I got to the venue at around 2.30pm. At this time there we several queues at the box office where people were trying to get tickets. There were four gates to get into the venue and were clearly insufficient to manage a crowd of 20,000 plus. I couldn’t spot any security near the gates and people were stampeding their way inside. In fact, I myself had to literally walk over a barricade to get in. It was very unsafe. Once we reached the security checks where they had the scanners, they didn’t check us at all because there was a big crowd. They just tore our tickets stubs and allowed us in.
We reached inside at around 3.30pm and the music hadn’t started as yet. Nothing was happening on stage at that time, last minute checks were being carried out. Other than the four guards at the scanning gates, I didn’t see any guards or bouncers or any security inside. The official time for the bands to start was 4pm, but there was no music till around 6pm when they announced that the front barricades had fallen and they wanted the crowd to move back so they could fix it. At this point, I was between the sound console and the stage. We had earlier been asked to sit on the green tarpaulin laid down. The crowd didn’t really cooperate though at either time.
We were hunting for water as there was no water for sale. Nothing in terms of F&B was ready when we entered at around 3.30pm. The organisers were offering people water out of big drums in which they were inviting people to put their glasses to drink. There were only two food counters for a capacity crowd of 20,000. It’s funny that water was not on sale but merchandise was on sale.
At 6.30pm a representative comes up on stage to announce that due to technical difficulties the concert will be postponed to 4pm tomorrow. That’s when the crowd went riot. (watch videos) About 5-10 people got on to the stage first through the left hand side and started smashing the monitors. Some of them manhandled the guy making the announcement. After that about 10-15 more people got on stage. They started dismantling the drum kits, smashing the LED screens, they set the F1 Rocks banner on fire. Some of them ran to the sound console and began smashing that LED screen and pulling out the mixer.
That’s when I decided to get out. There was a major stampede at the gates we came in from and most of the people didn’t know that there was an exit on the other side. One of my friends called me there and that exit was absolutely empty.
Check out videos shot by Dev Bhatia at the venue below.
This first clip has the organisers making the announcement of the show being postponed.
And after that, the chaos.
Follow all our coverage of Metallica’s India tour here.