Asia: Beer Festival, Crowd Crush, Coldplay, Chainsmokers

Authorities Cancel Malaysia Beer Festival

The Better Beer Festival 2017, scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur Oct. 6-7, was canceled by the city council two weeks ago following protests by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), which objected to the festival on moral grounds.

The organizers of the festival, which has been held in the Malaysian capital for the past five years, said it was called off due to “political sensitivity,” while the police claimed the cancellation was due to the threat of a militant attack.

In a related report, Reuters said that “organizers of pop concerts and some other big events” have become reluctant to include Malaysia on the itineraries of their charges for fear that artists or themes could be “deemed un-Islamic.”

These fears have become especially acute in the past year as Prime Minister Najib Razak and his ruling party have sought to “appease more fundamentalist elements” in order to guarantee votes in an expected upcoming election. The chairman of the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia told Reuters, “Of course it does affect the overall attractiveness of Malaysia being a venue for artists, events or festivals to be held. With artists touring Southeast Asia, Malaysia will not be the first choice for any act to tour.”

In addition to protesting the beer festival PAS has also filed an objection over plans to host an Oktoberfest beer festival in the capital, and when rumors circulated that a “gay party” was being planned for somewhere in the city, the government “issued a ban notice” and ordered the immigration bureau to deny entry to anyone who planned to attend. The organizers of the party told Reuters that the event was only being planned for Thailand, not Malaysia.

In the past, major pop stars such as Kesha and Beyoncé have canceled concerts in Malaysia because of protests and restrictions on costumes and dancing. So far there have been no concerts in Malaysia this year by major Western music stars, though Ed Sheeran is scheduled to perform in Kuala Lumpur in November. The Formula 1 Malayasia Grand Prix that took place the first weekend of October did not feature any international pop stars.

A man speaking for ALIFE, a body that represents the interests of event organizers, told Reuters, “Malaysian producers are going to Singapore and Indonesia due to problems in Malaysia.”

5 Injured In Crowd Rush

On Sept. 24, more than 30 people rushed the stage at the Sing! China Music Festival at the National Taiwan University in Taipei demanding the release of Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-che.

The mob was mostly made up of students carrying placards calling for Taiwanese independence.

The festival was organized by a group that includes a cultural organization from Shanghai and was staged as a contest for singers and musical bands from both Taiwan and mainland China. The festival was called off after the protests, which led to a fight between the protesters and pro-Beijing fans. Five people were injured in the melee.

The clash at the festival highlights tensions that have been rising in recent months on Taiwan, which China claims is an inextricable part of its territory.

Police are looking for at least one participant in the fight, and plan to charge that person with “assault and making threats.” Meanwhile, in Beijing, a spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office criticized the pro-independence protesters.

“This was a simple and normal music exchange activity loved by young people across the Strait,” said Ma Xiaoguang, who added that the protesters had politicized the festival.

Coldplay, Chainsmokers Get Credit For Boy Band Song 

Scott Legato /
– Coldplay
The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Mich.

In the wake of plagiarism charges, the Korean boy band Seventeen and their management agency, Pledis Entertainment, have changed the production credit on their single, “Don’t Wanna Cry,” which was released in May.

At the time of the release, a number of listeners voiced concern that it sounded suspiciously like “Something Just Like This,” a song by Coldplay and the Chainsmokers that came out last February. Last week, according to the Yonhap news service, Pledis Entertainment decided to legally credit both bands for “Don’t Wanna Cry.”

In a statement, the company said it had “received inquiries about the similarity of some of the melodies between the songs from the two publishing parties,” while not actually admitting to plagiarizing the song.

Originally, the single credited two members of Seventeen, but now it also includes Andrew Taggart of the Chainsmokers and Guy Berryman, Jonathan Buckland, William Champion and John Anthony Christopher Martin of Coldplay on the Korea Music Copyright Association listing.

Nakashima Reschedules With Communist Congress Looming

Japanese pop singer Mika Nakashima was forced to postpone a concert scheduled to take place in the Chinese city of Shenzhen in the southern province of Guangdong Oct. 15.

According to various Japanese media reports, Chinese authorities have ordered that the concert not take place on that day because of the upcoming Communist Party congress, which will take place Oct. 18-24. Local authorities reportedly are afraid of any large gatherings in the runup to the congress.

As a result, Nakashima rescheduled the concert for January.