Dinesh Singh, an engineer by profession and an art patron, founded Navrasa Duende in 2016 to promote different forms of live entertainment. In an interview with Gaurab Dasgupta, he talks about how the audience has matured over the years and the challenges the sector faces. Edited excerpts:
What is the current scenario of the live entertainment sector in India?
The scenario has changed over a period of time. The demand from the audience has transformed, as they are exposed to international events such as Tomorrowland (an electronic dance music festival held in Belgium) and Burning Man (an annual gathering in the US, where a temporary city—Black Rock City—is erected for art events, etc). The supply needs to cater to them. More options are opening up. The sector is at an exciting stage.
How is the audience’s response, especially to international events?
It all depends on what you are taking to the audience. You need to take some amount of risk to explore different genres. The industry has become very mature over the course of time. The exposure has also increased. So as long as you are giving them something unique, the response will be good.
Is there any specific age group or genre that Navrasa focuses on?
There is no particular genre that we are focusing on. We have a clear understanding of that. Today, a lot of youngsters want to explore different genres of entertainment. We are trying to take it to them. For Swan Lake, more than 50% of our audience was below 35 years of age. We don’t have any emphasis on a particular genre like EDM or classical. We believe in playing everything.
What issues impede the growth of the sector?
It’s very unorganised. Most of the times people don’t know how to go about a certain event. The needs vary, but there’s no singular body, where one can go and seek redressal for the issues at hand. The government must institute an official body to iron out the sector’s functioning. Another issue is the falling price of tickets. It doesn’t cover the production costs, making events heavily dependent on sponsors. Companies are sponsoring, as they can derive some brand value through it. Slowly, it’s becoming brand-driven, which reduces the focus on content.
What are your views on a single-window licensing system?
We are ready to obtain the licences, as we want to work in the most transparent manner possible… But the government needs to come up with regulations to make this process less cumbersome.