Organizers of the Surrey Music Festival has removed Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala from its lineup after the RCMP and the city raised concerns about public safety.
The popular singer was scheduled to perform at Metro Vancouver’s 5X Fest Block Party starting from Wednesday evening at Central City, Surrey.
City raised a number of security concerns based on Sidhu Moose Wala’s previous performances.
“Given the public safety issues that have occurred at past performances, which included a stabbing at a concert in Surrey and shots fired at an event in Calgary earlier this year, the city’s festival events team felt that is was not in the best interest of public safety to support this performance at a family friendly, all ages event,” the city said in an email.
The five-day event is organized by Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society (VIBC). The organizer said that Moose Wala’s performance has been cancelled at the insistence of Surrey RCMP.
“The Surrey RCMP [has] deemed Sidhu a public safety risk and asked that he be removed from the festival,” wrote VIBC in an emailed statement.
“Although we disagree with their conclusion, public safety is always our number one priority, and we have agreed to remove Sidhu from our lineup,” added VIBC.
The email further added that the VIBC is removing him so that it can focus on producing the 5X fest.
“As a result of this assessment, the Surrey RCMP advised the City of Surrey we did not believe future performances of Mr. Sidhu Moose Wala in Surrey are in the best interest of the public safety for the city,” Surrey RCMP’s Sgt. Chad Greig said.
This year in February, a stabbing took place during Sidhu Moose Wala’s performance at Punjabi Banquet Hall, and after that, Surrey RCMP opened an investigation.