Canto-pop singer Kay Tse On-kei will "take extra care" over concert deals after she withdrew from a government-sponsored show in Macau - arranged for the same day as the city's annual prodemocracy march.
Tse and two Hong Kong groups - RubberBand and C AllStar - told Metro Radio, which is organising the concert in partnership with the government, they would not play at the free gig on May 1 at Hac Sa Beach.
RubberBand was caught up in a similar scenario last year, when the Dome Festival - sponsored by pro-government property developers - was held in Hong Kong at the same time as the July 1 march. Critics accused the organiser of using it to keep youngsters from the protest.
Thousands of people have in the past taken part in pro-democracy protests on May 1 in Macau, which has no plan for universal suffrage.
Yesterday, Tse's manager Sammy Ha said: "We made the decision when we heard of the concerns of Macau residents. We will be [more cautious] about what we sign up for in future."
Ha also accused Macau's Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau of printing a poster featuring Tse without approval. "We didn't give them any photos to use," Ha said, adding he had only agreed verbally with Metro Radio about Tse's participation in the show.
The concert is still being promoted on the bureau's website, including a poster featuring Tse and the two bands that have pulled out of the event.
But a spokeswoman for Media Asia, which manages C AllStar, denied there was any connection between the group backing out of the event and the nature of the show, saying it had another commitment that day.
Daniel Chu Ming-yui, chief operations officer of Metro Showbiz and Metro Plus stations, told local media the performers were at risk of "violating their contracts". He denied there were any political motives behind the show. RubberBand and the Macau government could not be reached for comment.