LONDON: Popstar Atif Aslam’s London concert was marred by mismanagement and chaos as several issues spoiled the otherwise super singing display by the musical sensation.
Around 1,000 fans of Atif waited for about three hours outside the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, west London. Fans started queuing from 6:30 PM for the gate to open at 7:00 PM but at least 1,000 of them were unable to get in time for the concert as they were told by the venue management that their tickets could not be scanned on the machine for entry and therefore they couldn’t get in time.
After waiting patiently for over 90 minutes in the extreme cold, fans protested and some of them clashed with security. Neither the security nor the venue management had any answers to the questions posed by the fans.
Concerts in Rotterdam, Birmingham, London, and Manchester were organised by the Holland-based BrightBeat company but the management company’s staff disappeared from the venue and had no answers.
The concert started at around 7 30 PM but hundreds of fans remained stuck outside the venue in cold weather till 9 30PM – and by that time the concert was nearing its end.
On the other side, around 2,000 fans were able to pass through the security and checks and managed to get to their seats before 8:00 PM. Inside the venue, hundreds of ticket holders found that their seats were already occupied by people who also carried the same number of seats in the same row and in the same bays.
Shejahat Khan of BrightBeat, the company which had arranged this event, blamed Eventbrite and Eventim Appollo for the mismanagement. He blamed that around 780 tickets were not passed to the venue on time by Eventbrite. He said the Eventbrite, which sold tickets of the event according to its contract with BrightBeat, failed to live by its obligations and created huge discomfort to people who had bought expensive tickets.
When asked that if the event was organised by BrightBeat, was it the responsibility of the company to facilitate the fans, Shejahat Khan said he was let down by the Eventbrite but accepted that there was chaos both inside and outside the venue. “Throughout, my management team tried to resolve the issue. We had to print nearly 800 tickets at the last minute and the scanning machines didn’t accept these tickets. We had to set up a new system to get people in. I accept that there were failures.”
Asked if BrightBeat will be reimbursing those who were unable to get to their seats and missed more than half of the concert, Shejahat Khan said that nobody will be reimbursed but “we may probably offer free tickets to fans in future”.
Inside the sold-out venue, Atif’s devoted fans – men, women, old and young – remained in their seats or stood throughout till the singer sang his last song at 11 pm. Atif dazzled his fans by performing a good concert. Accompanied by his full band, he performed his Bollywood songs and Coke Studio reworks.
He sang his top hits live including his famous Coke Studio hit Wohi Khuda Hai, Tu Jaane Na and Tera Hona Laga Hoon.
Atif Aslam ended the concert with an extended version of the first Jal song ‘Aadat’ that pushed him and Goher Mumtaz to fame for the first time in 2004.
The News reached out to Shahzad Aslam, Atif's brother, for a comment but he did not respond.
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