New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) From vexation, confusion, surprise, anger to virtual trauma, emotions rode roller coaster at the sprawling Okhla grounds in the capital, the venue of the Bryan Adams concert, at the news of the concert getting postponed.
Hundreds of clueless people from Delhi and NCR arrived at the NSIC Ground Tuesday evening with their gold and silver tickets, unaware that it had been postponed in the afternoon because of rain and the refusal of the mandatory no objection certificate (NOC) from the Delhi Police.
The disappointment was evident when the police and some volunteers deployed to guide the crowd away from the venue informed them that the concert had been postponed. Several fans of the rock sensation broke down at the venue.
For musician Rahul Ram, the lead vocalist and song-writer of the band Indian Ocean, “it was a major disappointment”.
“It is very stupid. Why the hell did they have to postpone it? I am sure the organisers had applied for the non-objection certificate long ago. Such confusion always has something to do with bureaucratic red tape. It reflects badly on the image of India as a friendly and open country,” Ram told IANS.
The Canadian rock star, who has a wide following in the country across all age-groups, was scheduled to perform at the 7 p.m. Tuesday after wowing audiences in Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore. He is scheduled to perform in Hyderabad Wednesday, followed by concerts in Dhaka and Kathmandu.
The capital’s police and fire department refused to give their approval for the concert fearing “threat to security, inclement weather, oversale of tickets and issuing of VVIP and complementary entry tickets”.
The organisers said the concert “has been rescheduled to a later date at an alternative venue” that will be announced later. They have also promised refund of ticket money.
Sixteen-year-old Sohan Kumar Malhotra, son of a small-time businessman in Karol Bagh, was in tears.
“I had no clue. No one told me that it had been postponed; I was waiting to hear my favourite musician live on stage. I want my money back. I had saved to buy a ticket for Rs.2,000. I don’t even know when it will be rescheduled,” the teenager said.
Eighteen-year-old Michael D’Souza, a waiter, student and a budding rockstar, fumbled for words when egged on for reactions.
“I have been out of home since morning. My job at a McDonald’s in Connaught Place entails long hours…I have to support myself. I really wanted to hear Bryan today (Tuesday). I have all his CDs. Who will compensate for my time and loss,” said D’Souza, who broke away from work at 3 p.m. to arrive at the venue early.
“Money is hard to come by for me,” he said, adding that he had purchased a gold ticket for Rs.4,000 which is almost the whole of monthly pay.
Several traumatised fans wanted to know why rain was a factor in the cancellation of the concert since the weather had cleared by 4 p.m.
“Rain cannot be a spoilsport. It rains everywhere all the time. I refuse to believe that security had been compromised and rains could mar acoustics. Don’t these people remember the Woodstock concert in US when 50,000 fans braved the rain to fight for a cause with the best of rock music for two days in 1969. Bryan sings of the ‘summer of 69’. The organisers and police probably should take cue from the spirit of Woodstock,” said Gautam Basu, a 38-year-old bank employee.
Twenty-five year-old S. Jayashree, an electronics engineer from Noida, said: “I hope they announce the alternative venue tonight. I don’t want to miss hearing Bryan Adams.”