Coldplay in Mumbai: MMRDA ground turns into fortress
Everything at the Global Citizen Festival where Coldplay will perform live for the first time in India was commonplace. Strong bandobast around the venue was seen with cops patrolling at every 200 meters of the venue. It seems to be like a fortress where even cops have to pass through the metal detectors
Chris Martin arrives at MMRDA Grounds in a distinct blue cap
Everything at the Global Citizen Festival where Coldplay will perform live for the first time in India was commonplace. Strong bandobast around the venue was seen with cops patrolling at every 200 meters of the venue. It seems to be like a fortress where even cops have to pass through the metal detectors.
On inquiry if they know Coldplay, one constable says, "Sanskruti karayakramchi tayari chalu aahe. Udya bhavya program aahe. Tumhala baghaycha aahe tar pudhe jaaon pass ghya. ("We are rehearsing for a cultural program. There is a massive event tomorrow. If you want to see, go ahead and get a pass.")
Among the Bollywood celebrities, Shah Rukh Khan spent more than three hours at the venue while a host of celebs like Farhan Akhtar, Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra among others were spotted. The Bollywood celeb line-up also includes Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Arjun Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. However, Aamir Khan may not be able to make it since he is currently busy with the post-production of his next, Dangal. From the sports world, Sachin Tendulkar, Rio bronze medalist Sakshi Malik and boxer Vijender Singh are also expected to be part of the fest.
Crew and performers queue up outside the venue for rehearsals. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Sitting on the footpath near the venue is Ramesh. He expertly works his fingers to make bhel and sev puri. At any other day, he would earn around R200-300, a day but today the demand is high and Ramesh has already made are Rs 800 in five hours.
There was a decent queue of people who have come to collect their passes after office. Sneha who works in an MNC has shelled out R15,000 to get closer to the stage. On the other hand a few college students are happy to get a complimentary pass. But not everyone is lucky enough to get their hand on the passes. Shiv Verma, originally from Delhi and studying in Mumbai was pleading with the organisers for passes. The maximum he could spend to watch Coldplay perform 'live' on stage was a meagre Rs 200.
> Reach before 1.30 pm (gates close at 4) to avoid serpentine queues
> Do not carry cigarettes/alcohol/lighters — they will be confiscated
> Load an ample amount of 'balance' into your festival debit-cards that are given so as to avoid standing in long queues to keep refilling the card.
> Pre-drink to the best of your capacity - there will be no alcohol at the venue.
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day