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At Mumbai college fests this year: Apps, podcasts, QR codes

Festivals are getting bigger, in scale and budgets. Tech is playing a larger role. And putting it all together is starting to serve as an informal internship.

education Updated: Aug 08, 2018 18:43 IST
Krutika Behrawala
Krutika Behrawala
Hindustan Times
Xaviers college festival,Malhar dates for 2018,Best college festivals in Mumbai
The last edition of Mithibai’s Kshitij festival featured a performance by the DJ duo StadiumX, who have played at Tomorrowland.
  • MALHAR at St Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao: August 15 to 17; Theme: A time turner
  • UMANG at Narsee Monjee College, Vile Parle: August 19 to 21; Theme: The cosmic era
  • TSUNAMI at Lala Lajpat Rai College, Mahalaxmi: September 24 to October 1; Theme: Mystical galaxy
  • KSHITIJ at Mithibai College, Vile Parle: December 8 to 11; Theme: (Undecided)

QR codes for registrations, podcasts for promotions, budgets touching half a crore and participants being invited from Egypt and Russia – college festivals are getting bigger and better.

“Over the past four months, I’ve felt more like a young executive at a start-up than a student,” says Bhuvan Majmudar, 20, TYBA student and vice-chairperson of the Malhar 2018 organising committee (OC).

The festival’s organising team is divided into 19 departments ranging from marketing and finance to events and public relations. “I manage seven. We work 10 hours a day trying to devise interactive social media strategies and coming up with promotional ideas based on current trends,” Majmudar says.

One such is the launch of a podcast on the festival’s blog. Narrated by the students of the college’s literary arts department, the three-minute sound clips, replete with sound effects, feature topics ranging from the fest’s origin story to what it might look like in 2050 – robots as judges, sponsorships in bitcoin and participants cloning themselves to attend multiple events.

Tech check

If Malhar has its podcast, Tsunami is experimenting with QR codes this year. This September, if you’re at the eight-day cultural festival of Lala Lajpat Rai college, you’ll have to scan a QR code to gain entry to the Mahalaxmi campus. And for that, you’ll have to download the festival’s mobile app – free and available on Android and iOS.

Lala Lajpat Rai’s Tsunami fest, 2017. This time around, students plan to use QR codes for registration to help save time.

“It’s the first time we’re using the codes,” says Shaan Gala, 21, a TYBMS student and president of the festival OC. The aim, he says, is to reduce registration time. “Registration used to take about 80 to 90 minutes a day. It would hold up people and delay events and we’d end up paying extra to venues for exceeding time limits. This way, we’ll save costs,” Gala says.

Money, money, money

Budgets for college festivals have shot up in recent years. “Much of the money raised is spent paying artistes to perform at our pro-nites and offering good prizes to motivate participants,” says 19-year-old Smit Mehta, an SYBMM student at Mithibai college, Vile Parle. He was part of the core committee for the Kshitij festival last year and is vice-chairperson this year.

The last edition featured cash prizes worth a total of Rs 5 lakh, a performance by the international DJ duo StadiumX who has played at Tomorrowland and a 7km marathon that was open to all.

“The marathon was part of our marketing strategy to help us get more sponsors because it ensured them visibility beyond our college and a wider target audience,” Mehta says.

Skills, placements

Narsee Monjee is inviting international participation in its annual cultural festival Umang, for the first time this year. The team has tied up with AIESEC, a non-profit youth-run volunteer and internship organisation that will help them rope in students from Egypt, Russia, Turkey and the UK.

“We’re expecting students from five to six foreign colleges,” says Adishva Doshi, a TYBFM student and chairperson of the festival OC.

Managing a workforce of 500, Doshi says he has honed his leadership skills through this festival. “I’ve learnt how to delegate, motivate and think on my feet,” he adds.

“Today, working for a college festival is an internship by itself,” adds Meghna Kothari, BMM coordinator at National College, Bandra. The department organises an annual three-day festival titled Cutting Chai. “Last year, of 35 students in the festival’s core team, 31 got jobs based largely on the work experience they had gathered while putting together Cutting Chai.”

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 18:43 IST