Metallica India Concert Cancellation Leads To Chaos as Fans Trash Stage (Video)

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The band's first concert in the country, part of Formula One's F1 Rocks festival, is called off due to "technical difficulties" prompting angry fans to ransack the stage and gear.

NEW DELHI – In what was billed as the big ticket music event of the year, Metallica's first performance in India -- scheduled for Friday in Gurgaon near Delhi as part of F1 Rocks, the country's inaugural Formula One race -- was cancelled by organizers due to “technical” reasons.

“We regret to announce that due to technical difficulties the Metallica show at Gurgaon has been postponed until Saturday. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If there is a cancellation, the ticket amount will be refunded,” read a statement issued by promoters DNA Entertainment Networks.

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As news of the cancellation broke just a couple of hours before the metal giants were due to hit the stage late Friday afternoon, some of the 25,000 fans began to riot, trashing the stage and the gear. The ensuing chaos eventually led to the event being called off entirely with little hope of the concert taking place Saturday. Some TV reports claimed equipment worth $200,000 was damaged while many fans were reportedly injured in a stampede at the Leisure Valley venue. Video of the chaos quickly made its way to YouTube (see below).

“I was pushed down a staircase. Many others were also injured in the melee. There were no marshals to guide people and few cops to help,” Shouvik Roy, a 41-year-old business consultant who fractured his leg during the stampede, told a newspaper adding that he saw many children and young adults also badly hurt and taken to hospital. In a brief statement, Metallica said they were “deeply disappointed” with the development.

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According to one report, a Metallica crew member who was packing up the sound system late in the evening, said that he was clueless about the situation, “I have no idea at all. I was getting ready to play the show, and then I was told it wasn't happening.” DNA Networks MD Venkat Vardhan could not be contacted for further comment. But the DNA statement said it will soon give details via full page advertisements in newspapers on how ticket refunds -- ranging from $33 (Rupees 1,650) to Rupees 2,750 -- will be disbursed.

Metallica are still slated to perform in Bangalore on Sunday.

With India in the grip of Formula One fever, with the country hosting its first race this weekend at the Buddh International Circuit on the outskirts of Delhi, news of Metallica's cancellation made headlines immediately with TV channels showing footage of the chaos at the concert venue. “F1 concert crashes on turn 1,” read the front page headline of leading newspaper The Times of India on Saturday.

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“The organisers have to say why they cancelled (the show)... They have cancelled it without taking the district administration into confidence,” Gurgaon Police Commissioner S. S. Deshwal told a newspaper. Unconfirmed reports also indicated that three officials of DNA Networks were picked up by police late Friday night for questioning.

Earlier this year, Bryan Adams' concert in Delhi was cancelled at the last minute after being denied police permission due to “security” and “traffic” concerns.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga is slated to perform at the closing Formula One afterparty on Sunday which will be held at the specially created LAP lounge (promoted by Bollywood star Arjun Rampal) near the race circuit.

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