Earlier this February, Baroda’s MS University made headlines for its annual festival Junoon that would feature a rock show by Agnee. While the gig was a success, events took a steep turn downhill for the band from that point.
Agnee were put up at a local hotel, Nidra, but there were some errors in the room bookings that were rectified on the spot by student organiser Ankit Sharma. Adding to this, the organisers had also provided flight tickets to Mumbai for February 18. “At 5:30 am, when I called up Jet Airways to check in, I was told the tickets were invalid,” complains vocalist Mohan.
“The organisers’ mobiles were switched off and the (promised) transportation hadn’t been arranged either. We had to pay an additional Rs. 9,492 to the hotel for changes in bookings and spend R 92,524 for a fresh set of tickets” says Mohan. As the band found out a few weeks later, they were mistakenly given a wrong set of tickets by the organisers, while another set of valid tickets was still lying with the airlines. Via an email conversation, manager Vijit Dutta, Jet Airways, promised Mohan that the amount would be reimbursed by March 24 to the travel agent. Speaking to the MS university dean, K Baba Pai did not turn out fruitful either. When contacted, Pai says “It is Agnee’s fault as they must have been too drunk to read the PNR numbers correctly. I cannot do anything about it.”
As things currently stand, sound equipment vendors Best Sound haven’t been paid for the event either. “MSU still owes us R 40,000 for providing equipment,” mentions manager Sajid Sayed.
Mohan concludes saying, “Jet Airways has processed the refund of the tickets booked by MSU but the dean is still not willing to reimburse us. We are aghast at the level of corruption promoted by this institution."
Rock band Pentagram also has unclaimed dues by engineering college IPEC, Ghaziabad, where they performed. Their flights were cancelled and the band had to shell out hotel and travel expenses from their own pocket after using foul language during their show. Frontman Vishal Dadlani mentions, “I didn’t say anything that the students don’t hear everyday. The audience enjoyed the concert thoroughly. The faculty should not have been present to begin with.”