Friday, December 05, 2008

College fests: is the party over?

On the one hand, the mood is sombre with the recent terror attacks. On the other, sponsorship to festivals has been hit due to economic slowdown.

The annual festival of Mithibai college -
Kshitij - cancelled its pro-nite. Instead, they had a concert by the alumni and current students. and the money they had raised will be donated towards treatment of victims of the terror attacked.

Also, Mumbai Mirror notes that the usual celebs were missing on day 1 of the fest as they were busy the peace rally at Gateway of India.

Meanwhile, Tempest, the annual festival of Miranda House in Delhi University received a rude shock when one of its main sponsors (a well known telecom company) backed out a day before the fest was to start.

JAM magazine received an SOS from the Miranda House Students' Union on Dec 3, the day the festival started. At this stage Miranda was willing to offer a special deal with benefits for the next two years!

Unfortunately it was too late for us to rustle up an emergency sponsor. The festival concludes today.

Meanwhile the status of other festivals - at least in Mumbai - is not very clear. SIES college Fantasies' for example, is currently in limbo.

The moral of the story is that the party seems to be over - for reasons of sentiment, security and scarcity of sponsorship. Like the rest of the economy, college fests will have to downsize.

This may not be a bad thing at all because IMHO, in recent years, college festivals had become more about one-upmanship and sponsorship than a platform for talent, friendship and personal growth.

You don't need large amounts of money, media coverage and celebrities to have a rocking festival. Or well, you will have to learn to do without them.

And guess what - you will have just as much fun, probably more!

In fact I personally think colleges should have intra-fests and then an inter-collegiate fest should be hosted by ONE college in a particular locality every year. eg in Matunga-Sion area this Ruia could host it one year, Podar the next and SIES the third.

The organising committee can be from across colleges - whoever the main host may be. Events can be held at more than one college, given the space crunch. Surplus from sponsorship revenue can be put in a common pool and shared.

Is this at all feasible? Well. We talk of inter-department co-ordination in the government, police, armed forces and so on. But when it comes to our own little worlds, we want to protect our turf and declare 'mera fest tere se bada tha'.

We will carry forward this mindset, wherever we go. The time has come to change that, along with all the 'big stuff'.


  1. Actually the whole problem lies within us……I’m from IIT kgp and I know that half of our intelligence is wasted upon organizing the various college fests and departmental fests......

  2. Good observations. Still remember as to how there was competition amongst IIMs 2-3 years back to organize a 'bigger' fest than the others. The entire budget for some of these fests used to be more than Rs.5 million. Big Prizes is now more the agenda rather than a 'fest' with talent hunts and social mixing.

  3. Well, I don't think college fests are a waste of intelligence. In my undergrad university (Pilani and Goa campuses) we believe that it is a wonderful way to learn how to manage situations, resources and people in real time. You also get to interact with Sponsors, learn how to pitch ideas, interact with Professors, Nobel Laureates, learn networking etc which makes you ready for a lot of things you'd experience in the real world. And according to me, that is as important as academics.

  4. Good Suggestions...

    Actually I came from a college where we were not allowed to get any sponsors. Sounds strange but it is true... And we managed to do great fests with the limited budget which was given to us thru the management...

    I agree that getting sponsorship in itself is a very tidious and learning job but believe me working in limited resources isn't easy too...

    And I agree with Rashmi that colleges can actually combine their resources n efforts in order too put a bigger n better show...

  5. Anonymous3:59 PM

    "you will have to learn to do without them."

    I feel this is the perfect Solution, I was always against wasting money on crackers worth Rs 5000 on IIT-Kgp day. we need to learn to feel more happier and exuberant on doing charity than by looking at sparks from those crackers.

  6. I totally agree with you, khan.Web Hosting

  7. It is a good article. I am also a collage student. So I can understand what to say Rashmi and I totally agree with her.

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