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Members of South Korean boyband Wanna One pose on the red carpet at the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) in Seoul on Dec 10, 2018. Image Credit:

An annual K-Pop festival is not happening in Hong Kong this year due to months-long political unrest, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

Hong Kong has hosted the Mnet Asian Music Awards (Mama) since 2012, where top K-Pop artists including global phenomenon boy band BTS performed for years. In previous years, tens of thousands of K-Pop fans packed stadiums in Hong Kong for the awards.

The move follows a number of organisers delaying or cancelling sports, concerts and other events due to the protests. Hong Kong’s premier women’s tennis event planned for October was postponed. The city’s soccer matches were also postponed.

“This year, after internal discussions, the MAMA organiser decided not to hold the event in Hong Kong because of the protests,” the source said.

South Korea’s CJ ENM Co Ltd, the show’s organiser, told Reuters in a statement that Hong Kong had not been chosen as the event’s venue, considering “various circumstances,” without elaborating.

The music awards will take place in Nagoya, Japan on December 4, CJ ENM added.