It is ‘Jai Ho.. Kozhikode’. The mother of all live shows, A.R. Rahman Live, the maestro’s first live programme after winning double Oscars at the 81st Academy awards, will now be staged not at the Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium here as was earlier planned, but at the Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode.
The pro gramme has also been postponed from April 14 to May 3. Since April 14 was just two days prior to the polling day in the State, there was a realization that it would have been difficult for the police to provide adequate security cover for the country’s most popular musician. The show is organized by Keraleeyam – Global Kerala Initiative to raise funds for HIV-affected children.
Expectations had reached a crescendo when a two-member team in charge of the technical and production aspects of the Rahman show landed in the city in the middle of February on a one-day recce mission.
The team visited the Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium, the main stage where Rahman was supposed to perform live. They had inspected the venue, the ground and the natural acoustics and were generally satisfied.
It is the capacity of the Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium that has now blasted the capital city’s chances to host the show. Its total capacity, gallery and the chairs included, is not more than 35,000. In the case of the Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, it is nearly 70,000. What’s more, the Corporation Stadium is fully covered and has efficient flood lights.
To make up for the low capacity of Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium, the organisers had even thought of arranging live digital projection of the show in two other stadiums in the city. Even the combined capacity, it is said, could not have matched that of Kozhikode.
But the crucial factor that led to the choice of Kozhikode over Thiruvananthapuram was the former’s proximity to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. If the show is held in Kozhikode, the audience can have a mix of people from most of the South Indian states. Kozhikode is easily accessible to those in big cities like Coimbatore, Madurai, Bangalore and Mangalore.
A.R. Rahman, it is learnt, wants his show to be accessible to the largest number of people. The show is said to be the Madras Mozart’s only show in the country before the start of his second world tour. This means he will not be able to perform in any of the Indian cities for at least five years.
The team that had visited the city in February had given an inkling of the kind of show A.R. Rahman Live would be. “We don’t know what Rahman has in mind, this is the first show after the Oscars. He would definitely want to give this show a completely new feel, something that has never been experienced before. He might even have a unique theme for the show. It’s Rahman, anything is possible,’’ Shailesh, who was in charge of production, said.
“Normally, a Rahman show will have ten big singers and 40-odd musicians. However, for this show, we feel it might be bigger. We will get a clear idea after we meet the man himself,’’ he added.