College fests are no longer a small affair. With budgets running into lakhs, which are spent on bringing professional bands for entertainment, inviting students from across the country to participate and in doling out cash prizes as grand as Rs 2 lakh and above, the college fests have turned into a carnival of a sort meant for the public and not just the students.
It’s almost a serious rivalry where students strive to get their college to the top by putting in the best show. What’s more, every year with a new team of students taking over, there is an effort to make the fest more unique and different, so that its success is assured.
Spread across a day or two, fests are mainly the students’ effort. From logistics to making sure everything goes right, students take care of every detail. Says Shruthi Menon of Christ Junior College, “The teachers only supervise and play a little role in the fest. We have to get everything done on our own and they authorise us for that. There is so much that goes into organising a fest and handling the money is a huge responsibility but it definitely gives a good experience.”
Mount Carmel College has around 12 fests but the major one is Cul Ah!, which is spread over three days in the month of December. Surabhi from Mount Carmel College, says that from the beginning itself the students are told about the importance of organising bigger fests.
The changes are there for all to see. In place of hand-made posters, one sees printed posters promoting the fests. For instance, in St Joseph’s College of Commerce, there were posters and even video screenings of the fest in various parts of the college.
Christ University made its fest grand by calling folk artistes for their Basha Utsav. And Surana College’s Utkarsh saw volunteers wearing personalised sweatshirts to promote the fest. “If the fest is popular and reaches a large number of people, all the time, money and effort spent on it becomes worthwhile,” says Sanjay from Surana College.
An average two-day fest costs around Rs 50 thousand to Rs 1 lakh but there have been times when it has gone upto Rs 8 to 9 lakh. Christ University’s Kengeri campus recently hosted one of the biggest fests called Chrizellenz.
The two-day gala event had many programmes including a DJ night and for each competition there were cash prizes ranging from Rs 3,000 to 20,000 and also laptops.
The winners of Utkarsh at Surana College got I-Pod. “It all depends on the kind of sponsorship we get for the fest. In fact, that is the biggest challenge for us, because our budget depends on sponsorship. If there are attractive prizes, it encourages students to come forward and give their best,” says Richard from Christ University Institute Of Management.