The Tamil Nadu Police have launched an investigation into alleged mismanagement at musician AR Rahman’s concert in Chennai on September 10 which witnessed overcrowding and severe traffic congestion, The Indian Express reported.
The concert was held at the Adityaram Palace City. Several people said that they could not enter the venue despite having tickets, while some complained that the lack of parking space there led to traffic jams in the area. Several women also alleged that they were molested by men in the crowd, The Quint reported.
“We waited in long queues to collect our tags to enter the venue,” one of the attendees told The Quint. “Everyone was pushing and all of us were getting squeezed with absolutely no place to breathe, super suffocating.” She said that even after some people were able to pass through the queues to enter the seating area, they realised that all the seats were taken already.
Some people said that they could not reach the concert venue as the parking spaces were located too far away and the queues for entry were at least a kilometre long.
“We saw several people complaining about the conduct of the event and how many of them, who had purchased tickets, were not allowed inside,” Tambaram Police Commissioner A Amalraj said, according to The Indian Express. “We are carrying out an inquiry with the organisers to see why the ticket-holders were not accommodated. If the capacity is around 25,000, the organisers should have sold the tickets around 20,000 or closer to the capacity, and not exceeding 35,000-40,000.”
Rahman told The Hindu that the organisers, a firm named ACTC Events, had placed about 46,000 chairs at the venue. “In some sections, everybody sat on one side and didn’t move to the other side,” he said. “Seeing this, the policemen on duty assumed that the venue was full and closed it. By this time, the show had already started inside.”
The musician said that safety was the primary concern, especially as there were many women and children among the audience. “I don’t want to point fingers at anyone, but we have to realise that the city is expanding, and the passion to consume music and art is also expanding,” he said.
He urged those who bought tickets but could not enter the venue to contact his team.
The event organisers termed the show a “massive success”, but apologised to those who could not attend the concert due to overcrowding.