Concert row: Rahman indicates ticket price will be refunded to fans
Thousands of music lovers could not attend the Chennai concert of the Oscar-winning music composer, reportedly owing to overcrowding and mismanagement
Ace composer AR Rahman on Monday (September 11) said he would respond to the grievances of his audience who said they suffered because his September 10 concert held in Chennai was “mismanaged”. Rahman also indicated that the ticket price would be refunded to those who could not attend his concert.
Rahman posted his statement on social media platform X after a row broke out over the alleged mismanagement of his concert on Sunday (September 10) evening that caused inconvenience to many.
The Oscar-winning music composer and singer held the concert titled ‘Marakkuma Nenjam’, meaning ‘Can the heart forget’ on September 10 at a private venue on East Coast Road (ECR). Tambaram City Police Commissioner A Amalraj, under whose jurisdiction the venue on ECR falls, said nearly 15,000 people beyond the expected number of attendees converged there.
Inquiries will be held with the organisers of the event, he added.
A number of social media posts were put up by people complaining of being unable to reach the venue on time due to severe traffic congestion on the ECR. It even reportedly affected the movement of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s convoy.
Music lovers express disappointment
The social media posts were critical of the way things were handled on Sunday (September 10) evening, and highlighted the traffic snarls, angry ticket-holders being denied access despite coughing up huge sums, and children suffering due to the crowd and people jostling to move ahead.
With online complaints pouring in, Rahman sought to address the issue. “Dearest Chennai Makkale (people), those of you who purchased tickets and weren't able to enter owing to unfortunate circumstances, please do share a copy of your ticket purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your grievances. Our team will respond asap,” he said in a post on X.
ACTC Events, which managed the show, also responded on the social media platform. “Grateful to Chennai and the legendary @arrahman Sir! The incredible response, the overwhelming crowd made our show a massive success. Those who couldn't attend on overcrowding, our sincere apologies. We take full responsibility and accountable (sic). We are with you. #MarakkumaNenjam,” it said.
A ‘shabbily organized’ event
Disappointed music lovers had several tales to tell.
People complained of “overcrowding,” and the event being “shabbily organized”. "It was a waste of money," a disappointed woman said.
An angry music lover complained she had paid Rs 30,000 to enjoy the concert with her family and alleged that children were badly manhandled.
Many said it took hours for them to reach the venue but still could not get access due to overcrowding and mismanagement of the entire event. “...pretty horrible – not safe for children, could hear them crying and not safe for women at all,” another fan was heard saying in a video. An angry man was seen tearing the tickets.
A nightmare for children
Another video showed children crying, while people were jostling with each other to enter the venue.
“It was worst concert ever in the History #ARRahman #Scam2023 by #ACTC. Respect Humanity. 30 Years of the Fan in me died today Mr. #ARRAHMAN. #MarakkumaNenjam Marakkavey Mudiyathu (Can't forget). A performer in the stage can't never see what's happening at other areas just watch it,” a social media post from a user “@NavzTweet” on X said.
Numbers turned up beyond expectation
Tambaram Police Commissioner Amalraj, who visited the spot, said arrangements for the event had been on for a week. The crowd was “more than expected”, as 25,000 chairs were put “but 35,000 to 40,000 people turned up”. Enquiries were on to ascertain how the number of people increased manifold, even as police had to stop many from trying to make their way to the venue.
The venue where the concert was held was a “private land”, the official told reporters, adding that issues including lack of proper drinking water facilities, among others, would be discussed with the organisers.
Due to rains earlier, the parking lot could not be utilised, following which many parked their vehicles on the road, leading to congestion, he added. “Only due to police presence did no law and order (problems) or untoward issues happen,” he said.
(With agency inputs)