When Kolkata band Oh Ma Ga recently performed at the city’s indie hub, Cool Chef Café, Tarun Thadani had a Eureka moment. “They didn’t have money to go home, and they were banking on the returns from their gig,” says Thadani, who programmes events at his family-run café.
For his next event, Thadani got city band, Under The Influence, to perform for over 100 people. The R300 entry price got attendees a free beer, and went directly to the artistes. “Most bands comprise part-time musicians or college students who don’t have the funds. The idea was to pool in the resources from their fans to help them,” adds Thadani, who plans to make it a weekly affair.
The idea is simple: Want to watch your favourite band perform? Help them raise money for the gig. Taking cues from funding platforms like kickstarter.com, Thadani will also launch his own website, bandz.in, today.
He explains, “We’ll have a database of artistes from across India. While some may need money for travel, others can buy new equipment or even record an album. And fans decide how much to pay.” So Rs 300 may get you free beer, but Rs 1,000 will get you entry to the gig, a free beer and a free T-shirt or CD. “For others who are willing to shell out more, say, Rs 10,000, the band will even perform in your home,” Thadani says.
Under The Influence’s Ashutosh Thatte says, “My band mate Abhijit Lahiri is from Delhi, and our gigs are always costly. Fans raising money for our travel is a great idea for us.”