Mon, 11 Dec 2023

The failure of the comedian's show in Bengaluru, known as the ?Silicon Valley of India?, has exposed the city's crippled infrastructure

South African comedian and former 'Daily Show' host Trevor Noah announced on Wednesday that his two shows in Bengaluru, a vibrant city in South India often referred to as India's IT capital, have been canceled due to technical reasons.

Noah's show on Wednesday, a part of his 'Off the Record' world tour, was scheduled to be held at Bengaluru's Manpho Convention Centre. Noah reached the venue late, due to traffic congestion, and the show began with a 30 minute delay, The Indian Express reported. However, the comedian was unable to continue and the show ended abruptly due to a problem with the sound system.

A video has surfaced on social media where Noah can be seen saying to the Bengaluru crowd, "Can't figure out how to fix this. I won't be able to perform like this." A second show scheduled for Thursday has also been called off.

Noah then took to X. "I was so looking forward to performing in your amazing city but due to technical issues we've been forced to cancel both shows," he posted. The comedian added that there was no way to do a show as the audience could not hear the comedians on stage. While Noah said a "full refund" would be provided, he expressed his "disappointment" at the unfortunate turn of events.

The news stirred up a storm on X. "Bengaluru wanted to experience Trevor Noah, but Trevor Noah ended up experiencing Bengaluru," a commenter suggested.

"But what about the people who have braved today's Bangalore traffic and came to your show?" Tinu Cherian Abraham commented on X. "Refund won't cut it."

Abhinav Shukla wondered how Bengaluru, dubbed the 'Silicon Valley of India', could have such "technical issues." "You've just been Bangalored, Trevor," user Robinhood Pandey pointed out, simply.

Most of the comments on the social media were centered on the city's infrastructure, known to be crippled by heavy traffic, lack of parking space and narrow roads. Bengaluru, the capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka, is the country's leading IT exporter. India's largest tech companies such as Infosys, Wipro and dozens of unicorns, including Flipkart, Ola Cabs, Swiggy, and Biju's are headquartered in the city.

The "Silicon Valley of India," however, is known for notorious traffic congestion. The city suffers losses amounting to approximately 200 billion rupees ($2.4 billion) per year due to its "traffic delays, congestion, stoppage of signals, time loss, fuel loss, and related factors," NDTV reported in August.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the co-founder of Biocon, a biotechnology giant based in Bangalore, called the incident with Trevor Noah's show a "blot on Bangalore's tech image." The convention center where his show was scheduled "has much to introspect," she said.

According to a study conducted by Netherlands-based company Tom Tom earlier this year, Bangalore is the second-most traffic congested city in the world, following only London. On Wednesday, office-goers reported being stuck in traffic for nearly four hours, reported Money Control.

The 60km outer ring road that encircles a large chunk of the city has also been of little use due to the construction of tech parks and residential buildings on both sides of the road. Traffic especially piles up in the tech corridor in the southeastern corner of the city during the evenings. Flooding in the city during monsoons also puts the spotlight on the sub-par infrastructure.

Noah kicked off the Indian leg of his tour with three shows at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on September 22, 23, and 24. He has two more shows scheduled in India at the NSCI Dome, Mumbai on September 30 and October 1. After wrapping up his performances in India, Noah will be heading to Dubai.


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