RAYONG — After residents in Ko Samet came out to oppose an annual music fest on the island, authorities said Wednesday they have canceled the event.
Samed in Love won’t return to the national park island for its eighth outing next month after officials ordered it canceled due to a previously unenforced law prohibiting disturbances in national parks. Although the festival has gone off annually, they cited the mourning period for King Bhumibol for why 2017 would be different.
“Samed In Love is definitely prohibited during the mourning period,” Prayoon Pongphan, head of the national park where the island is situated, said Wednesday afternoon, after meeting a day earlier with the top national parks official.
The organizers, who Prayoon said were present at the meeting to defend the festival, said they did their best to deal with waste management problems and promote tourism on the island. Moreover, they protested that tickets had already been sold and rooms reserved.
“They can submit a letter to the chief, but it was also their fault for announcing the festival date and selling tickets prior to the department’s approval,” Prayoon said.
An application for organizer Create Intelligence to hold the event was filed in April by Rayong Gov. Surasak Charoensirichok.
It’s uncertain whether the festival will be allowed to return after the mourning period, as Ko Samet is part of the Khao Laem Ya–Mu Ko Samet National Park. Pubs and bars have been forced to close at midnight since the 2014 coup in a crackdown on the island’s famed nightlife offerings.
Create Intelligence was not ready to throw in the beach towel, however. It said it would clarify the situation next week in a message posted Tuesday on the event’s Facebook page.
“There’s still no resolution to the issue,” said Netnaphad Pulsavad, senior assistant to the group’s managing director.
The team replied to several complaints on its page saying tickets would be refunded were the festival to be canceled.
The festival is set for June 3 at Silver Sands Beach on Ko Samet.