Musicians are a noble lot. They feel for their fans, and then go about pleasing them every now and then. Metal Lords from Rage Against the Machine recently announced that their London gig in June would be free for all. They may have done this as a thanking gesture after the Brits made their track, Killing in the Name the Christmas chart-topper but their contemporaries have been doing it more often.
We’re barely 51 days into 2010, and free gigs have already become the buzzword. While biggies Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J Blige, Shakira, U2, Jay-Z and Rihanna raised funds for the earthquake victims by performing at the Hope For Haiti concert in New York, US, Oscar winner AR Rahman set the stage on fire in Sydney, Australia to strengthen Indo-Australian ties. Rahman had then said, “Music is a unifier and I want everyone to enjoy.”
Back home, the has seen a steady rise. Besides classical biggies such as Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Ustad Zakir Hussain and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan performing at Spic Macay’s Music in the Park series every month, Delhi’s rock community has helmed many private concerts. Acts such as Indian Ocean and Soulmate are pub and amphitheatre regulars and even record labels have organised open-to-all fests in the past. “It’s a great way to popularise a new fest or act,” said Simran Mulchandani, CEO, BlueFROG.