Connect with us


Sky Lantern Festival organizer firm on no refunds despite event cancellation

Attendees of the Sentosa Sky Lantern Festival won’t receive refunds despite the cancellation of the candle light-up. Asian Couture and Boutique’s owner, Shiermie Bautista, confirmed the non-refundable policy.
The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) said it received 11 complaints but not in a position to provide further details as complaints are still being resolved by the organizer.



sky lantern festival

SINGAPORE: Attendees of the Sentosa Sky Lantern Festival in Singapore, who were left disappointed after the cancellation of the highly-anticipated candle light-up segment, will not be receiving refunds, according to one of the event organizers.

Shiermie Bautista, the owner of Asian Couture and Boutique, stated on 27 February that ticket sales are final and non-refundable.

In a Facebook post, Bautista clarified, “Tickets are valid for entry at the time of the rescheduled event around the 1st week of April.”

For those unable to attend the new date, she suggested reselling tickets on TicketSwap and expressed gratitude for understanding.

The frustration among participants stems from the abrupt cancellation of the sky lantern light-up on 21 February, leading to angry calls for refunds.

Disappointed attendees had hoped to partake in the inaugural Singapore Sky Lantern Festival, where lanterns were to be tethered with 60m-long strings, floating in the sky for five to 10 minutes before being brought back to the ground at Palawan Green.

A notice at the venue on Wednesday cited “unforeseen circumstances,” leading to the festival’s delay.

An announcement over the speakers conveyed the inability to release the sky lanterns with fire, prompting organizers to provide participants with a lantern, a bag, and an LED light for their wishes.

Suggestions were made to tie completed lanterns around the barricade or take them home.

SCDF highlights safety failures at Sky Lantern event

Bautista explained that the event organizers received last-minute advice to halt the tethered lantern release due to an “inadequate supply of extinguishers.”

“We decided to reschedule the release to another day instead, as it might cause stampede. Though other segments of the show pushed through such as music festival,” she added.

Emphasizing their commitment to adhering to authorities’ safety guidelines, Bautista apologized for any inconvenience caused by the change in plans.

Last week, SCDF responded to CNA‘s inquiries, revealing that the event organizer failed to comply with established fire safety guidelines.

Despite multiple reminders leading up to the event, the SCDF emphasized that sky lanterns should remain tethered when lit, with on-site safety marshals supervising to prevent their release without proper tethering.

Additionally, safety marshals are required to have fire extinguishers on hand.

SCDF informed the event organizer of these guidelines on 31 October, reinforcing them on several occasions before the event.

A trial conducted by the organizer on 19 February was deemed unsatisfactory, as one lit lantern caused a small fire on the artificial turf.

Upon a full setup inspection on 21 February, SCDF found that the organizer had not adhered to the guidelines, lacking proper tethers for the sky lanterns, fire extinguishers, and safety marshals.

Due to concerns for public and aviation safety, SCDF instructed the event organizer not to use sky lanterns for the event.

In response, the organizer opted to use LED lights for the lanterns during the event.

As per CNA’s report, Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) revealed that a third party, Asian Couture & Boutique, organized the event but failed to secure the required licenses and clearance to meet essential safety standards.

In response to CNA’s queries, SCDF said on Thursday (29 Feb) that it was told by Asian Couture and Boutique that it had decided to reschedule the event, but it did not provide further information on the date or venue.

“As SCDF is still following up with the event organiser on the details and the implementation of the fire safety guidelines, we have not given any clearance for the rescheduled event,” it said.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore informed CNA that while it knows of the organizer’s plans to postpone the event, it has not received specifics regarding the new date, location, or the manner in which the event is to be organized.

Netizens assert attendees’ right to refunds

Netizens on Facebook are expressing their opinions on the matter of refunds for the cancelled Sentosa Sky Lantern Festival.

Many believe customers have the right to a refund, asserting that non-refundable should only apply if the event adheres to the specified date on the ticket.

A user highlighted that if organizers have the flexibility to change the event date at their discretion, they should equally respect consumers’ right to alter their decision and request a refund.

refund comments

Another user argued that since people paid for a specific date and time, full refunds should be given for the cancelled event, blaming organizers for last-minute changes.

Voicing responsibility concerns, the user stated, “The organizer should bear this responsibility fully.”

refund comments

A user emphasized that the ticket is typically non-refundable when customers choose not to attend an event.

However, in this instance, the organizer has made mistakes and failed to fulfil their contractual obligations.

As a result, customers now have the right to seek legal recourse to recover their losses.

sky lantern refund comments

Highlighting the legal perspective, one user emphasized that customers possess the legal right to pursue compensation, suggesting that perhaps all ticket purchasers could unite and initiate a class-action lawsuit against the event organizers.

refund comments

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) informed CNA on Wednesday evening that it has received 11 complaints from consumers against the event organizer.

Melvin Yong, the president of CASE, elaborated, ‘Consumers generally expressed dissatisfaction that the segment involving the release of sky lanterns, which was marketed as the event’s highlight, was cancelled without any prior notification.’

He continued, ‘Consumers affected by this cancellation are now seeking refunds from the event organizer. As these complaints are still being resolved, CASE is not in a position to provide further details at this time.’

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

So what is a MP sitting on top of CASE for?
I guess … collect $$$$$$$$? power?
Those are two the pappies only interested for

Sinkie are easiest to pawn, con and scam, even lantern organiser knows this!😆😆😆😆

So, the CASE is in the picture.

What can CASE do? What will CASE do?

It is simply a case of a seller not fulfilling its side of the contract. The buyer is thus entitled to a full refund.

To suggest that the ticket holder tries to sell his/her ticket for the rescheduled date for the event is beyond arrogance.

And with this kind of publicity, pray tell how many would “dare” buy these tickets?