Percept in the News

Been to an arena gig before?
27 December, 2011

Who doesn’t enjoy music? And especially when it comes to you live in a format not so popular yet. The regular gigs and concerts in pubs or in the open are getting more innovative with the arena gigs concept being introduced in India. These gigs have been happening all around the world and particularly in cities like London, Prague, Amsterdam – that are best known for holding these events. A format that originated for Western classical concerts, arena gigs have slowly spread to other form of stage arts. Popular EDM artistes like Armin Van Buuren, Paul Van Dyke, David Guetta are known to be associated with it the most. The concept is now being borrowed heavily from, in India as well. The latest and the most fitting example being the upcoming Sunburn festival. In the recent past, we’ve also witnessed arena gigs like the NH7 Weekender in Pune and various local gigs in Hyderabad and Kolkata. DJ Sanjay Dutta, who has been playing for 21 years, now calls it a growing trend: “I’ve done similar shows in Kolkata. There is a difference in the sound system and installations.” An arena usually has a 5,000 and above crowd capacity, depending on its structure. It showcases the biggest names in music, comedy and sport. The versatile venue has an intimate feel where all visitors are treated to fantastic stage views allowing them to enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience. In an arena gig, the performer is in the center while the viewers are all around. This 360-degree setup takes the whole experience to the next level. And because it is such a huge area, it gives room for a lot of creativity, production and technology wise. There are lasers, lights, sound, stage... which give the audience the ultimate music and entertainment experience. Ash Roy of the electronic act Jalebee Cartel feels that this format scores over the normal concerts because it can cater to a huge audience at a time. “We have been doing such events internationally for over four years now. We played in Big Chill — a music festival that happened in Goa some years back. They had come down from UK,” explains Ash. “But things are certainly changing here too. The number of music festivals have increased... the only difference is that we have time constraints and permission issues for long, all-day fests,” adds Ash. DJ Karan Bhoj who’s done arena shows in international festivals in Italy, Portugal, Spain, says, “The effectiveness of music is bigger. The experience for the audience is much more grand. Even for the artistes, you take it more seriously.”