19 Dec : Australia is gearing-up for Oscar winner A.R. Rahman’s (Slumdog Millionaire) exclusive free concert in historic Parramatta Park outside Sydney on January 16.
Because of huge audience this event is expected to attract, organizers appear to be meticulously planning it. Authorities have declared it as “vehicle free” event and are asking the patrons to leave the car at home and take public transport (trains and buses) to the venue.
Rahman’s two-and-half hour live performance has also been declared “glass free event” and thus the attendees will not be able to bring glass on site. Patrons will also not be allowed to bring alcohol to the venue. As bags of attendees will be searched, so the organizers are suggesting patrons to bring one bag per group. Those without bags will be able to go through an express entrance.
Website of Parramatta Park Trust of New South Wales Government describes Rahman as “the undisputed superstar of contemporary Indian music”. “In a country of a billion inhabitants where film and pop music are one, Rahman, 43, dominates the music industry”, it adds. Rahman will reportedly entertain with an entourage of over 40 musicians and Bollywood dancers, presenting various rhythms and melodies of contemporary India.
Acclaimed Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded Rahman for offering this free concert. Leading Australian musicians should reciprocate this gesture by offering free concerts in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai in India, Zed, who is chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, added.
Historic Parramatta Park spread over 85 hectares and listed on National Heritage List, which celebrated its 150 years in 2008, is one of Australia’s most important cultural landscapes and receives over 1.5 million visitors annually. It is located in Parramatta, a suburb about 14 miles west of central Sydney in New South Wales (Australia).
Rahman, who has reportedly recorded sales of over 300 million, was called “Mozart of Madras” by Time magazine. Rahman sees music “as a way to connect to spirituality and embrace it” and for “creating harmony in troubled times”.