“If Pasar Malams Can, Why Can’t We?” Event Organiser Does #OneManProtest to Save Event Industry

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source: Iqbal Ameer (Instagram)/ Poskod.my

As we scroll through our phone’s gallery, looking back at the good, messy-fun times we had at concerts, festivals, hell, even at food events – we can’t help but notice that the event industry is taking a big hit due to the pandemic.

The government-imposed SOPs are well understood but with so many new cases arising despite new restrictions being placed and lifted from time to time, it’s a wonder why public spots like the pasar malam are allowed to operate while events that adhere to stricter SOPs are not.

Iqbal Ameer, CEO of Livescape Group and his team have been behind some of Asia’s most unique music events, from Rockaway Fest to Future Music Festival Asia and It’s The Ship. With the COVID-19 pandemic not going away anytime soon, the question is when can we experience live events again?

Stranger Things’ attraction at Good Vibes Festival 2019.

Taking it to the streets of a few pasar malam around Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Iqbal started #OneManProtest which aims to spread awareness on the importance of events for economic growth, and how there is a direct and indirect ripple effect that happens when an event takes place. And to drive the message home, he used the pasar malam as an example of large gatherings of people that is still allowed.

Pasar malams are large social gatherings, and they have less SOPs to be compiled and have been allowed to operate throughout the CMCO.

“Yet the event industry, which has much more stringent SOPs in place are not allowed to operate. In my opinion, this does not make sense and should be addressed,” says Iqbal.


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A post shared by Iqbal Ameer (@iqbalameer)

In an Instagram post, Iqbal explains why live events have a ripple effect that contributes not only to the workers behind it but those in F&B, hospitality and even transportation sectors in the country.

“The event industry is one of the best ways to contribute high-impact growth in a short amount of time to the economy,” he wrote in the caption.

According to Variety, the global live events industry lost more than USD30 billion in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you do the math, that’s RM121,525,000,000.

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