India postpones first-ever F1 Rocks Metallica concert

Posted on 30 October 2011

Enraged fans thrash stage, as postponed gig eventually cancelled with organisers charged for swindling.

India's Metallica fans in "Seek and Destroy" mode.

As India welcomes the Formula One for the first time at the S$520 million Buddh International Circuit on the periphery of the Indian capital of Delhi this weekend, things couldn’t have gotten off to a rockier start.

As part of Friday night’s F1 Rocks live music event, Metallica was supposed to take the stage at the Leisure Valley Park in the city of Guragon (Delhi) – only to have their performance postponed until Saturday because of “technical difficulties”.

Here’s what happened: Following a rush into the venue by fans upon the opening of one gate, those that managed to get in spent the next several hours pushing toward the stage.

Venue officials made multiple announcements asking them to stand back but to no avail.

A security barricade at the front of the stage was breached and could not be repaired, resulting in the postponement of the concert.

However, this decision did not sit well with the some 25,000 fans who had traveled from throughout the country to see what was supposed to be a seminal moment in Indian pop culture history.

Some took off their shirts and ran around while others got on stage and thrashed it.

To compound the disappointment, the performance that was deferred until Saturday in Delhi couldn’t be held in the end.

Metallica was officially cancelled.

Why? Because the band and promoter could not obtain the proper permission to hold the event the following day.

As a result, four of the promoters, who are concert organisers, have been arrested for swindling fans, with charges including selling more tickets than the venue could seat and not telling fans about the cancellations on time.

Is there a silver lining to this story? Unfortunately, no.

This has not been the only hitch at the Grand Prix.

Frequent power failures occurred and Friday’s first practice race session was suspended because of a dog on the track.

Organisers had all along hoped this F1 race, which catered more to private enthusiasts than the general population, runs smoothly enough to justify the huge costs in a country with a gross domestic product per capita of only S$1,920.

To put things in perspective, consider this: Another highly-anticipated scheduled artist, Lady Gaga, is also set to perform.

But not many Indians will get to see it. The tickets, only a mere 1,000 in circulation, are priced at 40,000 rupees each (S$1,069).

Read the original articles here, here and here.

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