WKNDFEST organiser Khairul Anwar (left) speaks to Malay Mail in Kuala Lumpur August 6, 2019. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
PETALING JAYA, Aug 6 — The organisers behind the Wkndfest K-pop music festival have come forward to address concerns after sudden revisions in the event’s schedule sparked suspicions amongst fans.
Wkndfest co-founder Khairul Anwar cited Awal Muharram, National Day, and Malaysia Day celebrations as reasons for the change in date from September 1 to August 30 and the shift in location from Bukit Jalil National Stadium to Axiata Arena.
Khairul explained that local authorities could only give the green light as long as the festival isn’t held on the same day as an important holiday and was staged indoors.
He also took the opportunity to clear the air about miscommunications between him and K-pop fans on social media that caused rumours of the festival being a scam to spread online.
“I tweeted unconfirmed details about the event on my personal Twitter account but fans took those posts as official statements, despite me saying that anything official would come from the Wkndfest account.
“There was a bit of confusion there and I think that’s where the speculation of this being a scam started,” he explained.
“We wouldn’t spend millions to get these artistes to come here if we were trying to scam people.
“We are serious in doing this and we really tried to get the best acts for our line-up.”
The notable names slated to perform at Wkndfest Vol 1: K-pop Edition this month include boybands iKON and VAV, solo singer Tiffany Young, and girl groups (G)I-dle, Mamamoo, and Momoland.
Khairul acknowledged the disappointment of fans who had booked flights and hotels to see their idols on the initial September 1 date, assuring them that any refunds or ticket exchanges will be completed by Wkndfest’s ticketing agent MyTicket Asia by this Friday.
“As the organisers, we’re truly sorry to the fans for changing the date at the last minute
“We now realise that we need to improve our communication with customers and be more clear about things from here on.”
WKNDFEST organisers Khairul Anwar (left) and Shahrin Kamaruzaman speak to Malay Mail in Kuala Lumpur August 6, 2019. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
While many disgruntled Twitter users slammed Wkndfest for its ticket prices (ranging from RM338 to RM788), Khairul emphasised how the festival packed six solo concerts into one gig with each artiste getting a 45-minute to one hour slot for their performance.
“Malaysia has never had anything like this before and fans are used to solo concerts dedicated to a specific act. Many people online have been comparing us to that and saying we are charging expensive prices.
“I want them to understand that we’re creating a place where K-pop music lovers can see not only their favourite idols perform but discover other groups as well and have a great night out.”
Despite the challenges, Khairul and fellow Wkndfest co-founders Shahrin Kamaruzaman and Amirul Hafiz will continue to power through to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience for K-pop lovers in the region.
The trio is already hatching plans for future genre-specific editions of Wkndfest and even a full-fledged three-day festival in 2020.
“At the end of the day, we want to celebrate Malaysian K-pop music lovers and their idols.
“We’re very lucky that the artistes agreed to do this with us and having the trust of labels like YG Entertainment (who manage boyband iKON) is a big thing for us.
“Our 2020 vision is to do a mega version of Wkndfest which will be held over three days, with each day dedicated to a specific genre ranging from K-pop, hip-hop, and pop.”
Wkndfest Vol 1: K-pop Edition will take place at Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil on Friday, August 30. Doors open at 5pm.