Life In Color Canceled

The Kuala Lumpur leg of the Life in Color festival, slated for April 19, has been canceled because of the drug deaths that occurred at the Future Music Festival two weeks ago.

The third day of FMF was called off after two dozen people overdosed on what is believed to have been methamphetamine.

At least six people died.

According to the Life in Color Facebook page, organizers have canceled the electronic dance music festival, called the “world’s largest paint party,” “with respect for the country and people of Malaysia.”

The announcement followed calls by the country’s leading Islamic party to cancel it.

Many ticketholders expressed their disappointment directly on the organizer’s Facebook page. In a video report on the Future Music debacle, the Straits Times interviewed several people who attended the festival in Malaysia, as well as some performers.

They said drugs are an unfortunate but inevitable component of these types of dance festivals and authorities’ and organizers’ reactions demonstrates that the region may still be too immature to host these kinds of events.

In Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries, the only measures taken to combat drug use are in the security realm. But it’s impossible to search everyone sufficiently to prevent drug use on the festival grounds.

However, as one DJ put it, Malaysia at least has some tolerance.

The country’s Youth and Sports Minister said during a news conference that banning “raves and concerts” will not end drug abuse.

“We need to teach and expose young people to the dangers of drugs,” said Khairy Jamaluddin at the Asia Pacific NGO Conference on Human Trafficking March 20.

The people who died, said Khairy, “were there to have fun, but they lost their lives because of their own personal choices, their own personal behavior.”

The Straits Times added that Singapore has the death penalty for drug dealers, so it seems unlikely that this sort of festival will take place in the nation-state any time soon, especially after all the negative publicity surrounding Future Music.