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Oversold tickets, no crowd management, mass molestation: Music concert of AR Rahman turns into a nightmare. Here is what happened

Following the controversy, AR Rahman informed that refunds would be initiated for those who could not attend the event despite purchasing tickets.

On Sunday (September 10), a concert by Oscar-winning musician AR Rahman turned into a nightmare after the organisers reportedly oversold the tickets, leading to overcrowding and mass molestation. The event titled ‘Marakkuma Nenjam’ (Will the heart forget) was held at Adityaram Palace in Chennai.

There have been allegations that the event planners, ‘ACTC Events’ oversold the tickets, despite being aware of the limited capacity of the open-air venue. Several fans, who were in possession of valid tickets, were denied entry.

This led to overcrowding near the gates, creating a stampede-like situation. With no crowd management and negligible security, several women became the subject of sexual harassment.

Independent filmmaker Charulatha Rangarajan informed, “As a woman who was groped twice in the concert,Shame on all of you for making me go through anxiety and adding on to my trauma.”

“Woke up to having such a weight in my heart.The unsafe feeling i have today is haunting me. One of the people who groped me, literally looked into my eyes when I just asked him for the way and move. I’m exhausted,” she narrated her ordeal.

“The number of men who used the crowd as an excuse to violate women today… We were struggling to breathe and were also violated. Fuck all those men and fuck ACTC Eevents. The fan in me died today AR Rahman. Thank you for that,” wrote another X user.

A 22-year lawyer from Chennai, who attended the event, told The Quint that she was molested by the crowd.

“I lost count of the number of times I got groped yesterday. After a while, I gave up and didn’t try to defend myself. I tried pushing them, punching them, but they kept touching me. So I had no choice but to stand still…Today, I stand here as a mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted victim, who can’t do anything about it,” she recounted.

“Just because I cannot afford VIP tickets by paying 25,000, should I be left to die without any protection? No amount of money they give us will undo my sexual trauma. Even then, the least I deserve is monetary compensation,” the young lawyer added.

A woman, who attended the AR Rahman concert, said, “If I had stood for 2 more min, they would have squeezed & killed my child, we would have died, Are they even human beings.”

Visuals from the event indicate that there was little to no crowd management by the event organisers. “Imagine paying 2000 rupees for gold tickets and this is what you get? What a shit show. Had to return back without even entering,” lamented one X user.

Another X user, Nitin, demanded accountability from AR Rahman and the organisers of his music concert ‘Marakkuma Nenjam’

“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,” he said.

Response of AR Rahman and organisers

Following the controversy, AR Rahman took to X (formerly Twitter) to inform that refunds would be initiated for those who could not attend the event despite purchasing tickets. He, however, did not address the allegations of mass molestation levelled by the victims.

“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 protected] along with your grievances. Our team will respond asap,” he said in a tweet on Monday (September 11)

ACTC Events also did not comment on the issue of lack of safety and security at the music concert.

“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,” it said.

While speaking to The Hindu, Rahman said, “Right now, we are just terribly disturbed. 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 however did not directly address the allegations of molestation.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Dutta
Centre-Right. Political analyst. Assistant Editor @Opindia. Reach me at [email protected]

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