eam Sumati, experiential director, Iris Singapore, he said that it all boils down to respect and understanding of the local culture. Getting a permit is tricky and it depends on local authorities. This is not uncommon, however, he added.

However, he said that this incident will not affect Malaysia adversely as an events destination as there is still a market for events.