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Thank GOD concerts are back! Post 2008, Karachi was suddenly a very entertainment-free city because of the security situation. The concert scene had diminished because nobody wanted to take the risk. Thankfully, since the city’s doing much better nearly ten years later, it seems that the music industry of the country is finally reviving.

The great thing is that we’re seeing all kinds of concerts. It started out with small gigs that would take place in venues like T2F or the PACC (which is a little bigger.) Eventually we started seeing music take centre stage at larger public gatherings, like the Karachi Food Festival and the Women of the World Festival (WoW).

Last weekend, Karachi witnessed a crowd of over 4000 people that consisted of young adults, children and families. That is a massive crowd considering concerts of his scale are still rare in the city. It was organized by the students of Institute of Business Managment and saw some big names on stage: Atif Aslam, Ali Zafar and Ali Gul Pir. Pir in fact hosted the evening. The rapper/comedian also performed two songs on public demand, ‘Taroo Maroo‘ and ‘Waderay Ka Beta‘. He then introduced Ali Zafar, who immediately jumped into performing his hit songs like ‘Rangeen‘, ‘Channo‘, and ‘Jhoom‘. Around 12 pm, Atif Aslam took the stage and began his performance with the extremely successful Pepsi jngle, ‘Jee Lay Har Pal‘. The performances were all flawless.

However, what has really irked a lot of people is the way the seating was arranged. The crowd that had actually purchased tickets to see Atif and Ali perform was made to stand really far away from the stage while the area right in the front was reserved for VIPs. These consisted of uncles and aunties sitting and watching the singers. Ali Zafar eventually requested the management to let the students come in the front to enjoy the show.

It was a concert being held in a university, attended by students – didn’t the youngsters deserve to enjoy the concert up close rather than be held off at a distance? We’re pretty sure that it becomes very demotivating for the performers as well when they see a stiff and unappreciative audience and would rather see the dancing and celebrating youngsters.

Concerts are held like this all over the world. There is a separate area demarcated for VIPs, then the middle tier and then finally the backbenchers who watch the show from miles away. However, it’s all organized very effectively. You get your money’s worth at these shows. These things need to be taken into consideration when reviving the concert scene in Pakistan. We understand that sometimes the youth can become rowdy but university concerts have a different atmosphere and the attendees behave a lot better than the crowds we see at public locations.