Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala's 5X Fest performance cancelled following police safety assessment
City says incidents at recent performances include a stabbing at a Surrey concert and shots fired in Calgary
A Surrey music festival has cancelled the appearance of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala after the city and the RCMP raised a number of concerns about public safety.
The popular singer was set to perform at the 5X Fest Block Party starting Wednesday evening at Surrey's Central City.
In an emailed statement, the city raised a number of serious security concerns based on 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 Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society is the organizer behind the five-day event. It said Wala's performance was cancelled at the Surrey RCMP's insistence.
In an emailed statement, the VIBC wrote: "The Surrey RCMP [has] deemed Sidhu a public safety risk and asked that he be removed from the festival.
"Although we disagree with their conclusion, public safety is always our number one priority, and we have agreed to remove Sidhu from our lineup."
The email said the VIBC is removing him so it can focus on producing the 5X Fest.
Sgt. Chad Greig with the Surrey RCMP said police presented the City of Surrey with a public safety assessment.
"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 opened an investigation after a stabbing took place during Wala's performance at the Punjabi Banquet Hall in February this year.
With files from Lien Yeung