Category: Music


MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE3, 9:42 P.M) Five people, including teenagers, died from unknown causes during a pop concert in Pasay City, police said Sunday. In separate statements, Closeup and SM Supermalls said they were cooperating with probers.

The five were among an estimated 14,000 attending the “Closeup Forever Summer” open-air concert, headlined by Belgian DJ duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike late Saturday, investigating officer Giovanni Arcinue told AFP.

Among the fatalities was a 33-year-old foreign man, believed to be American, said Arcinue.

“They just collapsed individually. They did not know each other. They were all in different places at the time,” he said.

He said the cause of their collapse was still unknown although police were looking at possible heatstroke or dehydration as the country is sweltering under high temperatures brought on by the El Nino weather phenomenon.

He also said it was too early to say that the deaths were caused by drug-laced drinks, despite rumors spreading on social media.

Ridon seeking House probe

Kabataan Party-list Representative Terry Ridon was sufficiently alarmed by speculation that the deaths were linked to the use of illegal drugs – whether consciously or inadvertently consumed by the victims – that he vowed to file a resolution before Congress to investigate the incident.

“Upon the resumption of Congress tomorrow (Monday, May 23), we will file a resolution urging the Committee on Dangerous Drugs and the Committee on Youth and Sports to jointly investigate the alleged drug-related deaths in the Close-up Forever Summer Concert in the MOA Arena. The proliferation of “party drugs” in such events is an issue we cannot just simply ignore,” he said in a statement.

Strict safety measures in place: Closeup

Closeup, a major toothpaste company, issued a statement saying: “We regret that despite the very stringent measures and precautions that we have put in place to ensure the safety and security of all attendees involved, this incident still transpired.”

The company said it was cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

Closeup, the subsidiary of Unilever, earlier confirmed that a number of attendees of its Closeup Forever Summer concert on Saturday at SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds have died. Closeup and SM Supermalls said in separate statements they were cooperating with police probers.

In an initial statement released on its verified Facebook page Sunday afternoon, Closeup did not specify what exactly happened that led to the deaths. Nor did it say how many victims there were.

The company said only that it was “deeply saddened by the events that transpired on the early hours” of Sunday, and noted that the incident occurred despite its “very stringent measures and precautions” in place “to ensure the safety and security of all attendees involved.”

Closeup added that it immediately provided medical assistance and rushed “all those involved to the nearest hospital” for emergency care.

SM Supermalls: cooperating in probe

Annie Garcia, president of SM Supermalls which owns MOA, issued this statement:

“We would like to express our sympathies towards the unfortunate incident that happened at the Open Concert Grounds at MOA.

“We are assisting the event organizers, Close Up Phil., its agencies, and the authorities in the investigation.”

Pasay City police probers initially said four males, including one foreigner, and a woman had suddenly collapsed and became unconscious one after the other just before 3 a.m.Sunday. Police noted that they were not together as a group, apparently did not know each other, and were located in different parts of the concert venue, radio reports said.

Closeup, meanwhile, extended its “deepest sympathies” to the attendees’ families, and added that it was now “supporting those needing medical assistance so that they may fully recover.”

It also said that it was “fully cooperating with the authorities in the ongoing police investigations.”

FULL STATEMENT OF CLOSEUP BELOW:

Closeup and its organizing agency, Activations Advertising, and staging agency, Eventscape, are deeply saddened by the events that transpired on the early hours of May 22, 2016.

We regret that despite the very stringent measures and precautions we have put in place to ensure the safety and security of all attendees involved, this incident still transpired. As such, strict protocols were followed to immediately provide medical assistance, as well as rush all those involved to the nearest hospital where they can receive emergency care.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those who’ve passed away, and commit support in their time of bereavement. Likewise, our efforts are now focused on supporting those needing medical assistance so they may fully recover.

We are fully cooperating with the authorities in the ongoing police investigations

Source: Police probing mysterious deaths of 5 people in pop concert

A man suspected of carrying out a frenzied knife attack that left a Japanese pop singer in critical condition allegedly told police he had been angered by her refusal to accept a gift he sent her.

Tomohiro Iwazaki was arrested after allegedly stabbing Mayu Tomita more than 20 times in the neck, chest, arms and back while she was waiting to go onstage in Tokyo at the weekend.

It emerged on Monday that police had not acted in response to complaints Tomita made earlier in May about being stalked online by her assailant, even though she was able to provide them with his name and address.

Police were still trying to confirm if Iwazaki was behind inappropriate messages to sent to the singer, according to Kyodo news agency, and did not report the allegations to its stalking unit after officers concluded an assault was not imminent.

Tomita, a 20-year-old university student who has launched a promising career as a pop singer and actor, was in critical condition after the attack on Saturday.

The 27-year-old suspect said Tomita had angered him by returning a gift he sent her without explaining why, police alleged. “I sent her a gift, but it was returned,” Kyodo quoted him as telling investigators. “I asked her why, but she gave an evasive answer, so I became mad and stabbed her numerous times.”

The singer reportedly complained to police weeks ago that Iwazaki had been posting “obsessive” comments about her on Twitter and other social media sites.

Tomita was about to perform at a small concert venue in the Japanese capital when, according to police, Iwazaki “ambushed” her.

