Passions: Price tag or experience?

Published on Aug 05, 2022 09:07 PM IST
Are the tickets to the Mumbai edition of the Lollapalooza music festival too costly? Two music enthusiasts argue 
The Lollapalooza music festival announced its India debut—January 28 and 29, 2023.
The Lollapalooza music festival announced its India debut—January 28 and 29, 2023.
ByKarishma Kuenzang, Urvee Modwel

“I don’t have to spend lakhs to travel abroad for international acts”

By Karishma Kuenzang

Karishma says, “The Sula festival costs  ₹2,800 per day; NH7 Weekender costs Rs  ₹3,499; VH1 Supersonic is at  ₹4,300; Sunburn varies from  ₹1,500 to  ₹5,000”
Karishma says, “The Sula festival costs  ₹2,800 per day; NH7 Weekender costs Rs  ₹3,499; VH1 Supersonic is at  ₹4,300; Sunburn varies from  ₹1,500 to  ₹5,000”

Lollapalooza, the annual Chicago rock festival, is making its India debut in Mumbai in January 2023. So far, they have promised to feature 60 per cent international acts, with 40 per cent local indie acts. 

Have I signed up for the early bird tickets? Of course! It’s the cheapest way to attend any music festival or big gig. The tickets for the two-day festival are now priced at  7,000, but will increase soon.  

To those complaining about the cost, let’s talk numbers. 

The Sula festival costs  2,800 per day; NH7 Weekender costs Rs  3,499; VH1 Supersonic is at  4,300; Sunburn varies from  1,500 to  5,000. This year’s Ziro festival costs  9,440 for four days and  2,950 for a single day, sans accommodation and travel.  

Most Indian festivals have only a handful of international acts. The fact that I won’t have to spend lakhs to travel abroad and watch John Mayer perform (God, please let him come here), is the first financial blessing of Lollapalooza. I just wish the festival would release the line-up with the tickets so that we could see whom we are buying tickets to watch.

Sure, festivals have sponsors and make money. But they, too, are recovering from the Covid slump. Besides, international acts are always priced high. I paid 4,000 to watch Switchfoot perform in Gurgaon in 2015. Expensive, yes. But worth every paisa. 

Karishma Kuenzang, 31, is a member of Team HT Brunch, who has always wanted to do a solo trip focussed on music festivals around the world. 

“Passes, plane tickets, hotel rooms... the cost keeps adding up”

By Urvee Modwel

Urvee says, “True, ₹7-15k or even ₹35k isn’t a lot for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. And we can afford this if we really needed to. But do we really need to?”
Urvee says, “True, ₹7-15k or even ₹35k isn’t a lot for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. And we can afford this if we really needed to. But do we really need to?”

Lollapalooza coming to India is definitely exciting. What isn’t as exciting: the fact that just the limited early bird tickets—for pre-registered users only, mind you—will start at 7,000. After the line-up is announced, tickets will be somewhere around the 12-15k mark. And that’s if you manage to get tickets; they usually sell out within minutes. Remember Coldplay in 2016? After fans waited online ‘in queue’ for over an hour, the only tickets left were priced at 35k! 

Managed to grab Lollapalooza tickets already? Great, now book your round-trip plane tickets and a decent hotel room. Factor in the price of food and drink. It keeps adding up.  

Of course, watching truly great artistes perform live is priceless, but should I pay to push through crowds of drunk teenagers, stand in endless lines to enter, stand in another endless line for the bathroom, smugly reach extra early to snag a good spot only to be sandwiched by (literally) 10,000 other people? And let’s not forget Covid (or monkeypox)!

True, 7-15k or even 35k isn’t a lot for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. And we can afford this if we really needed to. But do we really need to? 

Urvee Modwel, 32, is a member of Team HT Brunch who is too old to deal with crowds and loud music anymore, and likes to be in bed by 10 pm. 

From HT Brunch, August 6, 2022

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