The free Coke Christmas Concert with nearly 15,000 attendees was suddenly canceled last Friday due to the rowdy crowd.
Artists who were supposed to perform expressed their thoughts online amid the slew of criticisms against them and the management after.
This was the second season of the much-awaited Coke Studio Homecoming Christmas concert where many rising and well-known OPM artists perform for free.
However, the audience got uncontrollable and caused minor injuries to some prompting authorities to cancel it and postpone it to next year.
Message to fans
Singer-rapper Jose Villanueva III or Quest attempted to talk to the audience when the organizers put the event on hold.
He shared a series of tweets how he got drained because of it.
“Drained. Sa lahat ng nagpunta sa MOA concert grounds… Mahal na mahal ko kayo. Kayo ang dahilan ko. Pasensya sa nangyari. Babawi kami pangako yan,” one of his posts said.
On Saturday, Villanueva said that he also got booed and cussed.
Getting cussed at and booed by thousands of people is bad energy. And it drains out whatever good energy you have. Didn't realize it until yesterday.
Pahinga muna ako today. ✌🏼
— Quest (@officialQUEST) December 8, 2018
Zel Bautista, vocalist of December Avenue, also aired his dismay via a Twitter thread over the fiasco.
“Just because it’s free doesn’t mean na wala na din tayong disiplina. All efforts to control the crowd were done by @CocaColaPH esp @officialQUEST but of course it starts within ourselves!” Bautista said.
At the end, he said that this was a “wake up call” to people attending such shows for free.
“Wake up call din to. Feeling ko same people na nagsasabing “mahal naman ng ticket”. Now you know why,” he said.
Just because it's free doesnt mean na wala na din tayong disiplina. All efforts to control the crowd were done by @CocaColaPH esp @officialQUEST but ofcourse it starts within ourselves!!! Sayang for most people who were there to enjoy and sa artists who were excited to perform.
— Zel Bautista (@zelbautista) December 7, 2018
Moira Dela Torre, meanwhile, extended a friendlier message to her fans.
“In a world full of bashing, judgement & hate, thank YOU for choosing to be kind & for choosing to celebrate others!” Torre said.
In a world full of bashing, judgement & hate, thank YOU for choosing to be kind & for choosing to celebrate others! Even those who have stands that you dont agree with~ we can always choose respect over wars & kindness over unnecessary hate. If this is you, THANK YOU I LOVE U♥️🎄
— Moira Dela Torre (@moirarachelle4) December 7, 2018
A total of fourteen artists were tapped to showcase their talent. Aside from the ones mentioned, these include KZ Tandingan, Kriesha Chu and AJ Rafael.
What really happened?
Based on Coke’s announcements, the Christmas holiday show was supposed to take place at the Mall of Asia concert grounds. Gates were already open at 3 pm and it started at 4 pm.
By 5 pm, Coke Philippines announced on its social media account that it was temporarily being suspended. It initially cited that the venue has reached its full capacity. Then after two hours, it posted that organizers of the Coke Studio Philippines were having technical difficulties.
Villanueva had tried to calm down the crowd who was already getting thicker and impatient. He was also the one who announced the cancellation at 11 pm.
Reaction video of netizens during the announcement by the Coke Studio organizer that the event is totally canceled#CokeStudioHomeComing #CokeStudio #CokeStudioPH #KMJS Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (One at Heart, Jessica Soho) GMA News #Peenoise INQUIRER.net MANILA BULLETIN
Posted by FirstVal Tolentino Babon on Friday, December 7, 2018
Online testimonies tell that only December Avenue and Khalil Ramos were the ones who got to perform.
Video clips and photos of people throwing bottles on stage and pushing against the barricades also went rounds on social media over the weekend.
— MartinRichmond (@martinrichmondx) December 7, 2018
Coke cited the “unsafe” behavior of the attendees as the main reason for the postponement.
“The unsafe behavior of portions of an estimated 15,000 spectators such as pushing, jumping on the barricades, and throwing bottles, threatened the safety of the rest of the concert-goers, despite numerous reminders from authorities present,” part of the official announcement said.
More than 50 people fainted and one was injured that time, said Noel Flores, Pasay city police chief.
He recalled that there were 140 police officers who tried but failed to control the crowd shortly before the event started.
There was an estimated 15,000 and 20,000 attendees.
“This is an annual event, but as compared to the previous years hindi naman ganyan kadami ang tao so talagang hindi na-control,” Flores said.