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You’ve probably heard the news that Good Vibes Festivals (GVF) 2024 is cancelled by now.

In an announcement yesterday evening, the music festival shared that they received a letter from the authorities dated June 27 that large-scale performances involving international artists are not to be held on July 20, 2024, and must be rescheduled to a later date. 

This is out of respect for the Coronation Ceremony of His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. 

In the same statement, the festival organisers, Future Sound Asia (FSA), disclosed that GVF involves multiple touring acts. Headliners originally slated for the two-day event included international acts like Joji, Alec Benjamin, and J Balvin, thereby making rescheduling not possible.

All ticket purchases for the event will automatically receive full refunds to the payment method used for their purchase. So concertgoers can rest assured on that front.

We reached out to FSA earlier with some questions to find out more, but received this reply from their PR representative:

“At this time, we have no further comments to add beyond our official statement issued earlier today regarding the cancellation of the festival. We appreciate your understanding.”

While we’re unsure if this cancellation warrants a press conference like last year’s, here’s what we would ask if FSA did host one.

Disclaimer: What we’ve reported on the matter thus far has been based on publicly shared information from GVF/FSA themselves, and we have not seen the official letter by the authorities. Any speculation we make in this article is merely a speculation, and we do not yet know the facts behind GVF’s decision to cancel the event entirely.

1. Why not just proceed with Day 2 of GVF2024?

While yes, they’ve stated that rescheduling isn’t possible, GVF did not explain why they can’t continue on with the second day’s performances, since only July 20 is blocked off for the coronation.

We don’t know why Day 2 has also been cancelled, but one theory we have for this is that cancelling the whole GVF 2024 could be easier in terms of refunding ticket purchases.

For those that aren’t aware, the music festival offered various kinds of tickets where you could opt to go for both days (Two-Day Passes) or just either one of them (Single Day Passes).

Refunding concertgoers that chose the Two-Day passes might be more of a headache. Some people might even get upset over this because it could be misconstrued as favouritism of sorts.

Image Credit: Good Vibes Festival

2. Which is the problem: GVF being an event for large-scale performances or it featuring international acts?

As we haven’t seen the authorities’ letter to them, we don’t have the full context on why the organisers chose to cancel GVF 2024.

Based on information from the organisers themselves, the reason they had to cancel was due to how large-scale performances involving international artists can’t be held on July 20.

This made us wonder: Is the cancellation a result of GVF being an event for large-scale performances, or because the lineup features international artists? Or is it a combination of both?

If it’s the first, then we’re curious as to what’s the definition of “large-scale performances”. Is it based on potential crowd size, event venue size, or the number of planned performances? What other factors would be considered in this?

If it’s the second one, then perhaps FSA could consider having a music festival featuring just local talents? We’re sure music lovers who already purchased the tickets would enjoy the other local artists such as Talitha, FUAD, and FORCEPARKBOIS just as much.

If it’s a combination of both, navigating the situation becomes trickier. Perhaps in the future, the authorities could release a clear guideline (if it doesn’t already exist) for event organisers on similar matters like this, which would really help organisers plan ahead and avoid sudden roadblocks.

Image Credit: Good Vibes Festival

3. How did they break the news to GVF2024’s local and international performers?

The music festival was supposed to be held on July 20 to 21 in Resorts World Awana. While this cancellation didn’t happen at the very last minute, it’s still pretty late by industry standards. 

Invited talents would have already booked their stays, scheduled their flights or car arrangements, and rehearsed for their set list. So this news must have been shocking and disappointing to them. 

Considering that the authorities’ letter was dated June 27, were the performers informed by FSA before FSA made the public announcement? How did the talents react to the news, especially those (like Talitha) that also didn’t get to perform at last year’s GVF because of the Matt Healy fiasco

On a bigger scale, this late cancellation of a significant event might further increase Malaysia’s struggles with securing international acts. Many of them have been known to skip Malaysia, allegedly due to our rules and regulations for concerts, while others have been banned from performing here.

Will more international acts follow suit in skipping Malaysian concerts and festivals in the coming years because of this? It’s too soon to tell, but we don’t doubt that framing the situation tactfully is of the utmost importance here.

Image Credit: Talitha / Joji

4. How did they break the news to GVF2024’s local vendors & have any of them been affected?

Last year’s GVF cancellation showed us just how important it is to give F&B vendors our support in times of trouble. 

If this is your first time hearing this, many food vendors of GVF 2023 faced issues dealing with the aftermath of The 1975’s stunt. 

The vendors we interviewed shared some of the challenges they faced, like the burnt cost of rental, accommodation, staffing, and logistics. Others had a surplus of perishable ingredients that would’ve gone to waste if they weren’t quick on their feet.

At the time of writing, we haven’t found any vendors speaking up about the cancellation of GVF 2024 and how it’s affected them.

But of course, FSA would know best which vendors they previously shortlisted and how they’re doing following the cancellation. If this year’s vendor lineup is facing struggles after the cancellation, we would ask if FSA will be providing any kind of support for them.

Image Credit: Sausage Sizzle / NOMMS Fried Chicken

5. What is GVF’s strategy for mitigating such sudden cancellations moving forward?

If I had a nickel for every time GVF got abruptly cancelled, I’d have two nickels. Which isn’t a lot, but it’s weird that it’s happened twice.

We hope this won’t become a trend as many Malaysians and other festivalgoers would be disappointed should it happen a third time. 

Considering this, what is GVF’s strategy for mitigating such cancellations moving forward? Is it even possible to have a Plan B for this?

It would be nice for future acts and festivalgoers to be reassured that despite these two years, the longevity of GVF will not be affected because the team has a workaround.

Other players in Malaysia’s live entertainment industry would also benefit from learning how the FSA tam stays resilient and hopeful despite the challenges.

-//-

At the end of the day, though, it all comes down to one crucial question—how will this affect Malaysia’s live entertainment industry?

Is this a sign of a downwards trend, or was this truly just a bad coincidence?

We’re not sure if anyone has the answer to this, but we hope that our live entertainment industry will not be discouraged to keep bringing their best to Malaysians.

  • Learn more about Good Vibes Festival here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Good Vibes Festival

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