MTV EXIT Live in Myanmar Concert: Part 1

Since I wanted to write about my whole experience, I must warn you that this will be really quite long even though I have divided them into parts. If you only want to read about Jason Mraz, I suggest you to read part 3.

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I have been looking forward to MTV EXIT’s live concert in Myanmar ever since I read that Jason Mraz is going to perform in Myanmar. It seems like a dream for us to be given a chance see an international famous artist in Myanmar. Not only the concert is free, it is also the first time for an open-air concert have been held at People’s Square, with the Shwedagon Pagoda as the backdrop.

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A day before the concert, Ma Red bought Jason Mraz t-shirts for me and my sister. We were both happy to wear them to the concert to show our support for our favorite singer. My sister left home earlier as she has to attend a meeting. She said she will be late for the concert but will try to watch it as much as she can.

Tommy told me that the actual concert will only start around 5:30 pm but Ma Red said we need to get there early to line up in front of the entrance gate in order to be near the stage. I was about to leave home when Ma Red called me. I started worrying about not arriving in time so I took a taxi. I arrived in front of Happy World at 1:45 pm. I asked my friends from Native Myanmar forum to meet in front of Happy World because I only know that place, not that I’ve ever been in there. I figured that we might be able to go in through that gate or something. But, I was the only one eager for the concert as I had to wait quite a while for my friends to appear.

The first to arrive were Ma Latt and Ma Apex who were waiting at the other gate near Happy World. We walked back and forth between the two gates before deciding to find the entrance gate. It seems that there are many ways to get into the People’s Square, but the security guards told us to walk until we see the real gate to the concert. On the way, we called PPL and Ma Red who were walking the whole block to reach Happy World when their taxi actually got stuck in traffic on Pyay Road. I feel really bad for them because of my mistake.

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We finally reach the entrance gate and let out a sigh when we see the long line of people who were not standing straight in line. It makes us feel worse when Ma Latt said there weren’t any lines when she and Ma Apex passed in front of it 30 minutes ago. Anyway, we have no choice but to line up under the hot sun. It was probably around 2:30 pm when we started to line up.

I noticed that none of us have any water bottles. My friends told me that they can probably buy them inside, but I only saw some staffs from Coca-Cola under a tent. Remembering the reminder from MTV EXIT Facebook page, I set out to buy water bottles. I found a former classmate from my MA class lining up and she came with me as I walked to the gate near the amusement park (located inside the Square) to buy some water bottles.

By the time I got back to my friends, the waiting line became longer and I saw more people cutting the line at the front. My friends and I talked about people cutting in line and having no manners. Perhaps overhearing our talks, the woman behind us was talking to her family (or friends, I’m not too sure) about staying in line. I looked at her and was surprised to see her in her nightclothes. Gosh, what kind of person wears nightclothes to a concert? I kept remembering what Ko XoXo once said about how Myanmar people have no shame in walking around in broad daylight in their nightclothes.

PPL became quite exhausted because of the hot sun and kept talking about going home. We tried to persuade her to stay as it was nearly 4 o’clock. She was also hungry ‘cuz she only ate a small portion during lunch. We told her that we’ll buy something when we get inside although we weren’t sure. Normally, food and drinks are sold near a concert, but this time I saw nothing but that red tent from Coca-Cola.

Five minutes before 4 pm, I saw a few people climbing the wooden fence to get into the Square from the other gate (which was supposed to be an emergency exist, in case of emergency). We thought the security will handle those rowdy boys, but instead they actually let everyone standing at that gate to go inside. People were running to the front of the stage shouting in glee while all of us who have been waiting in line for hours while getting sunburned were extremely pissed off. Some people from the back broke the line and started running to the front of the gate. It was a complete chaos. We also had to run with them because nobody was waiting in line anymore. Many people were circled around the gate and some started cursing at the police guarding the gate. The funny thing about during this chaos is that PPL met with some friends and got a croissant from them. At least she gained something from the chaos 🙂

Ten minutes after the chaos, we were allowed to go in, but we had to push our way through the crowd. Thank god there weren’t any stampede or something like that although I got a few scratches on my feet from the wooden sticks on the floor. The security let us all in without checking whether we have tickets or not. I feel bad for those who bought them at high prices. The tickets were given out free, but it was difficult to get for those who were at work and couldn’t get out of the office. I got my ticket because Ma Red picked them for my sister and me. We were desperate to get the tickets because we thought nobody can get in without the tickets, but we were proven to be wrong.

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