Fury as Bollywood extravaganza called off at 11th hour
Durban – Thousands of Bollywood fans are out of pocket today as plans to see A-list stars like Hrithik Roshan and Madhuri Dixit in concert in Durban on Saturday night were crushed.
The show was postponed on Friday at the 11th hour.
Show organisers, meanwhile, accused eThekwini Municipality of “not supporting Indian events”, which the council denies.
Roshan, Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Harshdeep Kaur and Ankit Tiwari were scheduled to perform at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening in a show titled “A Night With the Stars Reloaded”.
Tickets for the event ranged between R285 to R2 000 for front-row seats, and Dixit and Sinha did promotional videos, which is posted on Airport Times Facebook page, for their tour, urging people to get their tickets to see them perform.
Late on Friday night, the organisers said the show had been tentatively rescheduled for May 12.
The delay, said organisers Airport Times, was caused by a glitch in the issuing of visas.
The stars’ fans, however, are livid at the last-minute changes, with some upset that the message of the postponement was not communicated properly.
Tracy Maharaj wrote: “Why is this show being postponed? I flew my daughter in from Johannesburg for this. I am seriously irate right now and expect an explanation. This is damn unprofessional at the eleventh hour!”
Shevon Singh wrote: “Who’s going to refund me my flight tickets which I have planned to come to Durban especially for the show? A day’s notice is ridiculous!”
The Durban-based organisers posted on their Facebook page: “Good Morning All Patrons, Due to unforeseen circumstances A Night of the Stars Reloaded Event has been postponed to a further date which will be announced.
“All the tickets will remain the same, the artists will be the same, the venue will be the same, so please hold on to your tickets.
“We thank your for your support and understanding and must apologise for any inconvenience caused.” Sadhana Dayanand, of Airport Times, said they were very sympathetic to people who had spent money on transport arrangements to get to the stadium on Saturday.
“Unfortunately, this was out of our control. We have also incurred financial losses as a result as some things were paid for already,” said Dayanand.
“We don’t know the reasons for the (visa) delays but it is being sorted and the show will go on at a later date with the same artists, and people will be able to use their tickets for the same seats they booked,” she said.
Earlier on Friday, when news of the postponement spread, Dayanand took a swipe at the municipality, saying it did not support “Indian events”.
“The various departments and individuals that were contacted for support for a massive Bollywood event which is due to take place in the City of Durban at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, has incurred many obstacles due to it being a Bollywood Indian event.
“The support request process was initiated in January and, to date, all we got from Council was that there is no budget. If there is no budget, then the question arises as to how the city makes the budget possible for a non-Indian event whereby there is millions laid out? I am sure if this is audited, then several council employees will be brought to book,” Dayanand wrote in an email which she asked to be made public.
She added: “The question I ask is that, assistance will only be offered if we conform to bribery and corruption then I would receive the support? But my culture is not up for sale!”
When approached for comment, Mthunzi Gumede, mayor Zandile Gumede’s spokesperson, said: “It is sad that we are being drawn into this because it is simply not true.
“We do not give support based on colour. There are certain policies and procedures to be followed.
“And if you look back to events held in the city recently, you would have seen the mayor and deputy mayor Fawzia Peer attending events of all cultures and religions, showing that we support one and all. It’s not based on colour.”
Independent on Saturday