The city police had a difficult time as a over 29,000 fans converged for the Metallica concert at the Palace Grounds yesterday.
Neither the organisers, nor the cops anticipated the major crowd inflow early yesterday morning, which was a chain-reaction after the concert at Delhi was cancelled. Not wanting to miss a chance of seeing the legendary band perform, over 4,000 fans flew down from the capital.
Metallica drew in crowds of over 29,000 fans for their performance at the Palace Grounds yesterday
Traffic jams started early in the day and all routes leading to the venue were packed. Each area had over 10 constables deputed to ensure traffic moved smoothly.
"The venue was packed to capacity and people were still gathering outside. We were prepared for only 25,000 people, which is the capacity of the venue, but there were over 29,000 fans there," said a police official at the venue. The event organizers, after drawing flak for the Delhi fiasco, were worried about crowd management.
"We do not mind paying anything to watch Metallica, but we have not received a refund for our Delhi tickets yet. We had a tough time getting last minute air tickets to Bangalore, but somehow took connecting flights and reach in record time," said Shahil Kumar, a fan from Delhi.
As the cops battled the excited fans trying to get to the venue as early as possible, another problem awaited them at the parking lot and ticket counters.
"First, there was a problem with getting a good parking as the lots were full at about 4 pm itself. People tried to find parking space in narrow lanes, which further worsened the traffic jams. Over 150 people, who had booked their tickets in advance, had to wait for hours to get a hold of their tickets and eventually got delayed," said an agitated fan.
The organisers had appointed over 100 bouncers for both, front stage and back stage activity, but several fans managed to sneak in Marijuana and plenty of liquor. "The place smells of weed and people were smoking openly. There was very little anyone could do, as the whole place was jam packed," said another fan.
Meanwhile, sale of tickets in the black was rampant behind the main venue and fans were making the best of it. "I bought a ticket at the last minute for about Rs 8,000, but it was totally worth it as we got a VVIP seat with booze and food right in front of the stage," said Kumar, a fan.
While many fans complained that the sound was not at its best, the lighting and stage presentation saw the least amount of complaints.
"It is awesome to see the 'gods of metal' on stage and this is a moment we will never forget. Bangaloreans have truly shown the country how to respect a great live Metal act," said Prabhu Shetty, an ardent Metallica fan.
However, though many enjoyed the concert and headed home, others discovered that the security arrangements at the venue took a toll.
"The organisers did not allow anyone to carry their bags inside and they had to keep their things at the gate for safekeeping. The organisers didn't bother to help us find our stuff, like cameras, credit cards and money," said Dutta, a fan.
After the show, it took the crowd over two hours to disperse from the grounds and head towards the bags section and then to the parking lot. Several empty bags were strewn around and people continued to search for their lost possessions.