Chennai: With Margazhi season nearing, sabhas and organizers are gearing up to present the best of music concerts and dance programmes by eminent musicians, dancers and upcoming artistes. Organisers, who are behind the hundreds of concerts to be held in and around the city for over a month, find the going tougher every year. Money flow from sponsors has not been encouraging, say organisers.
Subhashree Thanikachalam, who has been organising music festivals for several years, says the number of sponsors has been dwindling over the years. “There are too many players now. They all want to organise music fests during Margazhi. But the number of sponsors has not gone up,” she points out.
Earlier, philanthropists and corporate companies were passionate about music and were ready to donate a good amount of money for the Margazhi festival without expecting any returns. “With art and music not coming under CSR activity now, companies are reluctant to donate money for the festival,” adds Subhashree.
Musician K. N. Shashikaran, who also conducts music festivals every year, says, “Balancing the budget, accommodating artistes and playing host to enthusiastic rasikas have become a huge challenge nowadays. Sponsors have cut the amount they usually contribute by 40 per cent. It is disappointing to see that December season, considered the biggest classic musical festival in the world, is not promoted or encouraged by the state and Central governments.”
Subhashree adds, “It has been a difficult time for us. With art and music industry not having enough money, the cost of running music festival has been going up.”
Even sabhas, organising music festivals for decades, say it is a harrowing time for them. Mr M. Krishnamurthy, secretary of Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, says, “Organising music festivals is not easy now with rising costs.”
However, some sabhas have a good number of members who back them to the hilt in their endeavours. It is rasikas’ enthusiastic support that drives them to organise festivals.
While it is passion for music that keeps sabhas and music organisers going despite odds and challenges, they want the government to lend a helping hand and promote this iconic music and dance extravaganza showcasing the state’s culture and tradition....