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Home / TV / The anchoring sector hit hard by Covid-19: Live events have gone for a toss

The anchoring sector hit hard by Covid-19: Live events have gone for a toss

Actors Gunjan Utreja, Meiyang Chang, Saumya Tandon and Maniesh Paul share being worried about the effect of the pandemic on live events like hosting and singing gigs.

tv Updated: Jul 31, 2020 14:56 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Actor and singer Meiyang Chang says the pandemic is going to change the way they would anchor live events.
Actor and singer Meiyang Chang says the pandemic is going to change the way they would anchor live events.

Covid-19 has impacted a lot of industries, and naturally, the economy of countries across the world has taken a major hit. And when there are no public gatherings happening, naturally, there won’t be any live events too. And actors who did hosting or singing gigs too, they are definitely feeling the pinch.

Gunjan Utreja, who earlier used to be busy the entire year hosting events, says, “I understand that in a situation like this, the first priority is to go out and earn bread, and come back as soon as possible. Even if we get the permission, I don’t think people are in the zone for a concert. So it’s not just the four months of lockdown, it may have a longer impact for another six months.”

He goes on to add where he would be booked for events months in advance, all those got cancelled. “Not only that, there are no other queries happening. Normally, artistes know that it’s an unpredictable thing, it’s not that they don’t know how to lead an uncertain life. Even then you don’t have an idea where your next meal is coming from. This pandemic has cut that hope, because this is the first time ever that the entire industry is shut. The good part is that we have technology available, so I adapted and created a lockdown game show,” adds Utreja.

Actor Gunjan Utreja shares that he was booked for a few events in advance, but all those got cancelled.
Actor Gunjan Utreja shares that he was booked for a few events in advance, but all those got cancelled.

Another popular actor who is known for her acting and hosting skills is Saumya Tandon. While she had anyway cut down on the number of live show offers she took up after becoming a mother, she says, “The events industry has been hugely hit because of obvious reasons. No public gathering, no award functions no excellence nights for corporates… the corporate event hosting has gone for a toss. Usually, navratras are the time things started snowballing and a lot of enquiries would come.”

What’s interesting is that now Tandon is receiving enquiries for webinars. “Budgets have almost halved, and the price we get, of course will be lesser, since we don’t have to travel. You can sit in the comfort of your home and announce. But the live gig space is completely empty,” she tells us.

While Saumya Tandon is now getting requests for webinars, Maniesh Paul has started shooting for a singing reality show.
While Saumya Tandon is now getting requests for webinars, Maniesh Paul has started shooting for a singing reality show.

Maniesh Paul, known as the sultan of stage, might have resumed his duties as host of a popular singing reality show, but he too says that his busy slate of live shows is empty in the Covid times.

He reveals, “Before the crisis, I was very busy with live shows, and international shows too. Everything has gone for a toss, there is nothing happening in that sector, especially as we have to maintain social distancing. We can’t be in big groups, but a lot of things are happening online. The fun I used to have in front of the live audience… I really hope everything gets back to normal.”

The web, it seems, is really helping these popular anchors. Meiyang Chang feels things are not going to be the same again through this medium.

“The whole thing about an audience and a performer, and the joy of being together is a bit lost on all these things. The first precursor to that is the Instagram and Facebook lives. I am not a fan of that, but if that is going to be the way forward in the foreseeable future, then everybody has to adapt,” says the 37-year-old.

The one area where he doesn’t agree with what Tandon mentioned, is the cut in their fees. He tells us, “If an event organiser right now says that, then I understand that the fees will go down because nobody has money. It depends on the situation. But i have heard people getting their full fees paid even in this time. If the client, and I am talking about the future here after things have settled down ‘aapko bula nahi rahe, no airfare, why should I pay you so much money’. The person needs to under”stand they are getting a full performance, and FnB, and travel is separate, which they anyway would save.”

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