Kuala Lumpur gig venue Angkasa Space has been forced to cancel its upcoming Gig Malam Merdeka showcase as Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) authorities have not reopened the space.
In an announcement posted on Angkasa Space’s Twitter account, the venue lamented that yet another gig had been cancelled, putting the livelihood of 30 staff including stage crew, sound engineers and cleaners at risk. In a statement to NME, venue owner Mohd Zulhelmie Zullifan, also known as Elmi, said that he was disappointed at the cancellation as the venue has abided by all instructions set out by the city hall for its reopening.
“We have sent plea letters, reopening letters for Angkasa Space to the Regulation & Enforcement division of the DBKL. Every week they tell us, ‘[The venue will be reopened] By today or tomorrow’,” Elmi said.
“So I am very disappointed by the process that is taking up so much time. I have to pay rental for the venue this month without any incoming business. Five of my staff have lost their salaries for a month. Every gig that is cancelled threatens the income of at least 30 people.”
Salam Merdeka anak-anak muzik Malaysia.
Dukacita dimaklumkan, satu lagi gig terpaksa dibatalkan pengacaraannya dan telah menjejaskan sekurang-kurangnya 30 anak muda (ahli band, sound engineer, stage crew, ticket crew, cleaner, lighting engineer). pic.twitter.com/wNSJwDgU50
— ANGKA///SA EVENT SPACE (@AngkasaSpace) August 29, 2022
The DBKL did not give any reason for the delay of the reopening, he also revealed. Angkasa Space’s Gig Malam Merdeka was set to take place on August 31 and feature the likes of Couple, Jemson and Spooky Wet Dreams. Refunds will be offered for tickets that have already been bought, with Elmi revealing that MYR3,210 would be due for the refunded tickets.
On July 24, it was announced that Angkasa Space would be closing down for good after local authorities shut it down due to a lapse in its licence. The DBKL shuttered the venue as it was preparing to host a hip-hop show featuring Nakalness from FORCEPARKBOIS and Chronicalz that evening, while also seizing a DJ deck that was at the venue.
Elmi shared on August 1 that Angkasa Space’s license has been renewed and is valid till September 2023 following a meeting between him and other music industry representatives with Mohamed Nizham Abdullah Hamidi, the Senior Secretary of Federal Territories Minister Dato’ Seri Shahidan Kassim, in late July. Elmi shared with NME that the meeting was initially fruitful, with the Federal Territories Minister’s team supportive of adding a new entertainment license category for non-commercial art spaces.