AR Rahman Chennai concert fiasco: Organisers say 'we are accountable' 

While Rahman promised to refund the ticket amount to those who missed out on the show, the organisers ACTC Events, said they took "full responsibility."

Published: 12th September 2023 12:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2023 04:21 PM   |  A+A-

Music maestro Rahman performing at the 'Marakkuma Nenjam' concert. (Photo | AR Rahman Twitter)

Music maestro Rahman performing at the 'Marakkuma Nenjam' concert. (Photo | AR Rahman Twitter)


CHENNAI: Traffic snarls, angry audience denied access despite coughing up huge sums, crying children and jostling people -- these were the scenes at a concert organised by musician AR Rahman here on Sunday due to alleged mismanagement of the grand show, titled "Marakkuma Nenjam," meaning "Can the heart forget."

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.

While Rahman promised to refund the ticket amount to those who missed out on the show, the organisers ACTC Events, said they took "full responsibility."

"It was worst concert ever in the History #ARRahman #Scam2023 by #ACTC. Respect Humanity. 30 Years of the Fan in me died today Mr. #ARRAHMAN. #MarakkumaNenjam Marakkavey Mudiyathu (Can't forget). A performer in the stage can't never see what's happening at other areas just watch it," a social media post from a user "@NavzTweet" on X said.

People complained of "overcrowding," and the event being "shabbily organised." "It is a waste of money," a disappointed woman said.

An angry musical lover complained she had paid Rs 30,000 to enjoy the concert with her family and alleged children were badly manhandled.

Many said it took hours for them to reach the spot but still could not get access due to overcrowding and mismanagement of the entire event.

"Pretty horrible-- not safe for children, could hear them crying and not safe for women at all," another fan was heard saying on a video.

People coming out in frustration of AR Rahman concert.

Another video showed children crying while people were jostling with each other to enter the venue.

In an exclusive interview with The Quint many women who were victims of sexual harassment at the concert, came out to share their horrifying experiences. 

"I asked a man, whom I addressed as Anna (brother), the way to leave the venue as I had a panic attack. He looked me in the eye, and the next thing I knew, his hand was on my breasts and I was groped. I froze. I couldn't move an inch. A horrific, traumatising experience I can never get over," said a 31-year-old independent filmmaker. 

The event organisers took to X, formerly Twitter, to respond on the issue.

"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 events said in the post, which was reposted by Rahman.

Soon after the backlash, the musician came forward and offered remedy to all his fans who couldn’t enter his recent concert. 

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 along with your grievances. Our team will respond asap."

Speaking to The Hindu, Rahman said he was "deeply disturbed" by the incident. “Safety was the primary issue, especially because there were women and kids. 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 added. 

The musician also took to Instagram and wrote, "Some people call me G.O.A.T …………let me be the sacrificial goat this time for all of us to wake up ..let chennai’s live art flourish with a world class infrastructure,increase in tourism, efficient crowd management,traffic management ,refining audiences to follow rules ..creating a safe and surreal experience for children and women ..Triggering a cultural renaissance at chennai celebrating our deserving ,illuminated local and international talent !"

(With inputs from Online Desk)

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