India’s ‘Festival’ Punch

Nov 26 2013, 03:00 IST
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SummaryUrban India’s new-found interest in celebrating global cultural influences through music, art, photography, motorbikes, yoga and literature festivals has resulted in brands jumping up to associate with these events

The organisers of the much-feted Kala Ghoda Festival— 70 Event Media Group (70 EMG)—is gearing up to launch India’s first yoga, music and life spirit festival in December this year. Called Zambhala, the event will be held on December 21 and 22 in Goa. The festival aims to bring together the best yoga experts, spiritual teachers, practitioners and healers from India and across the world and claims to be a curated mix of live entertainment, spirituality, music and dance. Meanwhile, curtains are up on the fourth edition of Tata Literature Live!, the Mumbai literature festival that launched on November 13. Over 120 writers and thinkers from all over the world are expected to participate in this event. The festival will also include music, performance poetry, dance based on stories and poetry to push forth a blend of literature and theatre. And of course, Sunburn—the famous electronic dance music festival organised by Shailendra Singh of Percept, recently ended on November 16 in Mumbai. With Hero as its presenting sponsor, it was the second time the city hosted the festival.

Evidently, the pace of change in the festival business in India has been remarkable over the past eight years. For the young and new-age global audience inhabiting the super-urban markets of this country, festivals are not just about Diwali and Dusshera anymore. It now extends to celebrating global cultural influences through music, art, photography, motorbikes, yoga and literature that amalgamate to form a cosmopolitan confluence to attract this multiplex generation. Industry experts note that India now hosts well over 60 private and corporate owned festivals annually. Frankly, when it comes to naming such festivals in India, examples are galore; and they are only growing in number. Reason? Brands are steadily getting associated with these festivals to build up their marketing and promotional games and gimmicks.

The best example to validate this could be the Harley Davidson’s sponsorship of Seventy EMG and Fox Travellers’ India Bike Week which launched its first edition in February this year. Harley Davidson’s internal estimates suggested that the sponsorship lead directly to the sale of over 150 bikes. Well, if this was indeed the case, then the sponsorship was not just a marketing and branding success, but genuinely profitable.

Martin Da Costa, CEO, Seventy Event Media Group says, “It is worth looking at the direct sales opportunity that an event such as India Bike Week provides -- there

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