As the countdown began to the much awaited Bryan Adams concert to be held here Saturday, Nepal began beefing up security arrangements after the authorities in New Delhi cancelled the star’s show there due to security concerns.
For the 51-year-old rock star’s live show in the Dasharath Rangashala, Kathmandu’s oldest open-air stadium, nearly 2,000 policemen and armed police personnel will be deployed along with volunteers.
Technicians have begun affixing over 60 close-circuit television sets to monitor the crowds, who will also be subjected to metal detectors. Bomb disposal teams will be present on the premises.
Eighteen members of the band have arrived for the show, which is also being regarded as a major boost for Nepal’s campaign this year to signal the world that the republic is a prime destination.
On Wednesday, 18 trucks carrying stage and acoustic equipment arrived from India. The Canadian star will fly in Saturday morning.
Tickets for the show, priced between Nepalese Rs. 2,000 and 6,000, have been sold out.
Ahead of the concert, a discordant note was struck by the Nepal Sports Council and the National Sports Council Workers Association, who accused each other of demanding money from the organisers – ODC Network Nepal in collaboration with JPR Events.
On Friday, concerns about the sponsorship of the concert, especially the media campaign, were raised by the Nepal Alcohol Policy Alliance Group.
The Alliance said in a statement that it was unethical to involve liquor companies as sponsors since it led to the promotion of alcoholic beverages and could drive more young people towards hard drinks.
McDowell’s, Tuborg beer and White Mischief vodka are the prime alcohol products associated with the promotional campaign.
The Alliance urged for a ban on the advertisement of alcoholic products, saying in Nepal 90 percent road accidents and 80 percent assaults were due to drinking.
Nepal also has one of the highest figures for alcohol consumption by women in the world, with 37 percent women reported to drink alcoholic beverages.