Ever since the Janta Curfew, levied by the central government at the behest of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, the Media & Entertainment Industry chilled to the marrow of the repercussions of a non-working period of stagnation.
With days in quarantine now, though the industry has completely put the lid on its activities, it has come up with various innovative & artistic ways to entertain its audiences. Yes, movie screenings are delayed, film festivals have been canceled, the OLYMPICS got pushed to 2021 however, creative people find their way to keep agile & create, and deliver content in times like these. According to the Event and Entertainment Management Association, the Indian events industry has so far faced a loss of around INR 3000 Cr.
There is no turning from the fact that an artist has always been happy to perform for a limited yet interested and relevant audience. His preferred medium of interaction must be live, however, in a pandemic stricken world, artists have found themselves extremely drawn to social media & digital platforms. According to data collected by Instagram, in India, live views have increased by more than 60%.
One of the biggest ticketing platforms in India, BMS (Book My Show), has cleverly brought entertainment to the masses through a collective of extremely talented artists from across genres. Who knew that poetry could be enjoyed via online streaming? Watching recordings is different and having a Live session on social media is a completely different ball game altogether. The first-ever live session BMS had was from 3rd April to 5th April with an ensemble of artists. DJ Reto, Ali Merchant, Shibani Kashyap, DJ Aqeel, and others were given a time-slot where they would indulge & interact with their audiences and play their piece.
The NH7 weekender that organizes one of the most snazzy music festivals in India, attracting a cosmopolitan audience too aired their festival live on various social media platforms. It saw performances from some of the most well-known artists such as Abish Mathew, Ritviz, Marty Friedman, Sickflip, FKJ, and others. Similarly, Sula Fest too, streamed their music festival online where bands such as The Local Train, When Chai Met Toast, Salim-Sulaiman, Kohra, and other indie artists performed.
Artists like Prateek Kuhad, Adil Hussain, Kubra Sait, Arunoday Singh, Aabha Hanjura, Nilayan, Meet brothers, Jasbir Jassi, and so many others have turned to technology for conducting a session with the audience. Prateek Kuhad’s 30 min show from his home-based studio in Delhi saw almost 50,000 viewers. The artist who has performed for a maximum of 9000 audiences, was overwhelmed & ecstatic.
A rather intelligent & interactive move, it leads us to think whether these artists willingly joined these sessions or it was a part of their PR strategy? We also saw a number of artists going live from their Instagram or Facebook accounts and performing exclusively for their audience. It gives a hint that it must’ve eliminated a middleman in setting up a gig or fetching an audience for a huge music festival. However, it could still be possible to see it as a well-thought-out move by the managers or PR agencies of these artists to lure viewers through exclusive live sessions that are free of cost & bring a human touch to the performance.