According to a recent study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), the live music industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3% by 2022.
The live music events domain has grown in popularity in India and is the one-stop music destination of the millennial. India is one of the world’s largest music markets and holds great potential. With 1.3 billion music lovers and a large youth population India offers a promising destination for music festivals and events.
But India still faces many challenges in organising live music events and festivals. There are multiple permissions required, with the process differing in each state, making it all the more difficult to navigate.
To address these concerns in Maharastra, Cabinet minister of Tourism and Environment, Mr. Aaditya Thackeray met with an event industry delegation led by the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA). The delegation comprised of leaders of the events, entertainment, sports, exhibition and MICE industry.
“Together we could set an example that other states could emulate and help transform our country through event tourism and promotion of culture and community engagement. EEMA and the industry welcome the positive steps taken by the minister and look forward to continuing its engagement with the Maharashtra government,” commented Sabbas Joseph, EEMA National Advisory Council member and Immediate Past President.
The delegation put forth to the minister their vision about improvement and enhancement of tourism in Maharashtra. They also highlighted the role the music events industry can play in designing and developing tourism events that would be an economic trigger to generate tourism and build the economy across various sectors.
One of the recommendations shared included adoption of heritage sites, venues, beaches across Maharashtra under the PPP model.
“There are a lot of restrictions in using landmark venues for music events. The festivals at heritage sites can bring in a lot of tourists which creates revenue. We also proposed to open up the beach fronts especially when Maharastra has a 750 kilometres beach stretch. The idea is to get the locals involved in these festivals which will create employment,” explained Deepak Pawar, secretary EEMA.
Music events offer a great opportunity as they bring together a varied range of individuals, activities, artists and locals to help make the destination a global landmark. People from all over the country and world travel to attend these festivals and enjoy the local music, art, shopping and culture, therein putting the destination on the global map and driving footfall, revenue, imaging and creating a positive impact on the overall economy.
“Tourism, culture, internationalisation, employment of youth, education, skill development are key areas that would be influenced by the success of the events industry,” said Aaditya Thackeray, Cabinet Minister, Tourism & Environment.
The delegation also proposed state partnerships and subsidies for developing new IPs that can become growth drivers through event tourism, incentivise industry, stakeholders and local communities to contribute towards economic growth of the state.
“There are a lot of cumbersome issues for music festivals to happen. The tax factor comes into play in sponsored events with 28% GST applicable. This issue will be taken up with the central government. There is an issue of double taxation. The sponsors pay GST directly to the government so the organisers receive no tax benefit in return. There are a lot of policies that we have been working on with the government,” said Pawar.
The EEMA presentation also highlighted several issues the industry is currently facing in the state. Multiple licences, lack of online clearances, and a cumbersome process that keeps the event on tenterhooks till the nth hour.
“A month’s bracket has been put out to deal with issues one by one and try to close them to make it easier to organise music events in Maharastra. We worked on venues so they don’t need to apply for all the licenses every time there is an event. The government is planning to have a ‘single window clearance’ system for these fixed venues. There is also a ‘tatkal’ format being worked on,” asserted Pawar.
“The minister also discussed the excise laws. The biggest sponsors of events are liquor companies. How does one have a music event without alcohol? He understood our concerns and has committed to find a way.”