Mismanagement at Gurgaon Skrillex event led to concertgoer’s death?

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon / New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 14, 2015 13:15 IST
Crowd at the Skrillex concert in Gurgaon. (Parvesh Bharti/ HT Photo)

Mismanagement and total lack of crowd control may have led to the death of a concertgoer at the Skrillex gig in Gurgaon’s HUDA Ground.

“The event wasn’t managed well. While seeking a no-objection certificate, the organisers said they expected a crowd of 5,000. But nearly 10,000 turned up. The venue was congested,” ACP (DLF) Ramesh Pal said Tuesday, two days after fashion student Aanchal Arora, 23, suffered a cardiac arrest at the international EDM star’s gig that doctors said could have been induced by lack of oxygen.

The 23-year-old student died of cardiac arrest during the concert of US music artist Skrillex. She felt uneasy and then collapsed during the concert on Sunday evening. She died on the way to hospital. Doctors said she died of cardiac arrest that could have been induced due to lack of oxygen.

The Gurgaon district administration, looking into the incident, may also find it difficult to hold a single entity responsible as different companies were involved in obtaining the NOC and liquor licence while ticketing was in the hands of a third, sources said.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing drunks freely carrying liquor and people without tickets getting in by paying off security guards and bouncers. Deputy excise and taxation commissioner Aruna Singh said the excise act has been invoked against the company that obtained the liquor licence for serving booze to under-aged youth.

Due to wrong information being submitted, 80 to 90 constables were deployed which, officials said, was not enough. People jammed entry points, resulting in the concert starting half an hour late. During the opening act, a massive crowd getting too close to the stage resulted in another 10-minute stoppage.

Gurgaon:Woman dies of suffocation at Skrillex concert

“A tin wall near the toilet had enough space to let people pass and the guard there was letting people enter for Rs 100-150 (while the cheapest ticket was priced at Rs 3,000),” said one concertgoer. Another, 22-year-old student Sumit Gulia, said even the bouncers were letting in people for Rs 1,500.

“I got there at 5pm so I could be right in front. It was all good… but just before Skrillex started, hordes of people entered the venue. By the time he started performing, it was jam-packed and we couldn’t move an inch,” said Rustam Mazumdar, an 18-year-old student.

The fiasco brought back memories of US metal band Metallica cancelling their gig at the same venue in 2011 due to overcrowding, which resulted in an angry public trashing the concert area and damaging expensive equipment.

“I don’t think we can send our son, who is 21, to any gig in Gurgaon till the organisers assure us they can handle the pressure. We’d rather send them abroad to watch their favourite stars perform live,” said Anju Mehta, who’s son Rohan was at Sunday’s concert.

Police sources, meanwhile, claimed the girl may have died as she was on diet and exhausted after dancing for over two hours straight.

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