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Organisers face the music over Metallica chaos

Oct 29, 2011 02:39 PM IST India India
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New Delhi: Lack of management and planning have emerged as the main reasons behind the stampede and vandalism of costly instrument at the concert by American heavy metal band Metallica that was scheduled to be held at the Leisure Valley venue in Gurgaon on Friday.

But Friday's chaos has raised several questions about the city's preparedness in hosting big ticket music events. In a city that has seen the flawless hosting of sporting events attended by hundreds and thousands of people, music concerts organised by private vendors often stumble on necessary and routine procedures such as police clearances and foreign artiste performance license.

Is Delhi incapable of hosting an international music event?

South Asia and India in particular has emerged as a hot music destination for foreign artistes looking to break into its young market. Yet time and again it has been left red in the face with cancelled shows and bitterly disappointed fans.

In February Bryan Adam's much awaited concert was cancelled after the police refused permission over security reasons. The organizers also ended up selling more tickets than the capacity of the ground which could only cater to about 6000 people at a time.

Similarly, in the month of April, Akon's Pune concert was cancelled because the organizers did not have the required foreign artiste performance license. The announcement led to a huge ruckus created by angry fans. The Senegalese-American R&B singer had to shift his concert venue to the national capital.

Officials arrested

Four officials of the company involved in organising Metallica's maiden concert in India were arrested on charges of cheating even as the event was cancelled on security grounds.

Hours after the concert failed to take off as scheduled and triggered chaos, police arrested four persons belonging to DNA network, the event management company looking after the show. They were arrested under sections 406 (breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, police said. Those arrested include Ashok, Rajesh, Savia Faleio and Umesh.

The company said there was a failure of a security barricade in front of the stage that could not be adequately repaired and the show had to be postponed to the next day. Unfortunately, on such short notice the promoters were unable to secure a permit for a show on Saturday.

DNA networks said it will be soon issuing a notification as regards to refunds. "Within the next 24 hours a notification will be issued by DNA Networks regarding the process for full refunds. Metallica is deeply disappointed with this news and will continue to send updates as additional details are determined and confirmed," it said.

In a statement issued on their official website, the band said, "We were notified that there was a serious question as to whether the show could proceed with regard to the safety of the concert audience. And our first and foremost concern is always for the safety of you, the fans. Unfortunately, the promoters were unable to secure a permit for an alternate show on Saturday. We are deeply disappointed with this news as we were looking forward to our first experience in India as much as you guys were."