Scores of fans who turned up for music director AR Rahman’s “Marakuma Nenjam” music concert at the Adityaram Palace City in Chennai’s ECR on Sunday, 10 September, were left fuming and frustrated as the event was poorly organised.
This resulted in several people having to turn back home without attending the concert despite having bought tickets worth several thousand rupees.
Fans, who attended the concert, alleged that the place was overcrowded as the organisers sold more tickets than they should ideally have. As a result, the venue had at least twice the number of people that it could accommodate, making it difficult for those who had come to even get in.
Even those who managed to get in had to jostle their way into the venue and battle surging crowds.
The situation was so alarming that several people who scampered out said they feared a stampede could happen at any moment.
“Stampede, Molestation, Scam, Extortion, Overcrowding, Shoddy audio, Panic attack, Children Missing, No accountability” these are the descriptions tweeted about #ARRConcert #ARRahman concert in his city #chennai
— Sidharth.M.P (@sdhrthmp) September 10, 2023
What added to the anger and misery of the fans was that this event had been organised in lieu of an earlier AR Rahman concert that had been washed away by rain.
“It took me around four hours to reach the venue. After that, we do not know how many tickets ACTC sold, the venue is jam-packed and the crowd is spilling over,” said an angry fan, who was walking out of the venue with his family.
The fan added, “We have four diamond passes. Without stepping foot into the venue, we are now going out. AR Rahman should not be associating himself with such entities, he is losing his credibility.”
Several fights broke out inside the venue as the jostling for space continued. Fans also complained that the audio systems weren’t good enough.
2 நிமிடத்தில் என் பையன் உயிர் போயிருக்கும்… ARR இதற்கு பதில் சொல்லியே ஆகணும்… ஏமாற்றத்தில் ரசிகர்கள்!#arrahman | #isaipuyal | #marakkumanenjam | #panaiyur | #kanchipuram | #chennai | #NewsTamil24x7 pic.twitter.com/oMOetZHuLv
— News Tamil 24×7 | நியூஸ் தமிழ் 24×7 (@NewsTamilTV24x7) September 10, 2023
A nightmare for children and women
The elderly, physically challenged, and children were put to great hardship. Parents alleged that their kids suffered suffocation.
There were also several people who complained that they had suffered panic attacks. Some women complained that they had been groped in the melee.
Fans complained that there were no organisers present to even lodge a complaint or demand an explanation.
People were made to run from one entrance to another, and cops were clueless about how to control the massive crowd that had turned out.
Several fans called the show a scam, with some of them going on to mock the title of the show, “Marakuma Nenjam” (Will the Heart Ever Forget), saying “Marakave Markaathu” (No, the heart will not forget).
This is how the so-called volunteers behaved in the Gold class area. @actcevents is this how you treat the “Guests”? @arrahman how could you act like nothing happened on stage? There were shouts about “Volume” & “ACTC DOWN” throughout #MarakkumaNenjam #ARRahman #arrahmanconcert pic.twitter.com/VvjfN2GDyn
— Guru (@gururag96) September 10, 2023
It was not just fans who were put through this excruciating experience, the heavy traffic on the narrow ECR stretch unleashed hell on both the ECR and OMR stretches, causing great discomfort to the public at large.
The residents of the areas nearby who were using the stretches had to wait for hours together to get to their destinations as traffic moved at a snail’s pace.
Responding to the sea of complaints, the organisers ACTC Events, tweeted: “Grateful to Chennai and the legendary @arrahman Sir! The incredible response and the overwhelming crowd made our show a massive success. Those who couldn’t attend because of overcrowding, our sincere apologies. We take full responsibility and accountability. We are with you. #MarakkumaNenjam.”
Even our CM sir was not spared
His convoy around 8:45 pm opposite the venue ECR had to squeeze in opposite lane.
— dharshan bapu (@DBapu) September 10, 2023
— Uncle Fed (@WhatTheFahad) September 10, 2023
HORROR Story of a family who paid 30K RS for #ARRahmanConcert :
— Aryabhata | ஆர்யபட்டா 🕉️ (@Aryabhata99) September 10, 2023
@actcevents @arrahman and everybody else involved in #marakumanenjam and #ARRahman live. We need answers, accountability, refunds and much more. The organizing today was pathetic, and not only from an experience POV but dangers to health&safety. Videos attached, thread follows. pic.twitter.com/hf7fnyDVHc
— Nitin (@makhayanitini) September 10, 2023
இதுக்கு அப்புறமும் அடுத்த Concert நடக்கும் !? 🤦🏻
— Tharani ᖇᵗк (@iam_Tharani) September 10, 2023
Rahman, who retweeted ACTC Events’ tweet, responded to the demands of fans for a refund and an apology for the poor manner in which the event was organised.
He tweeted: “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 email@example.com along with your grievances. Our team will respond asap🙏 @BToSproductions @actcevents.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org along with your grievances. Our team will respond asap🙏@BToSproductions @actcevents
— A.R.Rahman (@arrahman) September 11, 2023