The upcoming Kolkata Beep Festival, formerly the Kolkata Beef Festival, was cancelled by its organisers on Friday, June 7.
The Accidental Note, the organising group, said in a Facebook post that one of its members had received “direct threats.”
This, and the group’s inability to “ensure the safety of all of you amazing people who were planning to attend” were cited as reasons why the event was cancelled.
It may be noted that the event, originally called the Kolkata Beef Festival, was scheduled to be held on June 23. The venue was Hippiegolucky Garden Café at Lytton Hotel in South Kolkata.
The Kolkata Beef Festival had been announced in the week gone by. It garnered quite a bit of response on Facebook, where it was put up as an Event.
However, things soon went downwards. An IANS report published on Friday morning quoted Arjun Kar, one of the organisers, as saying: “Many right-wing pages and social media accounts have been sharing my name and number, after which we decided to change the name.”
He added: “Taking a college student’s suggestion we chose ‘Beep’ as the new word, and we are getting a good response.”
However, even that did not seem to mollify those who had taken umbrage at what was now the Kolkata Beep Festival.
Kolkata Beef Festival cancelled
The Accidental Note, in a Facebook post published just after noon on Friday, announced it was pulling the plug on the Kolkata Beep Festival.
It explained in the post: “Food has never been political to us. We wanted to avoid all complications and controversies and make an event for people to have fun in, and remember.”
It also said that “things have gotten out of hand.” It said: “Yesterday, Arjun received 300+ calls, a lot of them to show support, but a lot of them were direct threats. We still didn’t budge. These could be empty threats. Keyboard warriors kept abusing us and sending us hate filled messages, and some seemed genuinely hurt by the idea of the festival.”
However, the biggest concern seemed to be about the organisers’ and participants’ safety.
The group wrote in the post: “Most importantly, we cannot ensure the safety of all of you amazing people who were planning to attend and our team.”
It added: “If any one person is harmed, we would feel personally responsible, and we cannot accept that.”
Read their full post here: