BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: As we continue to face coronavirus pandemic, industries and institutions are slowly coming to terms with its impact and putting in place strategies for post COVID-19 world. While the lockdown in India has had a debilitating impact on businesses, it has spelled doom for the live music industry with over 1,000 events being cancelled or postponed over the next few months.
The effects of the crisis are being felt by the mainstream as well as independent artistes, live concert and event promoters, all of whom are working hard to adapt to the current situation. Ticketing platforms are fast adapting to the situation by creating digital concerts featuring artists performing live from their homes. These are extraordinary times and while the music community continues to find its voice, it is the folk music community in India for whom the lockdown has had a devastating impact.
Today, the folk music community in India find themselves in an extremely tragic circumstance as they remain in lockdown in remote villages, cut-off from metros and essential supplies and while India fights to curb the spread of the virus, the future of the folk music community, which relies completely on their craft as musicians focused mainly on shows and events, is at risk.
Around 20 mainstream and independent musician and stars of India like Shankar Mahadevan, Amit Trivedi, Vishal Dadlani, Salim Sulaiman, Raghu Dixit, Harbajann Mann, Papon, Mame Khan and others have come together to support the folk artists and their families at this critical time through the folk fund raising initiative by Believe and Anahad.
Let’s Folk Together, the digital music series which was launched on April 24 will continue till the end of the lockdown i.e. May 3. Music artistes will perform special concerts from their homes, featuring some of their favourite folk songs. Each artiste will do a 15-minute web-episode. The episode will highlight their passion for folk music, perform a few folk songs and encourage fans to contribute towards the fund and support folk music in India.
Abhinav Agrawal, founder, director, Anahad Foundation, said, “Through this initiative, we are trying to provide financial and ration aid to around 5,000 vulnerable folk artistes across the country. These artists are in dire need of help as all the shows for the next 6-7 months have been cancelled and they have no other means to support themselves and their families. They are not even considered as a daily wage worker. 100% of the donations raised through this initiative shall go to the artistes.”
Subramanian Iyer, chief executive officer, Believe Entertainment, said, “Social media is all abuzz with live streaming concerts across the world and while we continue to stay indoors, these concerts are a welcome source of entertainment and comfort. With Let’s Folk Together, we’re extremely grateful to music artistes who have come forward to help us spread the message. While we hope to raise adequate funds through the campaign, we also hope to instill fresh appreciation for folk music among listeners.”