Why does Hyderabad miss out on hosting international gigs?
When was the last time Hyderabadis attended an international gig in town? Probably the Bryan Adams show and the Boney M’s Marcia Barrett live.
Not many options
Everytime an artiste such as Lady Gaga, Metallica, Black Eyed Peas, Shakira and now Enrique Iglesias and Carlos Santana performs in Delhi, Pune and Bangalore, music buffs in the city have no other option but to fly down to these cities spending a fortune on the travel, accommodation and tickets. With places like Shillong playing host to international artistes, what ails Hyderabad from organising such gigs?
“There is no dearth of venues and fans. Hyderabad can surely host a show for a 30,000-40,000 strong audience from the city and also outstation fans from Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore. The Bryan Adams show was a super success with a whopping crowd of over 20,000 people. We have had over 2,000 fans attending our concerts,” says Anjani, of city-based metal band Sledge.
“Technically, Hyderabad has the best inventory in the country to support an international act. Even the Cyberabad Police is proactive when it comes to providing security cover. The city has been playing host to many international conferences and events,” says Harish Madhukurri, partner H’works, the event management company that has organised mega events and associated with the recent CoP-11 as well.
Harish blames the ‘not willing to buy tickets’ culture in the city that comes as a bottleneck for organising such events in the city. “There is a great pressure from people for free tickets. They are not willing to pay more than Rs.500 for a ticket when the ticket costs Rs.2,000. Many a times when the concert is announced online, there is lukewarm response when it comes to purchasing tickets. There is quite a lot of money involved in flying down international artistes. Sponsorship is an issue here. Mumbai and Delhi are cities where head quarters for all brands are housed so it is easier to get sponsorships there,” he adds.
Lack of proper publicity with the organisers depending on social media solely also affects the concerts in the city. “There has to be a build up before the gig. When Iron Maiden came to the country, all the pubs in the country were playing their songs 10 days prior to the gig. Hyderabad has a great following for mainstream acts but not for new-age or underground artistes. Enrique would have definitely got a huge crowd had the city been included in the recent tour,” says Anjani.
So now, like during earlier gigs, Hyderabadis have to make do with YouTube, DVDs and MP3 tracks to lend an ear to the ‘Rhythm divine’ while the music buffs in other cities get to see their favourite artiste perform live.