The demand for tickets of some of the more sought-after artistes through the Margazhi music season has been such that some die-hard patrons have waited overnight at sabhas like The Music Academy to ensure they are among the first to reach the ticket counters that usually open at 9 a.m.
Despite the winter chill this time of the month, several persons wearing warm clothing have been seen squatting outside concert halls. S. Shankar, a 55-year-old chartered accountant, said, at the beginning of this season, he reached The Music Academy at 4 a.m. and waited for nearly five hours to get his season ticket.
“Nothing equals attending a concert at The Music Academy,” he said, exhibiting the sort of fan frenzy and dedication that is usually seen ahead of a cricket match at the Chepauk stadium.
“Though the sabha opens its counters only around 9 a.m., we have to reach the venue hours ahead of it, if we have to get a ticket. The tickets get sold out in just about an hour’s time. I managed to get a season ticket worth Rs. 4,000,” said Mr. Shankar.
Muralidharan, 59, a businessman, said he took turns with his driver to stand in the queue to buy tickets at The Music Academy for his wife and daughter.
“I sent my driver at 3.30 a.m., relieved him around 7.30 a.m., waited for two hours and got the Rs. 12,000 season tickets,” he said.
R. Krishnaswamy, secretary of Narada Gana Sabha said enthusiasts begin thronging their ticket counters around 7 a.m., a day ahead of a concert, since they open bookings sooner.
“Daily tickets across denominations are selling quite well this season. They are much in demand for Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Sudha Ragunathan, Ranjani-Gayatri and Bombay Jayashri,” he said. For sabhas including Sri Krishna Gana Sabha and Vani Mahal, it is business as usual this season.
“At our sabha, crowds throng counters only for performances by top artistes, and tickets are sold till 5 p.m. The crowd this time isn’t too different from last season’s,” said Y. Prabhu, se- cretary, Krishna Gana Sabha.