Police arrested him moments later and retrieved a knife from the scene.

It is not unusual for female pop singers in Japan to appear at meet-and-greet events for the public and to perform at smaller, more intimate, concert venues.

Satoru Umeta, a 24-year-old unemployed man, was arrested in May 2014 after attacking two teenage members of the hugely popular girl band AKB48 with a saw at a public event.

Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama needed hospital treatment for fractures to their hands and cuts on their arms and heads.

Source: Japanese pop star in critical condition after knife attack by fan | World news | The Guardian

Until Sunday, the music industry descends on Brighton for one of its largest annual showcases of new and upcoming acts – The Great Escape festival. Among punters desperately seeking access to hotly tipped sets from the likes of Stormzy, Songhoy Blues and Oh Wonder, others will be heading to the accompanying convention for a more measured take on the state of the business.

As well as looking at such topics as the importance of physical product and making sense of cutting-edge technology such as blockchains, one standout strand is titled “What has the music industry ever done for you?” This segment focuses on an issue gaining a higher profile within the industry, mental health, which raises a couple of important questions: are mental health problems becoming more prevalent among musicians? And, if so, what should we do about it?

Music has long attracted its fair share of vulnerable outsiders, many of whose issues have been widely publicised after their untimely deaths, from Brian Jones and Janis Joplin, through to Ian Curtis to Amy Winehouse. Now, though, artists are becoming more open about personal hardships including mental health issues, whether these were pre-existing and exacerbated by the precarious livelihood of a fledgling or stuttering career or the rock’n’roll lifestyle and being in the public gaze of a successful one, or apparently caused by these things. Ahead of the release next month of her sophomore album The Dreaming Room, Laura Mvula has divulged details of panic attacks that she claims were a cause in the break-up of her marriage and nearly ended her career. These started before the Birmingham-raised artist found fame, but became more debilitating as her profile rocketed, especially as she felt the need to keep her travails secret from the industry she operated in.

Mvula had hinted at these issues earlier in her career, referring to stage-fright symptoms that had leaked into occasions when she occupied her public persona. For other artists, it is the challenges of touring that take their toll, or even returning to mundane domesticity afterwards. US solo artist Willis Earl Beal is one of several music makers to have opened up about this, explaining how failure to deal with coming home after life on the road led to the break-up of his marriage. The pressures of touring were so debilitating to Alanna McArdle, singer of Welsh indie outfit Joanna Gruesome, that she quit the band last year after dates in the US.

At the Great Escape convention, Vice is set to preview a series of short films that feature musicians discussing their experiences of mental health issues – Bill Ryder-Jones, Rob Harvey (previously frontman of The Music) and south London MC NoLay. Meanwhile, Help Musicians UK – formerly the Musicians Benevolent Fund – is launching a research project at the festival to find out the true scale of the problem. The charity that looks after musicians facing hardship is certainly finding more demand for its services, though chief executive Richard Robinson, who will speak at The Great Escape, says there’s not enough evidence just yet to say whether that is down to increasing stress or greater understanding about mental health and publicity for his own organisation.

“It’s making sure we build a service that delivers mental health support to musicians of all genres and instead of doing this piecemeal, we want to get the picture right,” Robinson says. “We want to make sure we are talking to the right people, getting case studies and understanding people’s experiences of dealing with mental health issues.” Help Musicians UK’s aim is to fund a study much more comprehensive than the online survey of its members two years ago that found, among other things, that three-quarters of respondents had suffered from performance anxiety.

Source: Brighton’s Great Escape festival providing a forum to raise awareness around musicians and mental health | Music | Culture | The Independent

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Christopher Wallace, internationally known as The Notorious BIG, would have been 44-years-old on Saturday. That’s why Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams officially declared May 21 as “Christopher ‘The Notorious BIG’ Wallace Day.”

Adams made the announcement on Thursday, as the legendary Biggie Smalls was a Bedford-Stuyvesant native. Biggie’s music can still be heard playing throughout neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

“On his birthday, Brooklyn salutes one of our own, who has never been forgotten as long as his music plays,” Adams said. “His energy will remain and continue to inspire people throughout not only the borough of Brooklyn, but Biggie put Brooklyn on the map.”

Adams presented the proclamation to the rapper’s daughter T’yanna Wallace and longtime friend James Lloyd, who’s known by his rap moniker Lil’ Cease.

Source: Notorious BIG’s birthday officially named ‘Christopher Wallace Day’ in Brooklyn | Americas | News | The Independent

Two French festivals on Friday cancelled shows by Eagles of Death Metal, the band whose 13 November show in Paris turned into a bloodbath, after the frontman made remarks critical of Muslims.

The Rock en Seine and Cabaret Vert festivals took issue with an interview by singer and guitarist Jesse Hughes, who renewed allegations that Muslim staff at the Bataclan club had been involved in the attack.

“As we are in total disagreement with Jesse Hughes’s recent allegations given in an interview with an American media [outlet], both Cabaret Vert and Rock en Seine festivals have decided to cancel the band’s performance,” said a statement by the two festivals, which take place in late August.

Source: French festivals ditch Eagles of Death Metal over singer’s comments | World news | The Guardian

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