The information was issued by To Van Dong, director of the municipal Department of Culture and Sports.
To Van Dong, director of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports says that local authorities will suspend the licensing of music festivals following the deadly music event in the city’s West Lake area in September.
Seven people died and five others lost consciousness while attending the Trip to the Moon event in the West Lake area which attracted a crowd of around 5,000 on September 16. After that, seven people who died were tested positive for drugs.
Since then, Hanoi authorities temporarily stopped licensing all music festivals for safety concerns, Dong said there had been no mention when licensing would be resumed.
Most recently, the Quest Festival in Hanoi was cancelled at the last minute after organisers failed to get the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s permission.
The music event licensed in July was scheduled to take place on November 23-25 at Vietnam National Villages for Ethnic Culture and Tourism Village, but on September 19, Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports requested the organisers to halt the festival preparations following the West Lake music show disaster.
Despite the instruction, the organisers still tried to make the preparations, selling thousands of tickets and inviting more than 1,200 foreign and local artists and volunteers.
Just some days before the opening ceremony, the Quest Festival organisers sent letters to both the Ministry for Culture, Sports and Tourism and the village management board asking for permission to hold the festival, ensuring them all necessary safety measures were in place, including medical facilities and procedures to prevent illicit drug use. However, the appeal was turned down.
Artists who were invited to join Quest Festival
The village management board said it could not ensure safe conditions for organising the show.
Nguyen Van Minh, office manager of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism denied the information that the festival had been forced to be cancelled at the last minute, specifying that its preparations were ordered to be halted since September.
The organisers claimed that they would face losses of up to VND10 billion (USD430,000) for the cancellation.
In October, a concert by well-known Vietnamese pop singer Tuan Hung slated to be held at Hanoi’s Quan Ngua Sports Complex was cancelled allegedly due to the venue lacking fire safety certification.
The show cancellation has left Tuan Hung liable for losses of VND4-5 billion (USD181,818-227,272), but took place shortly after.