Last week, Indigo 91.9 put together Cry Freedom, a gig aimed at rewarding people who went out and voted. They had a great line up of artistes starting with the talented Dark Light and District 5, and then the winners of Vodafone Battle of the Bands – 30 Ton Capacity headlined by Pirate Radio which featured Kishan Balaji, Naveen Thomas, Matthew Harris, Nathan Harris, Sujay Harthi and Bharat. Not bad, right?
Since the event was a reward to all voters, Indigo offered free entry to anyone who voted. See why that blotch of ink on your thumb is useful even outside the polling station? But people who did not vote had to pay a paltry sum of `200 to enter. I could not believe when I saw people lined up at the entrance but not willing to pay even Rs. 200 to enter a gig that featured four good bands. I wondered where the Bangalore music scene is headed. Are we okay to pay thousands for a white guy playing through his pen drive and be miserly when asked to pay a couple hundred for 22 musicians putting together an awesome show of musical skills?
I manage a band called Boomarang — I am sure you have heard of them. Boomarang released their debut album a few months ago and a lot of people appreciated the album with several hits on YouTube and social networking sites. But when I enquired where they have heard the songs from, I realised more than 70 per cent of the people had copied the music from friends, or have illegally downloaded them. Shame on you!
The sad bottom line is people don’t want to pay for legitimate music, but they do want to get out there and watch the trash that is being sold for thousands. I guess it’s a fair deal for such people afterall. God save the world from Cyberia where talent is taken for granted.
-Trigam Mukherjee (m firstname.lastname@example.org)
Trigam is a music and radio expert. The writer’s views expressed here are in his personal capacity.