In the aftermath of a polarizing rave that took place in Hunza, a valley in the northern part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, government officials have banned music festivals in the area.
Daily Pakistan reports the edict was enacted after a youth organization lodged an official complaint about alleged drug use at the event, which took place June 11th to 13th. The grievance also reportedly noted some women were "seen in indecent clothes" that "opposed the traditions of Hunza."
A memo from the Deputy Commissioner's office denounced the event for "sabotaging the local culture" before promising legal action against its organizers. The directive, which effectively banned concerts in the region, also cited "many complaints received from the public" for causing "discomfort and nuisance" with loud music and voices.
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The news of the ban follows a viral Instagram post by Canadian influencer Rosie Gabrielle, who indirectly called out the event's organizers for "destroying Hunza's culture" and "bringing bad behaviours, drugs, vulgarity, rave parties and leaving a lot of trash."
As Gabrielle's post circulated on the web, an attendee of the rave, Khaqan Shahnawaz, shared his own account on social media. As first reported by the Express Tribune, Shahnawaz bemoaned the backlash to the event and repudiated the influencer's comments.
"We did not litter. We did not do drugs," Shahnawaz wrote. "If some people did, how's that our fault or the organisers? There was a clear no drug policy. We did not cause any ruckus. Festival was far away from the population."
Gulf News reports Pakistani actress Ushna Shaw also condemned Gabrielle, writing in an Instagram Story post, "We don’t need you to 'fix us.' Govt. of Pakistan needs to stop handing out YouTube visas [sic]." Shah eventually went on to expound her comment in an ensuing statement shared to Instagram.