Good Vibes Festival Crisis: Was It Avoidable?

ByShaerine Irwina Kaur

As a PR practitioner, I find myself pondering the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the cancellation of the Good Vibes Festival in Malaysia recently and the subsequent challenges that have had a profound impact on the numerous parties involved. The question is: was this crisis avoidable? The answer, in my opinion, lies in between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’, as there were both proactive measures that could have been taken and external factors that were beyond immediate control.

In today’s ever-evolving landscape, one of the critical aspects that could have helped in avoiding or mitigating the crisis is the presence of a well-structured Crisis Communication plan and manual. Concert organisers, including those behind the Good Vibes Festival, should have had a well-structured Crisis Communication plan and manual in place, which could even include a Crisis Communication navigation team that is constantly on standby and equipped to handle the various scenarios outlined in the manual. At least by doing this, swift actions can be taken when a crisis arises to avoid letting the situation get from bad to worse.

Image | The Telegraph

In regards to the Good Vibes Festival cancellation, I feel that the organisers should conduct a background check on the artist (Matty Healy) as he is notorious for being vocal, even in other locations where he has performed at. This might prompt the organisers to be ready to pull the plug on the artist the minute he started his rants by immediately removing him and the band members from the stage before the situation escalated and averted further damage to the festival’s reputation.

However, it is essential to also acknowledge that some factors may have been beyond the immediate control of the organisers. In such cases, the government’s role becomes crucial in addressing the issue appropriately.

Considering the impact of the festival’s cancellation on the nation, vendors, and participants, the government should have stepped in to assess the situation thoroughly. A more comprehensive approach could have been taken instead of resorting to a blanket cancellation. This could include investigating the incident thoroughly, holding those responsible accountable, and working with the organisers to implement necessary changes to prevent such incidents in the future.

Moreover, it is essential to emphasise the cultural values of Malaysia, which have always been based on respect and tolerance. While the incident at the festival was regrettable, it does not define the entire nation or its people. It is crucial for the upcoming artists to understand and appreciate the rules and customs in place, not only in Malaysia but in any country that they perform in. With this understanding, it will foster cross-border mutual respect and promote cultural harmony.

In conclusion, the Good Vibes Festival crisis could have been avoided or better managed through proactive measures such as having a Crisis Communication plan, conducting thorough artist checks, and taking swift action during incidents. Additionally, a more comprehensive approach from the government and a focus on educating outsiders on cultural values can help prevent such issues in the future.

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