A concert featuring 19 artists - the who's who of Indipop. Plus Shaggy. The Big Idea: a 12 hour blast
Sadly, the 10 am to 10 pm concert organised by Channel [V] on Sunday, 15th January at the Andheri Sports Complex failed to rock Mumbai. Entry was free against college I cards but right until 4 pm there was a sparse audience of about 200.
After that, junta started coming in. But at the end of the day, a concert that had every artist from Euphoria to Jal to Kailash Kher, managed to draw not more than a crowd of 2000.
So what went wrong? Not enough publicity, for one. Plus, the heat played spoilsport. Braving the mid-day Mumbai sun, even in January, is not very pleasant. A similar show in Delhi would have made more sense.
Now had the concert been held from 6 PM to 6 AM it would have been a surefire hit. But sadly, that will never be. The powers that be would never allow it!
It's way past our national bedtime.
Sound of music - no more
On the one hand, the 10 pm ban on loudspeakers has had a positive fallout. The din during festivals like Ganpati has definitely decreased. Not all organisers comply, but the aam aadmi can then call up the police and ask them to put a stop to the racket. Usually, it works.
However, live concerts having to comply with a 10 pm deadline is absurd. It is medeival and misconceived.
If multiplexes can have movie shows at 11 pm, surely other forms of entertainment should not be curtailed either.
This is how one entrepreneur reportedly got around the problem in Surat during Navratri this year: He constructed an air-conditioned dome covering an area of 30,000 square feet for dancers to perform Garba.
"In keeping with the orders of the Supreme Court, which has banned playing of loud speakers after 10 pm, the dome will be sound proof. This will enable the dancers to dance for a longer time," said Nitin Talati, organiser of Navratri at the AC dome. The dome has a capacity for 7,000 dancers and 5,000 seats.
The sound-proof dome is said to have cost Rs 75 lakhs to construct. One such permanent structure is sorely needed in every major Indian city!
I know Rang Bhavan would not be the same without that open-air feel but since its death as a venue things haven't been the same. A sound-proof Rang Bhavan is better than no Rang Bhavan!
The enjoyment of music is a legitimate economic activity all over the world. Why should the new 'globalised' India be any different?
Update: This year visitors to the usually noisy Glastonbury music festival in the UK partied way past the deadline with wireless headphones. Mid-day asked assorted noise-makers - rockers, baraatis, clubbers - whether they'd be happy with such an alternative.
The answer so far: no. In fact last year a dandiya organiser in Borivili did switch off live music at 10 pm and offer junta a chance to continue swaying to the tune of headphones. 50% of the dancers hung up their sticks and left.
But who knows, we may yet overcome technophobia. And the day will come when dandiya lovers will shop for 'metching hedphons'!