Netizens react to cancelation of ASEAN Music Festival 2017 due to crowd problems

Netizens react to cancelation of ASEAN Music Festival 2017 due to crowd problems

The much-hyped ASEAN Music Festival was only on its first hour Tuesday night (November 13) when the organizers decided to cancel the event altogether, citing their difficulties in controlling the crowd.

The organizers made the abrupt decision upon seeing that a lot of the concert-goers have passed out or had difficulty breathing because of the unruly crowd.

“For reasons of public safety, we have stopped the show. People are slowly leaving the venue to go home. We are very sorry for the inconvenience,” according to a statement from the organizers read to members of the media. Earlier in the day, the organizers have estimated that as much as 10,000 people might troop to the Ayala Triangle Gardens to witness the musical extravaganza.

Musical acts from all over the region was supposed to perform during the event, including Parokya ni Edgar and Silent Sanctuary from the Philippines, singer Eaint Chit from Myanmar, Indonesian singing duo Mia and Kiel, Vietnamese soloist Tran Thieu Anh Tuan, as well as Cambodian singers Chamroeun Sophea and Ting Tong. It is unclear if the event will push through on another date because otherwise, it means that the foreign musical acts went to the Philippines for nothing.

ASEAN Music Festival 2017 canceled
A glimpse of the mammoth crowd that trooped to makati City to watch the ASEAN Music Festival 2017, which was abruptly canceled. Photo used with permission from Ms Annil Villanueva (

In other words, what was envisioned to be a great musical event turned out to be an embarrassing mess that reflected badly on the Philippine government and Filipinos in particular. Manila Times columnist Katrina Stuart Santiago, for instance, blamed the organizers’ failure to anticipate the massive crowd that showed up for the event.

“It was badly organized and ill-conceived from the get-go. You invite people to a free concert with local bands and then you don’t have bouncers or security? Paano yun?” (How will that work out?) she wrote on Facebook. She also questioned why the popular band Parokya ni Edgar was turned into an opening act. “They should have been the finale. That’s how it goes anywhere, anytime,” she explained.

It must be remembered, however, that we Filipinos do not exactly have a good record in organizing events and in handling undisciplined crowds. The deadly stampede that happened during the now-defunct noontime show “Wowowee” back in 2006 as well as the failed P8 promo by burger chain Zark’s early this year are good examples of this.

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Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here:

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