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Articles May-June 2021

Pursuing the Pro Audio Trail

In conversation with Caroline Moss and Sue Gould

PT got in touch with the Pro AVL Asia magazine core team of Editor - Caroline Moss and Sales Director - Sue Gould, who between them boast of over three decades of experience in the pro audio industry..... read more

NJSM Marks a Milestone in the Business of Sound

From Rental Company to manufacturer and innovator, Nixon Johnny has guided and grown NJSM from a two-person company to a fifty-person company, continuing to expand into virtual events with NJSM Virtual Studio..... read more

Tech Savvy Environment for T-Systems

Eyte Technologies installs high-tech AV Solution at T-System’s Experience Center facilitating brand value and delivering superior customer experience..... read more

Conversations with SudeepAudio

Sudeep Audio, one of India’s first pro audio web store selling studio software and equipment online commenced its YouTube Channel, ConverSAtions, in 2011 to share the journey of Indian Sound Engineers..... read more

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LED events sans talent

Despite new age technologies and great technicians having transformed the experience of attending a live show in India, lighting industry expert - Viraf Pocha, finds the euphoria of attending a live event in India, missing. In this column he discusses the need to reinterpret, redefine and recreate a holistic live show experience - one in which event producers, the government and venue owners come together to work out a winning formula, which will keep audiences engaged and coming back for more.

Thrilled and worried

These could be the Best of Times. This Could be the Worst of Times for the Event Industry.

When I look around me - I am Equal Parts Thrilled and Equal Parts Worried. Our Industry is crossing milestone after milestone every season. Bigger.... Brighter....

Yet, I don’t see the energy and the euphoria that normally accompanies such success.

Is it my imagination? Do You agree?

I don’t recall seeing any really big innovation for years. Sure LED walls are drowning out everything in sight. Apart from a few scattered shows, almost every show I see seems to be a rehash of something else.

And our audiences have started noticing. An astute concert promoter once told me that when he went out to check a new act - he spent just a few moments looking at the performers. He would concentrate on the audience reaction. Was it studied or spontaneous?

If the performer had his/her audience enthralled, he could not give a hoot about how good or bad they were. If the audience was enthralled - they would buy tickets.

These days most shows follow a formula. All the shows are very light on content and try to make up by liberal use of technology. But each section could be copy paste out of any one of a dozen similar shows. Very few audience these days are walking out of a performance space with a smile or a look of fulfilment on their faces.

The other day I was lucky to see a conversation between Sir Ian McKellen and Aamir Khan - two actors chatting for a bit, with interjections from an enthusiastic compere, and ending with Sir Ian delivering a spontaneous rendering of a passage from an old masterpiece.

Every person walking out of the theatre was talking about some aspect of the evening, replaying it over and over as they savoured the experience. I am sure more than half will remember that evening for years.

Rush of a Live experience

On the other hand how many of us can recall even half the songs we heard at last month’s concert or show? Go on test yourself. If you remember – Great! We are in the best of times. We are successfully capturing an audience that is getting addicted to the rush of a live experience in a digital world.

If you cannot recall, it’s a time of worry for all of us. Why would someone tear themselves away from their digital devices and brave the crush if it was not worth the joy of immersing yourself in a live show.

The Good news is that we have the equipment and more than a handful of great technicians who when challenged, can produce a really great show.

So let’s all give them an opportunity to shine.

Worst concert experience

We all know that India offers probably the worst concert experiences possible - Traffic, Heat, Jostling, Limited facilities in some really uncomfortable venues.

Promoters spend more time dealing with authorities, staying ahead of ever changing laws, tantrums from all sides, to really concentrate on presenting a great show.

So we in the Event Industry have to work doubly hard to keep our audience engaged and have them coming back.

Audiences for Live Entertainment are out there. If all the stakeholders - Including Government (Both in their role as Tax Collectors, Security Standard Bearers & Venue Controllers), Private Venue Owners (and increasingly Venue Operators) and Event producers come together and must work out a formula where everybody gets a fair and CONTINOUS return. Only then will everybody’s minds get focussed on investing rather than concentrating on making a fast buck.

Star is the sport

It has been heartbreaking to see so many Indians ‘almost’ making it at the Olympics. A popular journalist was hugely derided for stating some facts in an ‘unpleasant’ way. The sad fact was that in the furore that followed, the original message / plea for our powers that be to accept that our athletes may need some assistance to cross that line onto the medals podium - was totally lost.

Another fact lost on most people was that within the huge social media condemnation - I did not see, nor was there any highlight on any contribution by anybody connected with the Olympics, who could have actually made a difference.

Is it that both are sportsmen’s management teams and our sports authorities have not woken up to the power of social media to effect change by focussing spotlights on the issues.

Why is it that when any sports person (including cricketers) who call out to our democratic public to ask for our votes and voices - they are usually met with silence. It stands to reason that most sportsmen want to get ahead and WIN. So why can’t we give them what they need to win.

Am I digressing ? I believe that sports is a huge opportunity for the event Industry. But like in the Film industry and in the Cricket world - we need to create stars. Would Bollywood or Cricket be half as successful without Sharukh, Salman or Sachin?

Talent is the show

Within our Live Sports and Event industry we need to create a set of Superstars. Develop their talents, promote them hugely and create an infrastructure where a huge number of PAYING public can enjoy an evening with family and come home better for the experience.

A whole eco system of service providers and talented young people can make useful careers and the government can generate serious revenue if only we can all find an umbrella to gather under.

We need a Steve Jobs type superstar to lead the way. Come on - somebody fancy themselves and step up!