Justin Bieber at the concert on Wednesday night
In a case of gross mismanagement, platinum concert- goers ended up in the same arena as silver ticket holders; a few attendees recall their nightmare and accuse organisers of apathy
Gaurav Sarkar (MID-DAY; May 12, 2017)

With the dissent over Justin Bieber’s concert running deep among a section of Mumbaikars, it seems the pop star’s lip-syncing and shortage of dustbins at the venue was just the tip of the iceberg.

“The queue at the box office was held up because they ran out paper to print the tickets on,” said 21-year-old Leon Saalis de Souza, a Byculla-based PR consultant and musician. Leon and his friend reached the venue at 5 pm, an hour before DJ Alan Walker — who they were excited about— was scheduled to come on stage. But the duo were stuck in a stationary queue for nearly an hour. “I managed to get my tickets close to 7 pm, but Walker’s set had ended by then.”

Silver, platinum same same
Given that the tickets were reportedly priced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 70,000, one would think that all the offers mentioned for the higher priced tickets, which includes free merchandise, a separate section distancing them from the lower paid ticket holders, as well as a back stage tour, would have been adhered to. However, the gig was so unorganised that the silver, platinum, and VVIP 3 sections ended up getting clubbed together.

Javed Sheikh, 48, a Colaba resident who attended the concert with his wife, daughter, and nephew, has written to BookMyShow citing that a ‘clear fraud has been committed by Bookmyshow and the event organisers’. His email states: “We demand a complete refund and also let us know as to how you would compensate us for the stress, inconvenience, loss of time and harassment.”

Speaking to mid-day, Sheikh, who had paid around Rs 35,000 for each VVIP 3 (backstage) ticket, said: “Our VVIP 3 passes promised us a backstage tour, free merchandise and the designated section for such ticket holders was highlighted in a different colour. But we were all clubbed together. Three hours into the show we were promised a different section, but that didn’t happen. The merchandise stall collapsed at 4 pm.”

Getting benefits of Rs 35,000 out of a Rs 15,000 ticket, he has asked his bank to do a chargeback on the tickets citing the same reasons.

Reacting to the complaint, a BookMyShow rep said, “We understand and share the customer’s concerns on some of the highlighted issues and are working with the organisers, White Fox India, to promptly address them.”

In spite of being the first ones to enter the gates at around 2 PM, Juhu-based fashion designer Amy Billimoria, who had bought two platinum tickets for Rs 15,000 each for her and her 13-year-old daughter Aaryanne early in February, had a nightmarish experience. “My daughter is a hardcore Belieber and wanted was to see him up close.” But after entering, Amy was unable to find the entry for the platinum section. They were guided through the silver arena, and were amazed to see that none other than silver ticket holders, who refused to budge, had occupied the front row in the platinum section. “Despite pointing that out to the authorities, none took action,” said Amy.

Platinum and silver ticket holders in the same arena. Pic/Sneha Kharabe