Home / Industry / Media /  Festive bonanza to fire up live events to pre-covid peak
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NEW DELHI : The organized activations and live events sector, which was one of the worst hit during the pandemic, has been gradually recovering since August 2021, and is expected to bounce back to 2019 levels this festive season on the back of both international and local events.

Besides a series of performances by Indian bands, music lovers will have the opportunity to attend a Justin Bieber concert in October. Shows are also lined up for standup comics such as Kunal Kamra and Munawar Faruqi.

After the easing of covid-19 restrictions, seating capacity for the shows are at optimum levels and ticket prices are also on the rise. The starting price of tickets for the Justin Bieber show is 4,000. “Increasing consumer demand is translating into better cash flow and higher yields across formats. Large turnouts were reported for all kinds of entertainment, be it large or small gigs, post-covid. This is exciting for promoters as well as organisers, such as us, and the industry, and artistes, further encouraging a fresh swell of creativity," said Anil Makhija, chief operating officer, live entertainment and venues, BookMyShow.

The Justin Bieber: Justice World Tour–India, Vir Das: The Most Wanted Tour and global multi-genre music festival Lollapalooza India, which makes its Asia debut in 2023 are part of the line-up generating interest, Makhija said.

Live entertainment is no longer restricted to metro cities with several shows being hosted in tier-II and -III cities, following tremendous growth in popularity for these formats during the pandemic through virtual events, he said.

BookMyShow, which saw shows running to full houses, backed TribeVibe, a college festival entertainment solution in these markets in 2022.

From a controlled environment for live events in the first phase post-lockdown, organizers are now looking at full capacity, and sponsorship is almost back to 2019 levels, Swaroop Banerjee, chief business officer, Zee Live, said. “The brands want to be where they can be seen, heard, touched, and felt with the reach being guaranteed. That avenue for a lot of these categories is going to be live entertainment," Banerjee said, adding that the alcohol beverage category is set to bet big.

Zee has also partnered with wearables brand boAt for its multi-city tour with Canadian singer AP Dhillon, and has brought Skoda, Carlsberg and news portal Wolf777 News on board for the Supermoon B-Praak arena tour.

Some of these brands are especially looking to target smaller towns and specific segments, said Banerjee who is optimistic about the Telugu, Punjabi, Bengali and Marathi music markets. “There are new audiences that have come in post the pandemic thanks to livestreams or collective viewing of live concerts on home screens that has brought in acceptability," he said.

A spokesperson for R City Mall in Mumbai said it has hosted over 1,000 people per show for stand-up comedy gigs by people like Sunil Grover, Harsh Gujral, Gaurav Gupta and Vipul Goyal. Singers such as Kailash Kher, Papon, and Harshdeep Kaur have also performed live for a house-full audience.Live events had started to make a gradual comeback a year ago, said Varun Khare, business head, live entertainment (IPs and partnerships) - Paytm Insider. 

“The return of sports this year coupled with lifestyle festivals like the Gin Explorers Club, India Cocktail Week, Surajkund International Crafts Mela, Toast-Wine and Beer Festival along with music and comedy tours with Lucky Ali, When Chai Met Toast, Zakir Khan, Abhishek Upmanyu to name a few, resulted in 10% growth in the second quarter compared to the first this year," Khare said. 

The coming months will see music and comedy festival Bacardi NH7 Weekender besides performances by Peter Cat Recording, a New Delhi-based band, Bosnian German DJ Solomun, and Korlova, a YouTuber from Ukraine.

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