The PSL 5 Opening Ceremony promised to be like no other. This was the first time the entire tournament was being held in Pakistan. Amidst much fanfare, excited anticipation, micro-planning (with route maps, attired in comfortable footwear), and with hearts beating with a ‘we just can’t wait to catch the fun’ feeling, we started our journey with inaugural selfies from outside the stadium.
Little did we know that this was going to be our biggest high of the evening. This, and of course – the crowd – a crowd that was both electrifying, thunderous and oh so welcoming!
But that’s all folks.
We’re over with the best parts, the highlights, the fun bits and … the star moments. Okay maybe we can give a shout out to the magnificent fireworks display. That one sure brought some sparkle to an other wise apologetic display of putting on a show by organizers who failed to see the ‘festive’ in show.
Jokes apart. The opening ceremony for PSL 5 will hopefully NOT be one of the best moments of the season.
Let’s give you some serious lows before you start telling us we’re putting a damper on everyone’s spirits.
P.S. the match that followed was spectacular btw and this rant in no way, takes away from both teams efforts that entertained the crowd with some fab shots!
We could not hear or see much of the activities on stage. a) because the stage was placed in a far corner of the stadium – a tad difficult if your place in the stands happens to be at the other end. Stadiums are circular in shape, and perhaps the stage could have been better placed at a more central location? Just a thought that might have slipped the organizer’s list.
Low no 2.
The sound quality didn’t help much to alleviate our situation. We assume mike placement and projection was not given too much attention – we wonder, why as we’re quite sure the stars who graced the stage would have liked to be heard, if not seen??? However that was not to happen, unfortunately. Not only that, but the appearance of a performer on stage was so fleeting, that we hardly got a chance to watch them, even if we had a pair of binoculars (note to self for next time), because just when we spotted them on stage, they went back off for the next act – and the story repeated itself with amazing speed – one moment on, the other moment off!
Low no 3.
If you spotted 2 gigantic digital screens on the ground, they were not meant for the purposes of broadcasting the event to the public (who had come in droves from all over the country). Since both screens merely displayed digital content – we missed glimpses of any of our fav singers and performers, or cricketers – because there were none to see – huge disappointment there!
Low no. 4
The lights display and the entire setup was far from appealing. The tournament is one of the biggest we’re hosting in our country, however the organizers failed to impress. Oh, and the performers were lip syncing, that too, not too much in sync!
Star performers present: Sanam Marvi, Abu Ayaz Farid Qawal, Soch Band Sajjad Ali, Aima Baig, Abrarul Haq, (for whom the crowd went crazy), Rahat Fateh Ali (performing Jhoolay Jhoolay Laal) to name a few. The unending list ended up amounting to a wastage of talent. Perhaps fewer performers with more stage time would have helped them warm up to the crowd and vice versa.
Low no 5.
A crowd that has spent a day and a half getting to the venue and waiting to spot their star performers on stage should not be subjected to speeches. Unfortunately, they did not suffer the CM’s address well, as they were desperate to start the fun after a long wait, and rightly so. He could not deliver his address and had to leave the podium with his prepared speech safely residing in his pocket.
The Highs of the ceremony, and there were a few, thankfully!
The crowd, the crowd, and the crowd! The men, women and children present were so excited to finally be a part of the festivities – something they could only watch from their TV screens earlier, that they didn’t let something like an opening ceremony spoil their fun! Kudos to their energy, it was infectious and electrifying, and oh so lovable! The entire stadium held a mela like feel, thanks to the crowd, and they intended to ensure that their spirits stayed soaring, come what may!
One young lady remarked: “It doesn’t matter if I can’t view the stage or hear my star performers, I’m just so thankful to be here. This is my first time in the National Stadium, I can’t believe this is actually happening!”
Karachi Kings supporters came out in huge numbers and cheered all the way to the end, despite not being able to see or hear much, they were just busy having a time of their lives.
The atmosphere was so festive, that for a moment, you’d think, Pakistan had won the world cup, and that too, on home ground!
The security personnel were courteous and very patient. They must have caught the crowd’s josh and jazba and played along admirably. A big shout out for them!
Although we weren’t allowed our own water bottles, filtered water was available on site and the food and refreshments were not bad at all.
Why then, do you ask that we complain about the organizers?
Well, here’s why we think we deserved more. A crowd that turned out in thousands, some traveled from Quetta and Lahore as well, deserve something for the long wait, the queues and the ticket price. They could have very well stayed at home and watched on their TV screens. If you, the organizers, invited them to come and watch the opening ceremony live, they should be able to participate in the joy, listen to the singers at least, and join in the fun.
Just because our audience is starved for entertainment does not mean we can throw anything at them because we know they will lap it up. It is unfair to expect our awaam to be grateful and contented with substandard organization.
Why would anyone bother spending money and attending a ceremony that can be viewed better at home? Why would families with young children battle the heat, the crowds and the long waits to experience a lack-lustre performance?
True, most of the crowd was there to watch the match, and hence their enthusiasm and fervour lasted late into the evening as they had their favourite teams to look forward to. But then, in all honesty, could we not just have handed out match tickets and held the ceremony in a closed auditorium, with better sound facilities and better broadcasting options?
Why, we ask again, do you expect our audience to settle for less?
The opening ceremony was complemented by a hugely jazbaati live crowd, without it, there would really be nothing to see – should it not have been the other way round? The crowd was supposed to be enthralled by the performers, but they relied on their own jazba to keep them going, and boy were we lucky they brought buckets full!
It has to be said that Karachi has always astounded us when it comes to spectator support, and they did not disappoint today as well. However, it is not fair to take their jazba for granted and expect them to suffer a substandard display of what should have been a spectacular showing of the opening ceremony for the first PSL held entirely in Pakistan!
A question to ask: The crowd smiled their way through the entire evening. Is it because they have gotten used to accepting events that are not really organized with top notch quality in mind? And is it fair that we do not raise the bar for them?
We look forward to the rest of the tournament and hope our teams do us proud. The opening match between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators had some fantastic performances. Thank God the crowd got its worth.
PSL Organizers, you have a month to plan the closing ceremony. Let’s hope you get it right this time, Because there will be no match for the crowd to look forward to after that one’s over!
Rabia stays involved in various social causes. Believing in creating equal opportunities for underprivileged kids, she helps The Citizens’ Foundation, Pakistan, to create awareness of the need for providing quality education to children. At the same time, she is also involved with Singapore-based VWO, 4PM’s Ramadan on Wheels project by supporting it through the FUCHSIA platform. At FUCHSIA, Rabia oversees the Marketing and Public Relations work. She is also part of the Editing Team in conceptualising articles and monthly issues.