Lessons to learn from The 1975 concert fiasco, say industry players

PETALING JAYA: Hosting international music festivals or concerts has a significant economic impact on Malaysia, say industry players.

They are also hopeful that the recent incident involving the British band The 1975 will not affect the status quo negatively.

The entertainment fraternity said while the incident was regrettable, it also served as a reminder to beef up the relevant policies.

Livescape Group founder and chief executive officer Iqbal Ameer said international shows were an important stimulus for the local economy, so much so that market research firm QuestionPro estimated that Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour would help add US$5bil (RM22.8bil) to the global economy.

“Taylor Swift is a great example of how international artistes can boost an economy. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia announced not too long ago how Taylor Swift’s tour helped boost travel and tourism in that region,” he said.

In regards to the recent cancellation of the Good Vibes Festival, Iqbal said although it was a cause for concern, it was more important to push through it and learn from past experiences.

He said it would require good and strategic planning to encourage international acts to continue coming to the country following the episode.

“It is necessary for the government to be in line with the entertainment industry whenever concerts are being organised as these events should be viewed as a national agenda involving all parties in an effort to boost the tourism industry,” he added.

Arts, Live Festival and Events Association said the incident underscored the need for continuous engagement between the government and the industry.

“Our experience with thousands of international artistes coming to Malaysia without incident should not be overlooked, but this incident presents an opportunity to strengthen our existing guidelines.

“While implementing improvements, it’s crucial to strike a balance between enhancing the approval process and maintaining a welcoming environment for international artistes.

“The aim should be to create a framework that supports creativity and expression while safeguarding cultural harmony and mutual respect,” it said in a statement yesterday.

Industries Unite co-founder Datuk David Gurupatham said the government needed to provide a clear explanation for cancelling the music festival.

Through this, he also said it would help in rebuilding the confidence among international performers to come to Malaysia.

He called on Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil to clarify to the public what was the reason for the move to cancel Good Vibes Festival last weekend.

David also stressed that international music festivals and concerts were a tool to attract more tourists to the country, hence the economic contribution was important especially when the country is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Music festivals are important for our tourism industry. We get international visitors, as in this particular case from not just neighbouring countries, but also countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan.

“These tourist dollars trickle down to helping, for example, the hospitality industry, hotels, transportation, F&B and retail – all these industries that badly need revenue,” he said.

Restaurant and Bistro Owners Association vice-president Jeremy Lim agreed that Malaysia as a concert destination for international acts was a tool for generating income.

“The entertainment industry is an ecosystem involving not only the artistes but also the little guys like the technical crew, catering crew, lorry drivers, food vendors, transportation agencies, logistic firms, security companies and many more.

“Aside from generating more tourist attractions, these concerts are also an important means to collect taxes such as withholding taxes and entertainment taxes as well as employ skilled workers which will spur the economy and tax collection,” he said.

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GVF , The 1975 , concerts , event organisers


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