Metallica, one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all times was set to perform for the first time in India. The show was to be held in Gurgaon after many controversies, where over 25000 fans from all over the world including Israel, Iran, Nepal, Russia and even United States turned up to watch them perform live. The concert started with an open consumption of alcohol, hash and cigarettes at the entrance of the venue with absence of any real security. The fans were made to wait for almost 1 hour before the gates were opened at 4 pm. After opening the gates, the organizers announced that they were facing some technical difficulties and that they would start the show in sometime. The fans started to panic when the show didn’t start for almost 2 hours and they were also abused by the crew members, which outraged them and you could see a wave of abusive gestures in the air. After 3 hours of standing in the arena, the fans were told that the show was postponed to 29th October to which they reacted furiously. The barricades which were already weak were broken by the fans and all hell broke loose on the stage. Amplifiers, Monitors and other equipment were thrown off the stage and the fans tried to burn the ‘F1 rocks’ banner too.
While I stood there with my face hanging down and with rage within my veins all I could do was clap like the others while around 50 fans brought the stage down. There was disappointment all over the venue. While we stood there waiting for them to perform, Metallica were busy giving interviews. “What went wrong?” was the question everybody was asking. The question still remains unanswered.
Metallica said on their site “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 at a hotel near the venue, 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. Once we, along with DNA, the promoters of the show, determined that there was a failure of a security barricade in front of the stage that could not be adequately repaired, the promoter reluctantly announced the postponement of the show until Saturday. Unfortunately, on such short notice the promoters were unable to secure a permit for a show on Saturday. Therefore, DNA announced that we would not be able to play in Delhi. Within the next 24 hours a notification will be issued by DNA regarding the process for full refunds. We are deeply disappointed with this news as we were looking forward to our first experience in India as much as you guys were. Keep watching for updates here as additional details are determined and confirmed.”
The above statement I feel is a lame excuse. The fans are being refunded their money but does money matter? No, It was never about money for us fans. It was about the wait that lasted 30 years; it was about the dream to see them live and more importantly about the sentiments of the fans who stood there for 9 straight hours.
I hope they realize that they have lost many fans, including me, who have already burnt their T-shirts and CDs and will never listen to their music ever again. The management and Metallica are to be blamed for this. The fans are not to be blamed, an angry crowd will destroy everything when their wishes are not fulfilled and especially when they have come from distant places just to listen to Metallica who don’t turn up. I hope they make it up to some of us by coming down to Delhi again and showing some respect this time
Written by Manan Kapoor
An ex-Metallica fan