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College gigs now supersized

Festivals getting bigger and better, this year’s prizes include chance to perform at city’s leading venues.

art and culture Updated: Aug 12, 2011 17:47 IST
Pooja Maheshwary

College festivals are getting bigger and so are their budgets. From handing out whopping cash prizes and gift vouchers to roping in international artistes, they are doing it all to make their event a success. For example, take a look at IIT Powai’s Mood Indigo, which sees a footfall of around 70,000 each year. Last year, the festival gave out a total cash prize of Rs. 1.5 lakh to the winners of the quiz competition, Omniscience. They had brought in two sumo wrestlers all the way from the Sumo Wrestling Association, USA. This year, gamers will enjoy participating in a live installation of popular game Angry Birds.

Says Swapnil Chechani, organiser-in-chief of Mood Indigo 2011, “A huge part of our budget is assigned to Pro-nites. Over the past two years, we’ve had performances by international bands like Katatonia from Sweden and Porcupine Tree from England. We’ve had Indian artistes like Kavita Seth, Asha Bhosle, Amit Trivedi, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and others.” Swapnil adds that they’ve used light and sound equipment of the highest standard from the likes of Roosevelt Dsouza and Roger Drego.

“Their equipment was also used at Bryan Adams’ concert in India,” he adds. Meanwhile, St Xavier’s Malhar and Narsee Monjee’s Umang are two other such festivals that are offering everything from gift vouchers and holiday packages to gigs at Blue Frog for the winners. Umang, specifically, will see performances by playback singers like Suraj Jagan, Benny Dayal and others.

But while the organisers of such festivals are reticent about revealing the budget, those at Sophia College’s Kaleidoscope estimate theirs to be about R 25 lakh. Their public relations coordinator, Ruchika Bothra says, “We do not have cash prizes, but we try to rope in many artistes as we can. In the past, we have had the likes of Pentagram and Parikrama perform for us.”

From the event manager’s perspective, Karuna Prithvi, DNA Network mentions, “The budget of a college festival depends entirely on the kind of sponsors they get. It works on a barter system – they get sponsorship in the form of cash or kind in exchange for branding space. While an Indian artiste may charge up to Rs. 5 lakh for a gig, international artistes are ready to perform for free, as long as their travel and accommodation are paid for.”

*Budget are estimated.