Shades of Retribution
Guwahati, Aug 3 : The northeast is known as the region that pioneered rock music in the country, but despite the raw talent of the many bands here, artistes have to run from pillar to post in search of sponsors.
The scenario may have improved compared to the times when there were few corporate houses to spare a buck for musicians, but there is still a long way to go for the rock scene in the region to thrive.
Though several restaurants and bars these days host live music, they haven't helped promote the music scene. "It is quite difficult to organize a rock show at an open venue as it could costs upto Rs 12 lakh.
But for a pub-rock festival the cost comes down to around Rs 30,000," said David Koach, a city-based rock music promoter.
"Finding sponsors for rock acts is difficult. Most firms are prepared to shell out big money for Bollywood-type events, which are guaranteed to garner huge crowds, but they hesitate to put their money on the line for rock concerts. However, I still believe the scene today is much better that what it was a decade ago," added Koach.
With few sponsor, rock musicians are now evolving to find alternate sources for funds. Some bands save all the money they earn from shows for the future, while others maintain a 'proper job' and work as professionals in different firms and pool their salaries. Then there are those from well-to-do families and have rich parents they can count on.
"We have no option but to ask for 50% of the advance for our shows. It is difficult to find sponsors and at times we have use our savings to organize shows.
When we travel for outstation to perform, we get accommodation, but travelling expenses are borne by us and this is where sponsorship is important," said Vedan Kaushik, vocalist Shades of Retribution, an Assamese heavy metal band.