Music composer AR Rahman teamed with ACTC Events for his concert titled 'Marakuma Nenjam', which took at Adityaram Palace in Chennai's Panaiyur. Soon, he along with the event organiser was slammed for the mismanagement. Traffic snarls, angry audience denied access despite coughing up huge sums, crying children and jostling people -- these were some of the scenes described by the fans. While Rahman apologised and promised to refund the ticket amount to those who missed out on the show, his daughters, Raheema and Khatija, have taken to social media to defend their father.
Khatija and Raheema shared a post about how AR Rahman has previously been among his fans and general public. They shared an infographic about the composer, carrying details of his previous concerts held in 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2023 and how they donated to the proceeds to social causes. The post also slammed 'organisers' and the 'cheap politics' for the 'unfortunate circumstances' at the concert. The graphic also added a saying which read, "think before they speak."
Police begin probe
Tambaram City Police Commissioner A Amalraj, under whose jurisdiction the venue falls, said nearly 15,000 people beyond the expected number of attendees converged there. Enquiries will be held with the organisers of the event, he added. The crowd was "more than expected," as 25,000 chairs were put "but 35,000 to 40,000 people turned up." Enquiries were on to ascertain how the number of people increased manifold, even as police had to stop many from trying to make their way to the venue.
The venue where the concert was held was a "private land," the official told reporters, adding that issues including lack of proper drinking water facilities among others would be discussed with the organisers. Due to rains earlier, the parking lot could not be utilised, following which many parked their vehicles on the road, leading to congestion, he added. "Only due to police presence did no law-and-order (problems) or untoward issues happen," he said.
Karthi's family attended the concert
On September 12, Karthi took to X to reveal that his family members attended the concert. He stressed that the event organisers should take responsibility. He wrote, "We have known and loved Rahman sir for more than 3 decades now... What happened during the concert was unfortunate. However, knowing sir he would be immensely affected by it. My family too was at the concert amid the chaos but I stay with #ARRahman sir and I hope the event organizers take responsibility. I request all the fans to choose love over hate as Rahman sir always gave his love to all. #LoveAboveHate."
A number of social media posts showed people complaining of being unable to reach the venue due to severe traffic congestion on the scenic East Coast Road (ECR) that even reportedly affected the movement of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin's convoy. There was no proper direction from the event team or the police. After severe backlash, ACTC Events took to X to extend their apology. "Grateful to Chennai and the legendary @arrahman Sir! The incredible response, the overwhelming crowd made our show a massive success. Those who couldn't attend on overcrowding, Our sincere apologies. We take full responsibility and accountable. We are with you. #MarakkumaNenjam," ACTC said in the post, which was reposted by Rahman.
AR Rahman's statement
Meanwhile, Rahman in a post on X said, "Dearest Chennai Makkale, those of you who purchased tickets and weren’t able to enter owing to unfortunate circumstances, please do share a copy of your ticket purchase to arr4chennai@btos. in along with your grievances. Our team will respond asap."