The six people who died at the Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) 2014 was not caused by drug overdose, post-mortem results show. Instead, the deaths were caused by heatstroke, with drugs playing a negligible role.
According to a pathologist involved with the case, two out of the 16 revellers brought to the hospital did not even have traces of illegal substance, contradicting police reports that all the deaths were linked to drugs.
Still, the authorities did not publicise the results, and the deaths supposedly caused by drug overdose were used as grounds to cancel several concerts locally and in Singapore.
The pathologist, Prof Dr K. Nadesan of University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), said he had sent a few detailed reports correcting the police statements, but to no avail.
He also said that those who died tested positive for ecstasy or MDMA, but the dose was much lower than the average recreational level of 0.1 to 0.25 microgram per millilitre.
Some of the bodies were “virtually dried up”, according to Dr Nadesan, and one of the bodies had a temperature of 39°C.
A combination of choking haze, high humidity and 35°C during the second day of the festival were the main causes of the tragedy. The revellers were also dancing for hours, without sufficient fluids.
This tragedy has certainly taken a toll on the Malaysian nightlife and concert scene, with the cancellation of several concerts, including Life In Colour in April 2014 and Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust in April.
[UPDATE 2.30pm] Official Statement From ALIFE (Arts, Live Festivals And Events Association) Regarding The Said Report
The association of Arts, Live, International Festivals and Events (ALIFE) are shocked at the latest report that has surfaced in The Star today regarding the causes of death at Future Music Festival Asia 2014 (FMFA 2014). Like the Malaysian public, the arts and live events industry, for over a year, has been led to believe that drugs played a decisive factor to the unfortunate deaths at FMFA 2014. Since the incident of that day, FMFA has been made as a scapegoat for the decline of the live events industry in Malaysia, particularly when it comes to events that promote the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) genre. Shows with EDM elements have been rejected by authorities for fear of similar drug related deaths recurring. With the latest discovery and in the interest of full transparency, we call on the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) to first and foremost make public the investigation reports on FMFA 2014, information which till this day, is only privy to only the PDRM.
Our hearts also go out to the families and friends of those affected by this tragedy as they are once again, forced to seek closure over a year on.