Metallica's Delhi concert cancelled, four organisers arrested
Gurgaon, Oct 29 (PTI)
Four organisers of Metallica's maiden concert in India were arrested today on charges of cheating, a day after the event was first deferred ostensibly due to technical hitches and then cancelled, provoking a section of over 20,000 fans to vandalise the venue.
Police arrested four persons - Ashok, Rajesh, Savia Faleio and Umesh - from DNA network, the event management company looking after the show under sections 406 (breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, police said.
An official statement from the organisers said that the four-member American band is disappointed with the cancellation and that details of the ticket refunds would be announced within the next 24 hours.
The concert, scheduled to take place at the Leisure Valley here Friday night, was initially postponed to Saturday, triggering chaos with some fans going berserk and vandalising the venue.
The concert was altogether cancelled later on as the promoters couldn't secure permission for holding it today.
"We arrived in Delhi on Friday very excited and ready to play our first show ever in India at the F1 Rocks concert. However, immediately at the end of our afternoon press conference, 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," said Metallica on their official website.
Tickets for the concert were priced at Rs 1650 and Rs 2750.
A statement from DNA said, "The band was notified that there was a serious question as to whether the show could proceed with regard to the safety of the concert audience".
"DNA Networks, and Metallica determined that there was a failure of a security barricade in front of the stage that could not be adequately repaired, they reluctantly announced the postponement of the show until Saturday," the company said in a release.
"Unfortunately, on such short notice the promoters were unable to secure a permit for a show on Saturday, therefore DNA announced that Metallica would not be able to play in Delhi," it said.
DNA networks said it will be soon issuing a statement on refund.
"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.
"There were more than 30,000 fans in the concert area and they were pushing against the barricade in front of the stage. The barricade collapsed because it was not strong enough to hold. The capacity of the venue was 15,000-20,000. Therefore we took a call that it was not safe to carry on with the concert in that situation," said Karuna Prithvi, spokesperson of DNA.
Hundreds of fans including from outside the National Capital Region(NCR) had gathered in large numbers at the venue several hours before the concert was scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM last night.
After the news of postponement was announced on stage, disappointed fans vandalised the venue. They broke barriers, climbed onto the stage, tore posters and damaged equipment.
At the press conference before the concert was cancelled, Metallica said, "Our music is very different. It is the music of (goddess) Kali. We would love to go around the country after the concert. We are constantly influenced by the countries we go to. India too influences our music."
"We do know that we have a strong fan base in India. I thank the bands that have been playing our music when we could not come here," said lead vocalist James Hetfield.
Metallica is in India to coincide with Formula One making its beginning for the first time in India. They are due to perform in Bangalore on Sunday.