HARARE - Canadian soft-rock star, Bryan Adams’s purportedly sold out concert at the Harare International Conference Centre, HICC in Harare was a snub to Zimbabweans as tickets were sold underground, most of them to the white community.
Interestingly and suspiciously, the first time Zimbabweans knew about the concert was when the organisers, Davies Events announced early this month that tickets were already sold out.
“A total of 3 475 tickets were sold within 13 hours. We are looking forward to a great show. Some people have given us their details in case of cancellations. We have a waiting list, but as it stands, there are no more tickets,” said the organisers.
It was the secrecy surrounding the concert that has left many ordinary Zimbabweans shell shocked as there was no pre-publicity or details on where were people could purchase tickets.
The million dollar question is how the 3 475 people, almost all of them whites, managed to know about the concert and buy tickets. Even the media was surprised at the announcement that Adams’s tickets had already sold out.
Whoever the organisers of the concert are, they have left more questions than answers on what really transpired.
While there were controversies raised by some section of the media in his home country, Canada over the political connotations of his performing in Zimbabwe, here his millions of fans saw nothing amiss in having such an entertainer grace our country.
Like his manager told Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper: “Bryan is an international artist with a worldwide audience, whether it is Pakistan or Vietnam or Zimbabwe.”
The manager added: “To paraphrase what he (Adams) has said over the course of his 30-plus-year career, everywhere he goes, kids wanna rock. Music will, I hope, always remain a universal language.”
Adams has a lot of fans in Zimbabwe, not only whites and I would bet my last dollar that the majority in the country who are fans of the rock star outnumber the whites by multiple folds and would have wanted to attend.
But why the secrecy on this particular concert?
The orgnisers of this concert are solely to blame for this mess as they did not publicly advertise the concert by such a high profile international musician.
Does Adams know that this is what happened — that the concert was exclusive to a particular audience?
And Davies Events should have a strong network of buddies that is able to send word and sell tickets within such a short time.
That indeed is frightening and a record especially for a concert of this magnitude.
After all, Zimbabweans are known for rushing for tickets towards the day of the show and more often on the actual day itself.
While the Zimbabwe gig was such a secret, already we know where Adams performs next and it is public knowledge.
Adams will make a stop-over for a show in Cape Town on January 28 at the Grand Arena before taking his act to Port Elizabeth on January 29 at Feather Market.
The singer will conclude his tour on January 31 at the ICC in Durban.
Adams is not the first international star to grace Zimbabwe where everyone had equal access to tickets as we have had Western and country superstar Don Williams and rock star Bruce Springsteen among several others performing in Zimbabwe, and to everyone.
While we acknowledge that this was a private initiative by the organisers, it is the calibre of appearing to segregate that usually brews division in a country like Zimbabwe where all races mix together well.
Look at the Harare International Festival of the Arts, Hifa, it brings together all races in song and dance.
Tickets at Hifa are sold to anyone and no one complains if shows are sold out because it is done transparently.
The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe should not turn a blind eye to such promotions in which shows are held in the country and sections of society have no access as this will become a trend.
It should stop!
And you tend to wonder — which year we are in?