The Rahman Chennai Concert: Criticism and Response – A Lesson Learned

A.R. Rahman‘s highly anticipated concert in Chennai, titled ‘Marakkuma Nenjam’, has left a lasting impression on many, but unfortunately, not for the right reasons. The concert, held at Chennai’s Adityaram Palace City on September 10, saw over 45,000 fans flocking to the venue. However, what should have been a memorable night turned into a nightmarish experience for many.

Scenes of Chaos and Mismanagement

Outside the concert venue, chaos ensued as long queues, traffic snarls, and mismanagement of ticket holders marred the event. Valid ticket holders were left seething with rage, engaging in heated arguments with policemen and the organizers, ACTC Events, over the lack of proper arrangements. It was a complete mess that no one anticipated.

Rahman’s Unforeseen Perspective

In response to the chaos, A.R. Rahman expressed his thoughts and feelings about the incident. He admitted, “It was a tsunami of people and love that we were unable to handle. As a composer, my job was to give a terrific show, and I thought everything else would be taken care of.” Rahman had no idea what was happening outside as he was happily performing, unaware of the nightmare that awaited his fans.

Expanding City, Growing Passion for Music and Art

Rahman emphasized the issue of safety, particularly given the presence of women and children in the audience. He refrained from pointing fingers and instead shed light on the fact that the city is expanding, and so is the passion for music and art. With this growth comes the need for better planning and execution to ensure the safety and satisfaction of concert-goers.

The Decision to Reschedule

The concert had already been rescheduled from August to September due to unfavorable weather conditions. Rahman made it clear that the decision was made in consultation with authorities and with the intention of safeguarding the well-being of his fans. Despite the rescheduling, the show encountered problems that were beyond anyone’s expectations.

Overselling and Crowd Mismanagement

One of the major reasons for the fans’ dissatisfaction was the overselling of tickets and poor crowd management. Rahman explained, “The organizers [ACTC Events] had put together about 46,000 chairs in the venue. In some sections, everybody sat on one side and didn’t move to the other side. Seeing this, the policemen on duty assumed that the venue was full and closed it.” Consequently, many fans were left outside, missing out on the concert.

Lessons Learned for Future Concerts

Reflecting on the chaotic experience, Rahman acknowledged the need for an international setup to handle global-scale concerts. He admitted that this incident pushes him to go beyond being just a musician and become more involved in the infrastructure aspects of the events. Rahman also stressed the importance of treating people well and ensuring a smooth experience for fans, as it is the artist’s responsibility to measure contractually what goes into these arrangements.

A 90% Success and a 10% Loss

Despite the mishaps, Rahman considers ‘Marakkuma Nenjam’ to be a 90% success and a 10% loss. The concert showcased hits spanning 30 years of his career, and those who were fortunate enough to be inside enjoyed a soul-stirring performance. However, Rahman acknowledges that the overwhelming love and energy from Chennai’s fans may have contributed to the uncontrollable chaos. He wants to make Chennai an arts capital but recognizes the need to ensure better organization to avoid a repeat of such incidents.

The Importance of Every Soul

Rahman’s commitment to his fans shines through as he pledges to face the challenges head-on and fix the issues encountered during the concert. To him, every soul is important, and he believes that people attend concerts for the artist, not the organizers. He understands that partnerships may come and go, but he and his music will remain. Rahman recognizes the need to think beyond just the musical aspects and promises to ensure a smoother and more organized experience for his fans in the future.

Sum up

  1. What was the main issue at A.R. Rahman’s Chennai concert?
    The main issue was the chaos and mismanagement outside the venue, which led to long queues, traffic snarls, and upset ticket holders.
  2. How did Rahman respond to the criticism?
    Rahman expressed his concern for the safety of his fans and took responsibility for the lack of proper arrangements. He acknowledged the need for better planning and execution in future concerts.
  3. Why was the concert rescheduled?
    The concert was rescheduled due to unfavorable weather conditions, with the intention of ensuring the safety and well-being of the attendees.

Final word

A.R. Rahman’s ‘Marakkuma Nenjam’ concert in Chennai may have left fans with bitter memories, but it has also provided valuable lessons. The mishaps and chaos have prompted Rahman to take a deeper involvement in the infrastructure aspects of his concerts and ensure better organization in the future. With his determination to make Chennai an arts capital, fans can expect a smoother and more enjoyable experience at his upcoming shows.

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