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Local acts that were part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Music Festival are speaking up about the show’s cancellation due to overcrowding and reported cases of attendees passing out.

The free of charge, highly-promoted event was meant to bring together artists from all over the region on November 14 but the National Organizing Council decided to stop the show shortly after it started “for reasons of public safety”.

An estimated crowd of 15,000 eager fans crammed themselves at the relatively small Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati.

Before the show was cancelled, Sandwich front man Raymund Marasigan tweeted an observation that ultimately became a preview of what was to come. His band was already on standby and was set to perform after the show’s first act, Parokya ni Edgar.

“The show is stalled because people are standing on seats. In my honest opinion (IMHO), monoblocks in shows with rock bands don’t usually go well together,” Marasigan wrote.

During the first set, some fans reportedly became “rowdy” and uncontrollable. When “people began passing out” and sustained minor injuries, according to the Department of Health (DOH), the organizers knew it was best to not push through with the event.

Indie/folk, rock band The Ransom Collective, along with other bands in the line up, took to Twitter to express regret over the show’s cancellation.

“So sorry about what’s happened at the #aseanmusicfestph. We love you guys and thanks so much to those who tried to come out tonight,” The Ransom Collective tweeted.

They also said that while it was “a tough decision”, all the artists understand that the cancellation was for everyone’s safety.

Rock band Franco also shared the same sentiments on their official social media accounts.

“Hey guys! Thanks to everyone who came by at the ASEAN Music Fest last night for the gig. We’re sorry that it had to be cancelled but public security is always top priority. Stay safe! Peace!” the band said.

Folk-pop band Ben & Ben thanked their “fam” for coming despite the incident.

“We’d like to honor you guys. Thank you for being the best fam on the planet. Thank you for coming to the show in spite of all this. We love you. Please stay safe and we’ll see you soon,” they posted.

While wishing for everyone’s safe return home, alternative pop-rock band Silent Sanctuary thanked the organizers for the invite.

“Thank you to the organizers of #ASEANMusicFestPH for inviting us to be part of tonights gathering of ASEAN music artists. We hope to work with you again soon,” the band tweeted.

Meanwhile, rock band Parokya Ni Edgar lead Alfonso “Chito Miranda Jr. wished that this become a lesson for future planning of events, adding that the support for the local music scene should not be underestimated.

“Sana next time, hindi na ma-underestimate kung gaano kabuhay and local music scene. ‘Di daw kasi nila ine-expect na ganun kadami ang pupunta kaya ‘di nila napaghandaan ng maayos. Buti na lang walang major injuries. May this serve as a lesson na maging handa next time. Long live OPM!” Miranda wrote.

What are your thoughts on the ASEAN Music Festival cancellation? We think it was the right call.

Photo from Alfonso Miranda Jr.


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