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Aborted Metallica gig organisers arrested in India

October 31, 2011

Indian fans of Metallica vandalize the stage after the concert was postponed, in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi.—AP Photo

NEW DELHI: Police said Sunday they had arrested the organisers of a Metallica concert in India where violence erupted at the weekend after the event was cancelled at the last-minute.

Four executives from DNA Entertainment Network, an event management company that brought the heavy metal band to India for the first time, were arrested in Gurgaon, a suburb of New Delhi, on suspicion of cheating.

The gig planned for Friday night had been timed to coincide with India's inaugural Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday, but was cancelled by the band due to “security concerns” just as they were due to appear on stage.

The no-show angered fans, many of whom had waited for hours in the venue, and a small minority raided the stage and smashed equipment.

“We registered a police complaint against the organisers of the show. They have been arrested on charges of cheating people and breach of trust,” senior police officer Alok Mittal told AFP.

Mittal said a resident of Gurgaon had filed a police case after the company refused to refund the ticket money.

Thousands of fans who had gathered to attend the show demanded immediate refunds from the company. They alleged that the organisers sold more tickets than the existing capacity.

The organisers had cited “technical reasons” for scrapping Friday's gig.

The heavy metal band from Los Angeles, which formed thirty years ago, is scheduled to perform in the southern Indian city of Bangalore on Sunday.

Earlier this year in New Delhi, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams also had to call off a concert at the last minute, leaving tens of thousands of fans disappointed, because police had refused to give their clearance.