Festivals, other large gatherings canceled by Beijing police amid tighter political scrutiny

Beijing police are canceling music concerts, fundraisers and other events around the city, stoking worries that authorities are cracking down on any large gatherings deemed politically risky.

Among the shuttered events, the authorities have called off an Earth Day festival, a pub crawl raising money for a gay and lesbian center and a show by an experimental Japanese metal band. A multiday concert organized by the U.S. Embassy and China's Culture Ministry was canceled and then moved to another location farther from the city center.

The cancellations hit as the government tightens its grip on civil society groups and activity, and respond to a New Year's Eve stampede that killed 36 people in Shanghai. Beijing police didn't respond to a request for comment.