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Fans heartbroken as Leon Lai concert canceled over fire risk

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Source: ejinsight/Mingpao

 

 

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Leon Lai Ming, a movie star dubbed one of the “Four Heavenly Kings” of Canto-pop in the 1990s, canceled a concert Thursday night just before it was to start, leaving his fans in limbo, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday.

 

Lai told waiting fans that the authorities had refused to issue a permit, because of fire safety concerns. While the fans, some of whom flew to Hong Kong just to see Lai, were heartbroken at the last-minute news, many said they were willing to hold on to their tickets for a rescheduled concert on a date to be announced later.

 

Ticket holders lined up to enter the venue at the Central Harbourfront at 6 p.m. for the first of the eight carnival-like concerts in the “Leon 30th Anniversary Random Love Songs 4D in Live 2016″ series. The outdoor venue can accommodate 4,500 fans, who paid between HK$980 and HK$2,980 per ticket. The concert was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

 

However, at 5:43 p.m., the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said in a press release that no temporary permit for the concert would be issued, because the material of which the marquee that enclosed the venue was made failed to meet fire safety standards. Soon after the announcement, Lai, 49, posted a recorded video clip on his Facebook page, saying the concert had to be called off. Bowing to apologize for all the inconvenience caused and promising to make changes so that the rest of the concerts can be held as scheduled, he urged the fans to go home. Lai also showed up at the venue, using a hand-held megaphone to repeat the message.

 

Tsang Tat-ming, a senior officer in the Hong Kong and West Kowloon division of the Fire Services Department, said at a press conference later that the problem regarding the marquee had been raised earlier this month. But by Thursday, the event’s organizer had still failed to ensure the marquee met the British fire safety standards that are used in Hong Kong. Tsang said the department could not issue the concert a fire safety certificate, which the organizer needed to apply for a permit from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

 

In a Facebook message posted later that night, Lai said he would announce by 4 p.m. Friday whether the second concert, scheduled for that day, can still be held. Some angry and disappointed fans blamed the FEHD for doing a bad job, but Lai explained on Facebook that the fact that the mainland China-made marquee’s material didn’t meet the required standards had nothing to do with the department. He said it was an issue that he must face himself, Apple Daily reported. Kimmy Shuen King-on, chairman of Martini Group, the event’s organizer, was quoted as saying he did not know whether there is enough fireproof material that meets British standards to replace the marquee.

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People paid that much to go watch Leon??!! I want to go to his concert too but refused to pay that much.

Wow hope it gets reschedule soon.

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Wow the tickets sure are expensive! It will be so sad not being able to watch the concert after all this anticipation. I am sure I will be. Hopefully he will have sorted another date.

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Wow!! I can't believe cancellation was only hours prior to the concert. What a disaster! Why was it not approved beforehand? Sounds like alot of apologies will need to be said and done.

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I find it very irresponsible of the organizers to fail to get the permit to location before they started to sell tickets. Now a lot of fans are disappointed.

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People pay so much money and the organisers use non-compliant materials putting everybody at risk!

 

Fans should be compensated and get free tickets to the next show!

 

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department was right to not issue a permit if they think there was a risk! Safety always comes first!

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Well, indirectly it's enabled thousands of people to hear Leon perform for free outside the venue.

It became a picnic site...

 

Now his concert is over, heads are going to roll because of this major stuff up..

 

Cancelling a concert at the last minute due to sickness is acceptable, but due to fire safety is rediculous..

Preparation for the venue took months of pre planning and this should have been known way before the concert starting.

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dang that sucked. i feel like they need to be approved way in advance and not be just at the last hour. too bad for the fans

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