Gurgaon, Oct 29: Four persons, including the general manager of the DNA event management company, were detained by Gurgaon police on Saturday morning after exasperated fans of Metallica rock band went on a rampage at Leisure Valley and vandalized more than Rs 1 crore worth costly equipment and barricades on Friday night.
For reasons best known to the organisers, the concert was called off at the last minute causing chaos and stampede among eager fans present at the venue.
All hell broke loose a when the show was abruptly called off just hours before their performance on Friday. The fans, who had gathered at the venue, Leisure Valley in Gurgaon, went berserk.
Signs of chaos were evident as scores of fans were seen flocking to the venue in droves and were seen drinking in the open and on the roads near the venue.
By the time the gates opened at 4pm, the crowd immediately rushed to the gates. In the ensuing rush, a barricade set up near the stage to keep the masses away broke.
With the barricade broken, the crowd closed in on the stage. The private security guards and marshals deployed there could do little to control the crowd.
Some reports say the chaos began after Indian band Guillotine, which was to perform before Metallica, left without performing. Angry at this, someone threw a stone and damaged a drum.
At 6:30 PM, it was announced that the show had been postponed to Saturday due to ‘technical and security difficulties'.
For the next couple of hours, media representatives from the event management company DNA Events neither took calls nor responded to text messages.
Meanwhile, the gathered fans broke open the barricades and barged into the venue with no one to control them. Their anger was visible with various objects like chairs, stones and even some musical instruments being thrown at the stage.
The district administration has said they will not issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the event for Saturday. Reacting to this, Christine Gorham of F1 Rocks' PR and Communication from UK told HT, “We want the show to happen. It's for our India promoter the DNA Events to look into what best can be done.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner PC Meena said, the Rs 1 crore bank security that was taken from the organisers would now be forfeited.
Around 9:00 PM, the stage and other fittings and other paraphernalia were being removed from the venue and being packed off into trucks.
The organisers—DNA network—have said they will return the money to the people in one to two days. Rajesh Chandwani, GM Operations, DNA Networks said, “All the money earned from online bookings will be returned in one or two days. Those who show us their tickets will also get their money back.”
Four officials of a company involved in organising Metallica's maiden concert in India have been arrested on charges of cheating even as the event has been cancelled on “security grounds”.
Police arrested four persons belonging to DNA network, the event management company looking after the show.
They were arrested under sections 406 (breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, police said. Those arrested include Ashok, Rajesh, Savia Faleio and Umesh.
The company 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”. In view of the security considerations, Metallica could not play in Delhi.
“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 notification as regards to refunds.
“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.
Thousands of fans were yesterday left disappointed after organisers had announced postponement citing “technical” problems.
“F1 Rocks and Metallica regret to announce that due to technical difficulties the Metallica show at Gurgaon has been postponed until Saturday,” a statement by the group had said. The statement said the group, considered the gods of rock, apologised for any inconvenience caused. 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 tried to vandalise the venue. They broke barriers, climbed onto the stage and tore posters.
Fans waited with bated breath to hear the band belt out their biggest hits from ‘Nothing Else Matters' and ‘Enter Sandman' to ‘One' and ‘Seek and Destroy'.
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.