Home >Industry >Media >Comedy  shows, gigs help live  events industry stage a comeback

NEW DELHI : The live events industry, one of the hardest hit by the covid-19 pandemic, is trying to limp back to normalcy. As some states ease restrictions, small comedy and music gigs are taking place in Goa, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Kolkata with audience sizes of 200-300.

Regular ticket prices range from 500 to 1000, and premium can go up to 2,500. With limited sponsorships, local, home-grown brands are stepping in for selective on-ground and at digital events.

“There is a definitive rise in demand (for live events) across cities. However, the format of events tends to be smaller-capacity ones where covid safety protocols can be followed. Awareness has improved significantly as we have been witnessing most audiences to be vaccinated while continuing to wear masks through the event even as they enjoy getting out," said Anil Makhija, chief operating officer, live entertainment and venues at BookMyShow.

Music gigs in Goa, smaller, staggered comedy and music shows and weekend community experiences in Mumbai, as well as restaurant and club performances by artistes such as Yo Yo Honey Singh, Lucky Ali, B Praak, rappers Emiway Bantai and DIVINE have been running to full house, Makhija said.

“The demand for stand-up comedy and regional theatrical experiences and events has been shooting up in Ahmedabad while Bengaluru has been witnessing an early start to shows across comedy and music given the 50% capacity protocol coupled with night curfews in the city," he added.

Varun Khare, business head, live entertainment (IPs and partnerships), Paytm Insider, said apart from waiting for permissions to resume events, the live events industry is exiting the traditional off-season owing to the weather -- the heat and rains. “We’re seeing markets like Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata open up to events just as other establishments have in these cities. We’re also expecting a few more cities to open up at the end of September or by early October," Khare said.

Most of the events up until the end of September have been in pubs, clubs or smaller establishments that can accommodate 60-200 people with new norms. “ Towards early October, we’re expecting a couple of cities to allow controlled outdoor events to begin as well. With the exception of a few events, we haven’t yet hit pre-covid ticket rates across the board," Khare added.

Ankit Khanna, founder of talent management agency AK Projekts that manages artistes like Raftaar said the company had only locked about 30 shows over the past two years as compared to 150 plus pre-pandemic every year.

“Sponsors are being conservative. They’ve discovered newer ways to market products digitally. If a show could get let’s say, 4 crore pre pandemic, the same will get only 1 crore now," Khanna said.

Organised events and activations is a 10,000 crore industry, according to an EY-EEMA (Event and Entertainment Management Association) report.

But if the unorganised segment is included, the industry size could be as big as 5 trillion. Mint had earlier reported that events industry took a 70% hit in revenues in 2020.

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