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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Fans jive with Akon

Chetna Dua, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, April 17, 2011
First Published: 01:47 IST(17/4/2011) | Last Updated: 01:48 IST(17/4/2011)

The crowd went into a frenzy as Senegalese-American singer Akon stepped onto the stage at Huda grounds on Saturday. Although the concert started two-and-a-half hours late, the wait was worth it for the fans.

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"To see him perform was a dream come true," said Preet Singh, a fan of the singer. Although the organisers had divided the crowd into different categories as per the price of their tickets, Akon erased all boundaries. He called out to the people in 'silver class', who were at the rear, to come forward and the VVIP area.

"Tonight we are one. Let them come ahead, I will pay for them," he told the security, making them open the gates.

The people were thrilled at this show of heart by the singer, and seemed to forget all about the long wait. The fans were filled with energy as they swayed to his popular numbers, ranging from Smack That, I Am So Lonely to Sorry, Blame It on Me.  There were banners wishing the singer on his birthday. Proving to be a true star and performer, Akon got the entire crowd clapping and tapping with him to the music.

"Though the wait was hard, it was definitely worth it. I enjoyed the experience," said Harpreet Singh, who came with his sons.

The gathering, however, was much less than expected - around 2,000 people instead of the 8,000 as claimed by organise. Even then Akon's superb performance made sure that those who had come went home with a song on their lips.

Some people in the VVIP lounge (R8,000 per ticket) felt cheated at the promised services not being delivered. They also seemed to forget about it once they saw the star.

"We don't even have proper seats in the VVIP lounge. This is totally unexpected," said Preet Singh, who had come all the way from Punjabi Bagh. "We were promised a lot of services like unlimited food and beverages, including alcohol, but when we came here we were told that they didn't get the liquor license. This was disappointing," said a guest.

The concert went without a hitch, except for one - Akon probably failed to recognise the host city and kept referring to it as Delhi. People hoped he would remember Gurgaon the next time.

Tight security 
The Gurgaon police deployed 150 personnel to manage security at the concert.

According to a senior police official, 20 traffic police officers were also present to help commuters. The organisers also deployed 370 of their own people to deal with any contingency at the venue. 

"We were well-prepared to deal with anything. We told our officers to handle any unlawful activity with strictness. We won't tolerate misbehaviour or hooliganism," said a senior police official.

The police also managed the traffic well, and commuters faced no difficulty.

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