KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — The organisers of a metal concert featuring an international artist had to be cancelled on the day of the show as the venue’s license had lapsed, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) said today.
The local authority’s media unit said in a two paragraph statement that the premise and entertainment licenses of the venue, Scandals Club, had expired and could not legally host any events until the licenses are approved.
“The operator is still in the process of renewing the licenses. Over the period of the renewal process, no activities are allowed,” DBKL said via email.
Metal fans were up in arms on Wednesday after they were informed at the 11th hour of the concert cancellation of thrash metal band Kreator.
The German metal veterans, who were in Malaysia for the second time since their first gig in 2005, said on their official Facebook page that they were informed by the local promoter that the concert was cancelled “for reasons beyond our control”, just hours before they were scheduled to start their 7pm show.
Angry fans have since vented their frustrations over the cancellation, demanding that the local organisers — listed as Demigod Production and Super Psycho Cyber Sonic on promotional material — refund their tickets costing between RM100 and RM120 each.
In a statement issued yesterday, the organisers claimed that they were forced to cancel the show “due to interference by a religious enforcement department”, despite having all the necessary documents already prepared.
The organisers alleged that they were first given a verbal warning over the phone by a DBKL official at 4pm after a public complaint was made over what was allegedly described as a “Black Metal Show”.
Two DBKL officials later turned up at the event venue at around 5.30pm to hand over a written notice to the venue manager to cancel the show and close shop for the night.
The DBKL officials allegedly said that if they refused to cancel the show, the organisers would have to “get ready for any possibilities”.
The statement by the organisers has been making its rounds among metal fans through social media websites.
The organisers, however, have refused to refund the tickets, insisting that the cancellation was not their doing but due to interference by a “third party”. They claimed that the forced cancellation had caused them to suffer more than RM20,000 in losses.
“As some of you asking for refund, we’d love to do that if we could. However, the show is forced to cancel not to our fault. We have completed all things that required.
“As according to PUSPAL, ticket fees should be refunded if the show is cancel by organizer/ PUSPAL but in this case it’s beyond our control and none of us is taking the action. There’s another third party that interference and forced to cancel the show due to society’s misunderstanding,” read the statement, referring to the Central Agency for the Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes.
The Facebook promotional page, Kreator live in Kuala Lumpur, has since been taken down and the organisers could not be contacted for further comments.
The cancellation of the Kreator concert is the latest in a string of cancellations of high profile international acts in Malaysia.
Last October, pop songstress Kesha was banned from performing in Kuala Lumpur after Puspal did not give approval for the show, causing over RM1 million in losses for local promoter Livescape.
Just a month earlier, death metal band Lamb of God was barred from performing after religious groups claimed their music infringed on religious sensitivities and cultural values.
In 2012, R&B singer Erykah Badu was shown the door after a promotional faux pas which showed a picture of her with a tattoo representing the Arabic sign for God. The authorities maintained the ban even after she told local media that she did not have the tattoo.