BEIRUT: British organizers cancelled Creamfields Beirut 2013 music festival scheduled to start Saturday at the Beirut Waterfront, the local event planners said Friday morning.
Creamfields Beirut is a local arm of the Creamfields international electronic festivals, which started in the U.K. If it had gone forward, it would have been one of the biggest one-day music festival in Beirut’s history.
A spokeswoman for JK58, the so-called creative agency that was hosting Creamfields, told The Daily Star Friday morning that Creamfields’ headquarters in Britain cancelled the event, fearing the safety of its DJs.
Creamfields U.K., which started as an offshoot of Liverpool’s Cream nightclub in 1998, takes place over three days each summer in Cheshire, England. Over the past 15 years it has expanded internationally and offshoots of the festival have been held in 17 countries across six continents.
It has taken place in Abu Dhabi for the past four years.
Andy Owen, the festival’s marketing manager, who was in Beirut to attend the news conference announcing the festival in June, said that the team selected Beirut as their latest destination after repeatedly hearing good things about the local music scene.
Up until Thursday, JK58 had been holding media interviews, trying to give the concert one last push and reassuring the public that everything was moving forward in spite of an ever-deteriorating security situation.
Jean Carl Saliba, managing partner for Creamfields Lebanon, told The Daily Star Tuesday that they had upped security measures and were anticipating a solid turnout from both Lebanese, returning expatriates and some foreign visitors – though not as many as they had originally planned for.
The multi-stage, open-air venue was set up to house a maximum of 15,000 people. When tickets sales opened, Creamfields was selling around 100 tickets per day or more in the first several weeks. After the bombings in Ruwaiss, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, and in Tripoli, however, the rate of ticket sales took a nose dive.
JK58 and its partners will hold a news conference Friday evening to explain publicly why the concert was cancelled.