A R Rahman Show in Sydney Australia - $100 VIP tickets

Oscar winner A. R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) is charging $100 (USD) per person for a “VIP Experience” at his “free” concert in Australia on January 16.

“Sydney Festival”, organizer of Rahman concert, however, is advertising this event as “free”, describing it as “free outdoor spectacular”.

The “Store” on the official Rahman website is “exclusively” selling this “Jai Ho VIP Experience Package”, which includes: after-show meet & greet with Rahman, photo with Rahman (fan-provided camera), Rahman’s autograph, official event t-shirt (handshake of Indian and Australian flags on a black t-shirt). There is a limit of four tickets per order and portion of the proceeds will go to Rahman’s KM Music Academy. It tells customers: “Do not contact the Sydney Festival regarding packages”.

Acclaimed Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged Rahman to donate all the proceeds from the sales (after deducting expenses) of these VIP packages to the scholarships for qualified but financially strapped students of his world-class KM Music Conservatory. Zed, who is chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, requested Rahman not to refuse admission to any talented aspirant to the Conservatory who otherwise fulfilled all the admission requirements but was financially unable to bear the cost.

Rahman is a headline act at the world famous “Sydney Festival 2010” in Australia. Rahman’s two-and-a-half hour “free” and exclusive music-dance performance will include over 40 Bollywood dancers, singers, and musicians at outdoor historic Parramatta Park near Sydney. Launched in 1977, this annual Festival which attracts about one million people, will be held from January 9-30 and will showcase exceptional dance, theater, film, and music programs by renowned artists from all over the world. Lindy Hume is the Festival Director while Clover Moore is the Chair.

Rahman, who has reportedly recorded sales of over 300 million, was called “Mozart of Madras'' by Time magazine. Rahman sees music “as a way to connect to spirituality and embrace it” and for “creating harmony in troubled times”.
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