Mumbai pulls out all the stops for Justin Bieber's first India concert

Justin Bieber performing in Miami Beach, Florida, on December 31, 2016.

Story highlights

  • Tickets cost as much as $1000 for Bieber's first Indian concert

New Delhi (CNN)In what may be one of the biggest concerts in India, little expense has been spared for Justin Bieber.

Four million dollars were invested for the Canadian pop star's first show in India on Wednesday, according to the promoter.
"We haven't cut corners on this show," said Arjun Jain, Managing Director of White Fox India. "In terms of ticketed events, this is the biggest show not only for my company, but in the history of India."
    Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the Mumbai event. Jain said that, as of Monday, more than 80% of tickets for the 60,000-capacity venue, the DY Patil stadium, had been sold. Tickets cost from $60 to $1,000.
    "Everything he's wanted we've made it available, except for a few things that weren't available for which we got substitutes," said Jain, adding that the requests were confidential.
    "We want to do certain things for him to make him like India. ... We've arranged sightseeing and a Maharaja sit-down dinner with different flavors of India because he loves Indian food. We wanted to host a couple of parties for him at celebrities' houses and have got offers to host him there."
    CNN has reached out to Bieber's management but is yet to receive a response.
    Independent music journalist Arjun S. Ravi said he received an alleged list of Bieber's demands, which went viral after Ravi tweeted them out. In addition to simple requests like Swedish Fish, the detailed list includes everything from dozens of packs of white low-rise socks to half a gallon of almond milk.
    "Weird requests on riders are just not new at all," said Ravi, who said he received the release from the promoter's PR agency. "Justin Bieber is a megastar-level of celebrity. They usually have these kind of demands."
    The list -- seen by CNN -- includes items that are said to have been arranged for the artist and his 120-strong entourage. Two 5-star hotels "will re-design his suite and incorporate Mogul paintings, antique furniture and signature Kashmiri bedroom linen. His room will be adorned with purple carnations, purple being his favourite color!"
    In his years in the business, Ravi, who used to work at an artist management firm in India, has seen a change in the kinds of artists who tour the country. Up to the mid-2000s, Ravi said, India could only host "Third-World Rock" or "acts that were past their prime in their location of origin."
    But now fans are discovering music on social media, rather than relying on mainstream media. In fact, India is home to Bieber's second largest fan base, behind the US, according to analysis of the star's social media, said Jain.
    "Everyone from 10-year-old kids to 60-year-olds know him," said Jain, 27. "This is the one artist that could bring a lot of people and make a lot of noise. We had backups -- we were thinking of Rihanna or Adele -- but by God's grace we were able to crack our first choice."
    The India stop is part of Bieber's world tour, which started in March 2016 in Seattle and ends in Tokyo this September. Revenue from the tour through the beginning of April totaled $200 million for 122 shows and 2.2 million tickets. For 2017 alone, revenue was $40 million for his first 10 concerts, according to Billboard.com.
    As for future shows in India, Jain is searching for his next star.
    "We want to get a mega female star to India, and explore the rock and hip-hop market because it's never been explored here. I don't want to reveal any names but it will be a big female star if I'm able to lock someone down."