After the cancellation of Day 2 of Freaknight this last Fall, the tug-of-war between event organizers, venues, and local authorities has been at the forefront of local discussions. Circumstances that led to the cancellation of the Halloween-themed festival were unfortunate to say the least, showing us in the months since that there’s little to no room for error, and that responsible choices from attendees are an absolute necessity.
A similiar situation recently befell the Malaysian festival ‘Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust.’ Thirst was to be held on the 25th of April, but was shut down 30 minutes before the event start time. Future Sound Asia, the event team, expressed that they were just as upset but had cancelled the festival at the behest of local authorities. Yearlong preparations by both the team and many attendees were sadly for naught.
Any cancellation is going to lead to a flood of complaints concerning travel arrangements, hotel bookings, and other various expenses. Thirst-goers had these same grievances, and Future Sound was pitiably stuck in between their enraged customers and the regional government in Malaysia.
In many cases the authorities do have their reasons, citing tragedy at previous events and cancelling in the hopes of preventing any further deaths or injuries. However, we’re always looking forward in hopes that a continued focus on safety can be the best solution. DMNW is an advocate for harm reduction, and a continued commitment in this direction has seen stellar results at festivals like Shambhala up in Salmo, BC.
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