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DJ David Guetta concert: How ready is India to host international gigs?

While India has played host to music biggies like Enrique, Swedish House Mafia, Megadeth and DJ Snake earlier, we’ve also seen some big-ticket gigs being cancelled due to inadequate arrangements.

music Updated: Jan 14, 2017 17:47 IST
Samarth Goyal
India

Two of French DJ David Guetta’s concerts (in Bengaluru and Mumbai) got cancelled just hours before he was to take to the console.(Manoj Verma/HT Photo )

After the large-scale and successful performance by English rock band, Coldplay, two months back in Mumbai, who would’ve thought that two of French DJ David Guetta’s concerts (in Bengaluru and Mumbai) will get cancelled just hours before he takes to the console? While India has played host to music biggies like Enrique, Swedish House Mafia, Megadeth and DJ Snake earlier, we’ve also seen some big-ticket gigs being cancelled due to inadequate arrangements.

Sunburn, the company organising Guetta’s show refused to comment, however, an insider shares that authorities did not accept the desired paperwork on time. Tushar of Voila, the local organisers partnering with Sunburn for the Hyderabad leg, however, adds that licenses are sought days in advance. “We usually get to know that a gig is happening a few months prior to its scheduled date. We then start seeking permissions from the local authorities... It’s all usually ready at least three four days before the concert,” he says.

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Guetta fans are, of course, heartbroken and angry. “I had been waiting for the concert for such a long time and I had saved my pocket money to buy the passes. I really don’t care about the refund, but I am disappointed that a concert has been cancelled because the organisers did not feel it important to seek the necessary permissions from the police and the government,” says Amol Kapse, a 22 year-old student from Mumbai.

“I am not sure if he (David Guetta) would even want to come to India and perform after all this. Imagine what must he be thinking about our country. First it got cancelled in Bengaluru, then Mumbai. Which artist would want complications like these?” questions another fan, Sheetal Desai.

Popular DJ Nikhil Chinapa, who has organised many music festivals in India, feels that Guetta’s cancelled gig is a one-off thing. “It’s quite short sighted to say that because David Guetta is getting cancelled, India cannot be a venue anymore for the international artists. Coldplay played in front of 60,000 people and there have been examples of big artists performing in front of massive crowds, without any problem,” he says.

According to last-received information, Guetta’s gigs in Hyderabad (Jan 14) and Delhi (Jan 15; after a recent change in venue, from Noida to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium) are on as per schedule, even as Sunburn has announced a Mumbai gig, also on Sunday.

What exactly are the permission required for such gigs to take place? “Broadly speaking, an organiser needs to take permissions for the land, where they want to host the concert. Then they need permission from the traffic department, followed by permission regarding law and order. Then there are other things like fire safety etc,” says Delhi Police spokesperson and Joint Commissioner, Deepender Pathak.

Previous gigs with the same fate:

Canadian singer Bryan Adams concert in Delhi in February 2011, after Delhi Police said they did not give no objection certificate (NOC) due to law and order concerns.

In Feb 2011, Bryan Adams’ concert in Delhi was cancelled after Delhi Police refused to give No Objection Certificate (NOC). (Photo: Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

The same year, thrash metal giants, Metallica, cancelled their act in Delhi in October, for safety of the audience, after some snag in a security barricade.

Angry fans vandalised the venue by burning posters and banners, and also broke some equipment on the stage. (Photo: Zabeeh afaque/HT Photo)

The year 2012 saw American nu metal band, Korn cancelling their gig in Mumbai citing “safety” concerns, following incessant rains in the city on the fateful day. Rain has played spoilsport in other instances as well. Most notable was in March 2015, when musical acts Rudimental and Alt J cancelled their performances because of heavy rainfall in Delhi.