The live music circuit has seen a sharp rise in revenue generation and is predicted to continue even beyond 2020. In a recent study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), it was reported that the live music industry’s total revenue will touch $31 billion in the next four years. Unfortunately, the Indian live music market is flowing against the stream. The India live music circuit had seen a boom a few years ago. With festivals attracting crowds in thousands, the trend seemed here to stay. Today we have the exact opposite scenario. Many music festivals have dropped curtains and the active ones are looking to downscale their operations to avoid economic losses.
“People are not buying tickets. They are not spending for experiences and that is the problem. If there are not many footfalls you don’t get sponsors as it is interlinked” says Hermit Sethi, Director Submerge.in.
The sponsors want footfalls by the thousands. Organising such festivals require huge infrastructure, production, financial backup and a huge team. But it all boils down to the number of tickets sold at the box office.
“People have to support us. Look at the number of festivals that happened 6-7 years back. Many have been wiped out. It is not easy to sustain” said Hermit urging people to buy tickets and support the organisers as well as the artistes.
There is a certain number of music fans who readily shell out money for the tickets. But organising a festival over 4/5000 people is a risk that not many organisers are willing to take. The emerging trend is hosting premium parties/festivals at a smaller scale. ‘Boutique Festivals’, as they are called, seem to be the next thing on the party circuit.
“This is the best way forward” opines Hermit.
(pic : Inscape 2018)
Submerge along with Sustain Entertainment, held one such music festival, Inscape, at the Let’s Campout, Sabharwal Farm in Khopoli. Inscape has been developed with a vision to make it a complete experience for the fans. Apart from music, fans can entertain themselves with the scenic location where the location is nestled in and even with waters port. An eco-friendly and plastic free festival is what Inscape has set out to achieve.
“Indian talent has made a place in the market where they can do an entire festival without international stars. My aim here was not to stuff the place up with people and make it like any other festival” says Viren Sabharwal, Director, Sustain Entertainment.
Viren, a supporter of underground and independent music, joined hands with Submerge with a vision of giving fans an experience of not only quality music but also be a part of an organic, plastic free and happy vibe filled festival.
(pic clockwise : Dj Ash Roy, Nehya Tolani, Bullzeye, Modeplex)
The two day festival witnessed an amazingly curated line up of DJs. With international heavyweights like Affkt and Modeplex headlining a day each. To back them up there were Indian superstar DJs like Ankytrixx, Browncoat, Bullzeye, Ash Roy, Nehya Tolani and others.
“We want to create the vibe of a premium underground fest but also retain the rustic and organic charm to it. I want to build a community where people will support artistes, performing at Inscape, at other festivals also” said Viren.
The government needs to help this industry grow. Globally, live music industry is aiding in a substantial manner towards revenue generation. Certainly this can be replicated in India.
“Maybe the government needs to develop party zones. The authorities needs to realise that they generate revenue through GST on tickets, VAT on FnB sales. The festivals also create employment” said Hermit, adding that
“We, as organisers, should put our foot down and refuse freebies“