[Editor’s note dated 21 September 2013]

Dear Popspoken readers, we have just received a request from a management personnel, who would like us to post some clarifications regarding our previous articles on the 1 World Music Festival.

For the avoidance of doubt, we are quoting directly from the source:

All artists were confirmed and paid in full, you are welcome to check with each of their management.

Venue was confirmed you can also check with the venue, it was booked since April with final payment made this past month.

There is nothing underhanded going on here.

Tickets and tables are in the process of being refunded.

[Original article published on 19 September 2013]

Artistes’ deposits were paid, big brand sponsors on-board, hotels booked, flights secured.

Yet, the highly anticipated 1 World Music Festival slated to happen in Singapore on 20 and 21 September 2013 was cancelled at the very last minute on 18 August 2013, to the disappointment of many. Speculations abound as to the reason why.

So, what happened?

According to sources Popspoken spoke to, 1 World Music Festival organizers were gunning for a crowd of approximately 15,000. At last count, we heard that ticket sales were hovering around 2,000.

This was the crowd that internationally-renowned acts such as Iggy Azalea and Moby were to perform: just over one-tenth of the venue capacity.

We noted 1 World Festival sponsors giving out plenty of tickets; however, we were informed by an employee of Retfar Entertainment that “on a larger scale event this can be somewhat normal, depending on the promotional deal / corporate marketing package”.

Another source working on the project said exclusively to Popspoken that too many VIP tickets were printed and that the VIP lounge was in over-capacity.

With the benefit of hindsight, it seems likely that Retfar Entertainment over-forecasted ticket demand. Perhaps 1 World Music Festival was outmuscled by other big-scale events happening on the same day, such as the sold-out “I Am Hardwell” concert organized by Zouk on 21 September as well as BIGBANG and The Killers performing at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on 20 and 21 September respectively.

Could the show have gone on despite not hitting the targeted sales amount?

Popspoken previously reported ‘production and licensing issues’ which culminated in the cancellation of the 1 World Music Festival. According to sources, although Marina Barrage was booked, additional hoops could not be jumped through in time– special licenses were needed to operate an event past midnight at the park.

The energetic team behind the festival is, perhaps, the most affected having put in their heart and soul into the event. A dedicated 1 World Music Festival team member lamented, “It’s bittersweet to see it end like this and I feel a bit helpless that I couldn’t make it happen right”.

Investigations are underway as to whether there was any wrongdoing involved in this fiasco, including accusations of embezzlement. Links have been made to a 1 World Music Festival staff member who was also allegedly involved in a Phuket beach party gone wrong, in which accusations were made that the event was over-hyped.

“There’s a pattern: all signs keep pointing back to one person,” our source added.