A representative for promoter DNA Networks has told Pollstar that the cancelation of METALLICA's performance at the Indian Formula 1 motor racing Grand Prix show on October 28 in Gurgaon (a suburb of Delhi) was caused by an "unruly" section of the crowd climbing over safety barriers and damaging the stage set.
Karuna Prithvi from the DNA's press department told Pollstar it's difficult to explain what sparked the fuss because "it was all so quick."
Prithvi says the company always has barriers in place for its shows and the problem was caused when fans broke through them.
She said unruly fans "vandalized and destroyed" a lot of stage equipment, which meant it was impossible to fix it and get permission for a new show within 24 hours.
Other media reports, however, claimed fans became unruly when the gates opened several hours later than the scheduled opening times. Still other media reports said fans became angry after DNA sold more tickets than the venue's estimated 30,000 capacity and because the organizers failed to inform ticket holders of the cancelation.
METALLICA issued a statement on its web site, explaining it was "deeply disappointed" about the gig's cancellation. The band added, "We arrived in Delhi on Friday very excited and ready to play our first show ever in India at the F1 Rocks concert. However, immediately at the end of our afternoon press conference at a hotel near the venue, we were notified that there was a serious question as to whether the show could proceed with regard to the safety of the concert audience. And our first and foremost concern is always for the safety of you, the fans."
Police arrested four executives of DNA Networks over the weekend on reported fraud charges. The police have asked DNA's local bank to freeze its account while the investigation is still ongoing (although during preparations, DNA had given the local authorities a bank guarantee of $200,000).
METALLICA performed Sunday in Bangalore, India, at the Palace Grounds before an estimated 50,000 fans. METALLICA frontman James Hetfield told the crowd, "India has been a life-changing experience for us."