Metallica fiasco: The ‘gig’ that never comes

Aman Kanth

New Delhi: October 28, 2011 will be remembered as the darkest day in the history of Indian rock-and-roll lovers. It came as a big shock when American heavy metal band Metallica’s Gurgaon gig was postponed to Saturday and finally scrapped due to technical hiccups, courtesy organisers’ acute failure to secure a permit to hold a world-class concert at Leisure Valley Ground.

Metallica, which was billed as the opener of the ‘F1 Rocks’ series for Formula 1 event in India, couldn’t perform in the NCR because of poor management that led to utter chaos at the concert venue, with fans going berserk and vandalizing the entire site, burning banners, posters and finally lunging at stage and breaking band equipment, LED lights, monitors and what not.

While the local police have arrested four top executives of the event management company for cheating and breach of trust, here’s what Metallica had to say on this disaster:

“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 as additional details are determined and confirmed.”

As the entire Indian rock-and-roll fraternity is shell-shocked, here’s what India’s premier musicians/bands have to say about the jinxed NCR festival:

“It is indeed very unfortunate that the Metallica concert in Gurgaon last night was called off. It is very shameful for us to have faced such a situation. I can very well understand the frustration of the fans when they got to know about it but I feel vandalizing and destroying the whole stage was just not appropriate.”

“Last year, Bryan Adams was cancelled and now Metallica. Imagine what the world would think of us. I feel sorry for the fans at the same time for the band for going through all this mess.”

“The lack of organisation and poor security arrangements led to all this. I hope that the band can perform tomorrow at Bangalore so at least the South Indians can get to see them.”

Sharat Chandra Srivastava

(Sharat Chandra Srivastava is a violinist and one of the founding members of Indian fusion band Mrigya)

Parikrama shared its views on Facebook: “Really Dunt know what to be more disappointed about, the Postponement/Cancellation of the Metallica gig, or the way, scores of our people, went on stage, and broke up everything. Guys, did you think for a while as to what everyone in the world will think, before EVER accepting to play in Delhi/NCR again, as thou the Bryan Adam fiasco was not good enough, for the industry. We understand the passion and the disappointment fans faced, after the announcement, but by doing what you did, atleast we stand ashamed of your "On stage" actions immensely.”


(Parikrama is one of most respected rock-and-roll band from Delhi)

“This Diwali, among the other fireworks, I bought a real huge and powerful looking bomb. This big bomb was the star amongst my all other Chinese fireworks and was decided the grand finale of show. So here comes the time and the bomb goes “PhooooooS” (Chinese stuff). Yesterday’s Metallica gig reminded me of that bomb “PhooooooS”.”

“People started pouring in for this dream concert as early as 2:00 am. Tired and worn-out but the excitement kept them alive and the first words on the microphone were - “This show is postponed till tomorrow”. After that rampage begins and was the end of “The Dream Concert”.”

“Now what went wrong remains the question. Neither the media nor the authorities would leak out a clue. When I reached the place with my band members and friends, the view was not of an Indian origin. Just outside the venue it was free flow of booze and no sign of Haryana Police. The crowd exceeding 25k in numbers and a few private security guards probably for their daily bread of Rs 300/- trying to make it work.”

“Now obviously there is no doubt that such a big event would go on without the NOC. As we assume the reason of cancellation is being portrayed as the security. Where were the Haryana Police people? The riddle remains.”

Arvind Singh

(Arvind Singh is the lead guitarist and the driving force behind Hundred Octane – a Delhi based alternative/progressive hard rock band)

Metallica is a four-piece heavy metal band, which comprises of James Hetfield (vocalist), Kirk Hammett (lead guitarist), Lars Ulrich (drummer) and Robert Trujillo (bassist). Metallica is a multi-award winning metal act that has released 9 studio albums.

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