Malaysia blacklists promoter

Permit violations involved U.S. bands Korn, N.E.R.D.

KUALA LUMPUR -- The Malaysian government has blacklisted local concert promoter Pineapple Concerts from bringing in foreign artists, because it failed to comply with rules after several warnings.

The promoter failed to secure work permits for American acts Korn and N.E.R.D. and Indonesian rock band Agrikulture when they performed at the Sunburst Music Festival on March 21 at the 12,000-capacity Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club.

The Information, Communications, Arts and Culture Ministry issued a statement recommending that the Companies Commission of Malaysia de-register Pineapple Concerts and blacklist its directors.

The recommendation follows the discovery by the Ministry's Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artists that the three foreign acts performed at the Festival without a permit. The authorities allowed the show to go on as scheduled, but then questioned the musicians and held their passports until it was determined that the promoter was liable.

Pineapple Concerts is also charged with promoting the festival before it had approval by the authorities for permitting the sale of liquor and cigarettes during the show, and allowing the audience to dance on stage.

A spokesperson from the Central Agency confirmed that Pineapple Concerts contravened rules several times previously and were issued formal warning letters.

Phone calls to Pineapple Concerts were not returned.

Pineapple Concerts made global headlines when the first-time concert by Sony Music Entertainment artist Beyonce was canceled in 2007, following protests by local Muslim groups over her outfits. Beyonce was reportedly unwilling to comply with Malaysia's strict dress code for performers.
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