| 18 May 2024
Arunachal Pradesh government supportive of music: Anup Kutty, Co-founder Ziro Festival

MUMBAI: While music festivals spring up around every corner in the country, there do not seem to be enough in India's capital city. Getaway festivals that have become a trend, starting with Ziro Festival in Arunachal Pradesh, are not just deserved breaks from our monotonous lives but also convenient for festival organisers.

"It is absolutely pointless to have a music festival in Delhi. Not because of the audiences, but logistical issues; licenses are so difficult. There are hundreds of different licenses required and trying to do anything there is a nightmare," said Anup Kutty, Co-founder of Ziro festival and founder/guitarist with Delhi based band Menwhopause.

When asked why he decided to organise a festival in Arunachal Pradesh instead of Delhi, Kutty replied, “I don't know of any great festivals in Delhi. Even NH7 happens in Noida, not Delhi. But I just cannot see myself trying to convince these Delhi politicians. The reason there is so much potential in Arunachal Pradesh is because the government is very supportive. These are young ministers who are into music themselves. Last year the minister was there; right up in the front and dancing!"

Further speaking about government sponsorship, Kutty said, “Part of our funding comes from the ticket sales and part of it is sponsored by the government. We do not have corporates sponsoring us. Last year we got about 50 per cent from the government. I do not know how much we will get this year. We are trying to break even this year. Music festivals are generally not a profit making venture."

The Sounds of Freedom concert that was to happen in March in Delhi got cancelled last minute. “It was a great concept and the organisers had booked a lot of different. But it got cancelled last minute. The reason being that Delhi police had refused to give them one particular license. I think they went to court too," Kutty explained.

The Ziro festival this year will be a four-day long event with 40+ artistes, including folk acts especially from the North-East and two international acts, performing from 25 to 28 September. “Spectators come from several cities and metros. It is quite a journey to get there. And we thought it might as well have one more day. It is not a weekend outing, like going from Delhi to Manali. It requires people to take at least a week off, including their travel to and from Ziro. So we thought of announcing that right away so people can make arrangements," said Kutty.

There will be two stages this year; one will be active during the morning and feature folk acts while the other will be active in the evening. Keeping up with a tradition that began in 2013, there will be after parties as well. The team is also in talks for live streaming the festival.

Tickets will be priced the same as the previous editions and will go live in the end of July 2014.