Ramanavami Music Fest restricted to 31 days

It’s going to be a restricted 31-day Ramanavami Music Fest at the Fort High School Grounds this year from April 8.

“Our programmes have condensed by a week owing to general elections, but funds crunch is another major reason for the reduced programming,” says S.N. Varadaraj, youngest son of the founder S.V. Narayanaswamy Rao, who steers the concert-series of the Ramaseva Mandali in Chamarajpet.

As the 76th Ramanavami National Music Festival gears up to welcome nearly 240 artistes from around the country in the next few weeks, the city’s biggest Ramotsava banner running since 1939 is intrinsic to the cultural identifications of Bangalore. It is said to be the biggest organised music fest of India.

What are the impediments that have gradually crept in for making the 76-year-old Ramothsava get reduced to about four-weeks?

Says Varadaraj, “A reduction by a week is a lucid picture of our finances. It saves nearly Rs. 7 lakh for us. Each concert seems a high-priced affair these days. Those were days when yesteryear stars as Chembai, Alathur Brothers, GNB, M.S., Pattammal, Musuri, MLV, Chowdiah, R.K. Srikantan (or Yesudas even now) never ever demanded any definite amount from my father for their four-hour concerts. I cherish the days when my father saw musicians being integrated for a cultural promotion. Melodic devotion was the only underlying current he saw for the mega event. Today, the artistes remuneration is nearly 10 times more than it used to be even two decades ago. While grants and sponsorships have drastically reduced, the growing music sabhas too need to curtail their extravagance and promote a professional approach, rather than the ‘commercial scene,’ creating a negative trend.”

The pandal has emerged at the Fort High School grounds, and 5,000 sq ft of the ground is being readied with artificial wooden plank flooring to accommodate 4,000 seats. Get ready for the melodic rain, its 25 religious discourses and 65 music events coming up.

More In: Bengaluru