Viet Nam News
The Editor's note: Organisers of the Quest Festival took to social media Friday evening to announce the event has been cancelled
HÀ NỘI — A popular music festival planned for this weekend appears to have been cancelled at the last minute, leaving thousands stranded at the gates.
Organisers of Quest 2018 arrived at the venue in Vietnam National Villages for Ethnic Culture and Tourism Village only to be met by officials who refused them entry Friday morning.
Meanwhile in Hà Nội, hundreds of party-goers were left waiting for scheduled buses at the Hồ Tây Waterpark, confused as to what was happening.
Many took to social media in an attempt to find out if the event was still taking place.
But on Friday afternoon documents were circulated online revealing the festival was actually asked to be postponed in September.
Hà Nội’s Department of Culture and Sports, which earlier granted permission for the event, on Tuesday sent an official document to the Chairman of the city’s People’s Committee.
It asked him to give the green light to the festival, adding that “the event was successfully organised in 2016 and 2017, attracting a large number of Vietnamese and international attendees.”
According to the document, it said organisers of the event had contacted them on November 18 asking if the event could still be held.
It remains unclear if any reply was sent, leaving thousands of anxious music lovers in the dark as to what is happening this weekend.
Another letter sent Thursday from the management board of Vietnam National Villages for Ethnic Culture and Tourism to local police asking for their assistance to stop the event from being held.
Hundreds of party-goers, many of whom are foreigners, were left stranded at Hà Nội’s Hồ Tây Water Park waiting for coaches to get to the festival Friday morning.
Quest Festival has been held annually since 2013 at Sơn Tinh Camp and has received international acclaim from a number of music related publications.
It is not clear if those who have already bought tickets will be offered a refund. Quest has so far not confirmed if the event has officially been cancelled.
Earlier on Friday, a statement on their Facebook page read: “After unending passion and thousands of hours of work, Quest is being threatened at the last minute by the Vietnam National Villages for Ethnic Culture and Tourism.
“Despite having the Ministry of Culture’s support, they have blocked access to the entire Ethnic Culture and Tourism Village to many event staff, volunteers and all non-Vietnamese citizens, preventing access to the festival site.
“We are working behind the scenes to resolve this issue and ask for your patience. We will be providing more information as it comes to hand.”
A second announcement posted Friday afternoon read: “Thank you all for your patience. Know that are working with the relevant authorities and are looking to have a resolution to this situation soon.
“So much energy and effort goes into making this magic happen. We will have further information shortly.”
As well as music, Quest also showcases local art and stages are handcrafted by volunteers.
Besides expats and locals in Viet Nam, Quest attracts numerous visitors from overseas.
Tickets to the three-day event cost around VNĐ1.9 million (US$ 81). — VNS