The season for religious festivals is over. Now, November to March is reserved for the unofficial indie and fringe culture festival season. And how do millennials and Gen Z kids feel about this? Interested. Very interested. They follow concerts, lit fests, music festivals, folk festivals and art festivals with a burning passion. In fact, gone are the days of the traditional Gods and Goddesses. This is their religion now and they have no qualms about putting their money where their mouth is.
After the recently-concluded Shillong edition of the multi-city NH7 Weekender and the Ed Sheeran concert, the Route 999 ft. Nucleya concert is the next big-ticket concert scheduled in December, according to industry sources. IIT’s legacy music and culture festival Mood Indigo, electronic dance music festivals Sunburn and Supersonic, traditional folks festivals like Galdan Namchot Festival in Leh, Mount Abu’s Winter Festival, and the Rann Utsav in Kutch that extends till Feb, literature festivals like Goa Arts and Literary Festival along with the biggest literature India has ever seen – Jaipur Literature Festival – are just some of the popular festivals that mar India’s annual culture calendar.
Aren’t you already waiting on your toes? As per industry sources, millennials and Gen Z are already emotionally invested in this season. Their hearts are open and their wallets ready to pay. Anything for a chance to meet their favourite artist or author backstage! This is an experience millennials don’t want to miss. Three out of four millennials would rather spend money on experiences, like concerts, festivals, sports or parties, instead of buying tangible products. This is a critical time for them.
This season millennials take a break to indulge themselves whether their preference is music, films or food. However, they have not taken leave of their pragmatism. A spokesperson from Mobikwik says, “The Arbitrage generation compares and evaluates everything before making a purchase. They look at all the options before deciding which event to attend and what to buy there.” Millennials read multiple online reviews on the home site of the band, the blog of their personal favourite movie critic, and the detailed article by the food blogger before coming to a final decision. They are in a way trading off the chance to enjoy one experience over another.
Stalls for band merchandise, which are an integral part of the experience, are set up in numbers, and they don’t regret their decision. According to Ameen Khwaja, CEO, Latest One, “Gen Z believes in bespoke experiences and hyper-personalised products over high-profile brands. This generation will buy wristbands, posters, and badges at a concert more easily than making a conventional purchase at a mall in the city. We call this ‘My Luxury’.” 69 percent of millennials experience FOMO when they can’t attend something that their family or friends are going to, especially if a celebrity they admire is likely to be there. Even Bollywood celebrities like Saif Ali Khan, Karan Johar, Shraddha Kapoor, Siddharth Malhotra and Kareena Kapoor Khan frequently visit the festivals.
An event of such magnitude as Jaipur Literature Festival draws in large numbers fans of William Dalrymple, Jhumpa Lahiri, and there is always that inevitable rumour that J.K Rowling will be attending. Of course, an intellectual event like this is pointless without a cup of coffee. It must be the perfect coffee, because bookworms are picky, finicky, and extremely judgmental, not to mention proud of it. So when they crawl into the bookstore to buy the books they want to have signed by the author, you know the next stall they are heading to is the coffee stall.
Millennials want to connect with one another over their common interest. This is the time for them to explore. According to an article in People Matters, the sudden westernization of lifestyles and values with the IT boom propelled India towards a path that was more aggressive in financial growth and homogeneity of culture. This subsequently led to more jobs and more economic independence, and there was exposure to global culture, in a way, not seen after the independence of the nation.
Kamini Rupani, CMO, Netcore Solutions, says, “In true global citizen spirit, millennials depict multiple personalities throughout the day, and often at the same time. Netcore calls this Parallelism. A majority of the millennials attending the festivals and concerts also play the role of the serious professional during the day. They are on multiple platforms at the same time and share their experiences from the same cultural festival on different platforms.”
India is at a cultural hiatus for the next few months. Millennials and Gen Z are event hoping. Have you planned your social calendar yet? And if it were up to you, which event would you go to?