Future Music Festival Asia Called Off After Fan Death

Canceled third day of Malaysian event would have featured performances by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pharrell

Fans enjoy the atmosphere during the 2014 Future Music Festival at Flemington Racecourse on March 9th, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Scott Barbour/WireImage
March 16, 2014 6:30 PM ET

The third and final day of the Future Music Festival Asia in Malaysia was called off this weekend after at least one concertgoer died on Friday, canceling performances by Pharrell and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Initial reports from the festival, held at Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, had the death count at six, but the BBC confirms that only one person died. 

The cause of death is not yet known, but Malaysia's Star reported widespread methamphetamine overdoses. A police representative told the publication that 22 people had been arrested for narcotics possession in the first two days of the festival.

Drugs, Death and Dance Music

A statement posted to the festival's Facebook page on Sunday noted that authorities had advised calling off the third day and outlined the high police presence and medical help that had been available on the festival grounds. "The organizers of the festival are deeply saddened by the reported loss of lives on Friday 14th March," the statement read. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those affected. The health and safety of our patrons is of upmost importance to us and we are extremely devastated that circumstances such as these occurred despite the significant planning and resources in place." The festival is offering refunds through its website.

Future Music Festival Asia, a spin-off of the namesake Australian event, has been held in Malaysia for the past three years. In addition to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Pharrell, the line-up for Day 3  was supposed to include Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, Martin Garrix, Eric Prydz, Tinie Tempah and Baauer, among others.

Drug deaths are unfortunately not an uncommon feature of large music festivals in recent years. This past September, the third day of the Electric Zoo Festival in New York City was called off after two concertgoers died from an overdose of MDMA and hyperthermia. 

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