Pakistani Showbiz

Put my fans up front, Ali Zafar urges in open letter to concert organisers

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Last Friday was meant to be a night to remember for students at a private university in Karachi.

Pakistani singing icons Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam had been invited to perform but things didn’t turn out as the attendees had imagined.

Both stars ended up performing for the few VIPs sitting upfront as their real fans, the students, were restricted to the back of the venue. This prompted Ali Zafar to get vocal about the growing VIP culture at concerts and he let it out in an open letter addressed to concert organisers, schools, institutions and promoters.


When Atif, Ali had to perform for VIPs

“There is a recurring culture of special or VIP seating areas at concerts, placed right in front of the stage and assigned only to ‘special guests’, faculty members, head of departments, principals and owners of institutions,” Ali wrote on Facebook. “Therefore, the students or, indeed, actual fans are almost always made to stand and watch and participate at a considerable distance, well behind the VIPs. This creates distance between the artist, and the audience, who have paid to be there. Please appreciate that as a performer, I cannot help but feel this defeats the very purpose of having us perform, denied any direct interaction.”

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