You know something is big when it hits the black market. And Delhi University’s college fests have certainly hit big time. Last week, Sri Ram College of Commerce in North Campus found some students selling passes to their annual festival at three times the price. Though they were let off with a warning, the organisers were left making announcements of dire consequences for anyone caught in the act.
As DU fests get bigger — with mainstream musicians such as Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Mohit Chauhan, Niraj Shridhar and Mika performing — the demand for entry tickets has hit the roof. A concert by any of these acts would otherwise cost upwards of Rs 5,000, but at a college fest one can get in for as less as Rs 400. And this is making students encash on the opportunity.
A student from Lady Shri Ram College, who wishes not to be named, says hundreds of boys line up outside their college during Tarang, the college fest, in hope of getting a pass. “Our passes are given only to students with IDs, but some boys are so desperate to enter a girl’s college that they are ready to pay even Rs 1,000 for a pass,” she says. Passes for popular fests in other DU colleges such as Miranda House and Hansraj are also in demand.
Rohit Chahal, State Secretary of ABVP, says students are also reproducing fakes. “On Wednesday, I saw some boys getting passes of a fest scanned at North Campus. They paid Rs 20 per scan and got 100 copies. They proudly told me that they would be selling each for Rs 100.”
Wishing not to be named, a student organiser from SRCC says, “ It’s unfortunate, but you must know that it happens across colleges.”
Authorities are now taking strict measures to avoid black marketing. “We ensured that ample tickets were available for the Euphoria concert on our premises on Thursday. The tickets cost just Rs 100 and were available outside the college gate, so there was no scope for any black marketing,” says Geetesh Nirban, media coordinator, Kamala Nehru College.
“Our college fest is open only to our students — that too after they show their ID cards. Participants other colleges are required to carry a letter of authorisation,” says Dr IS Bakshi, Principal Dyal Singh College.