Events cancelled, postponed due to Covid-19 scare

Events cancelled, postponed in Bengaluru due to Covid-19 scare

Metrolife spoke to few event organisers and artistes to find out how the curb on public gatherings would affect them

The rather empty streets of the city are a telling sign of the growing fear around the spread of Covid-19.

Many social events have been cancelled and postponed since the onset. The Karnataka government’s order that came on Friday to shut public spaces such as malls, theatres and clubs for a week has now forced many venues to clear their calendar. The order came after the country’s first death as a result of the virus took place in the state. 

Events across every industry, from fashion to technology, design, and sports have been put on hold. Apart from being an expensive and logistical nightmare, these cancellations will lead to a major loss for the organisers. This could add to the burden coronavirus has already placed on the world economy. 

Jody Wisternoff was to perform at Raahi — Neo Kitchen & Bar, Ashok Nagar, on March 13. However, the artiste was unable to travel to the country. “Anyone who travelled to South Korea, Japan or China in the past few months are not being allowed to travel into India. It was going to be a full-house show, but we had to cancel, and refund the tickets,” says Aman Chainani, managing director of Raahi. While they continue to keep the restaurant open, all the events slotted for the next few days have been postponed. “As a restaurateur, I can’t ignore the fact that this ruling will bring loss to the company. However, the government is doing what it needs to so that we stay safe,” he says. 

Chainani, however, is hopeful that the situation will change soon enough, especially since people are being cautious lately.

“We are trying our best to raise awareness through our social media pages. We are taking all the possible precautionary measures. We are also training every staff member from valet to housekeeping so they will be able to implement these methods at home. And, we see our own customers coming in with their bottles of sanitiser, even though we are providing it.”

Austrian pop singer and songwriter Violetta Parisini, who was to perform at Windmills Craftworks on March 13 and 14, was also unable to perform due to similar reasons. The concert, as of now, has been pushed to December. 

Offbeat 2020, a concert to raise funds for the intellectually challenged, was to be held on March 14.

“We toiled for months to bring this event together. We were all set to raise the curtains. It is a much-needed move by the government. It is only unfortunate that we were caught in the middle,” says Vasudha Theertham, organiser. Apart from having to cancel, dealing with the barrage of queries, messages on social media and weeding out fake information made the ordeal a taxing one.

“We have to start fresh now. Of course, we had some loss in terms of all what was spent towards rehearsals. Thankfully, our audience, performers and even venue has been understanding about the situation,” she says. They have promised to honour the tickets when the concert is held.

Many bands and artistes have been affected by the move too. Daisuki Cosplay Band is one of them. The Bengaluru-based band, which had three performances lined up for the month, cancelled two. “We had one on Friday, but the turnout was quite small. People are choosing to stay at home,” says Han Laxman, manager of the band.

While they did perform, they decided to do away with the karaoke competition that was to be held. “We just have to wait it out. Since it has affected people across the globe, there is nothing much we can do,” he says.

However, as all the band members have a full-time job, the cancellations don’t affect them adversely, he adds. 

The indie rock band Thermal and A Quarter were supposed to go on tour to launch their album ‘A World Gone Mad’. In light of the recent events, they decided to put the tour on hold and cancelled nine shows across the country.

“We are supposed to fight this virus together, so holding the show would go against that idea. However, we didn’t want to put a stop on the album launch. We are now doing a staggered online release,” says Rajeev Rajagopal, drummer.

Considering every industry is affected, he says, it would be best to use this time to reflect on things and get creative. The band plans to spend the time creating lyric videos for all the songs. 

Many artistes and venue managers have requested their audience not ask for a refund. While cancellations may not affect bigger platforms and performers as much, for many small scale artistes and spaces, having to refund these tickets would affect their livelihood.

They have asked the audience to consider donating the ticket instead. “Considering indie artistes don’t get
paid much in the first place, making the decision to forgo that amount would make no difference to the audience. But, at the same time, that amount is not going to make a difference to the musicians,” says Rajagopal. 

Some events have been put on hold

  • Comedy festival ‘The Circuit’
  • Pride of Karnataka Awards. Deepika Padukone, Saalumarada Thimmakka and 3 other prominent achievers were to be felicitated by Round Table India and Ladies Circle India.
  • Book Release of ‘Katha keertanada mele Bharatiya Shastriya Sangeetada Prabhava’ by Dr Dattatreya L Velankar
  • The Bangalore Gayana Samaja’s ‘Vaadya Vaibhava’
  • Salon with Shree
  • Walkathon by Bangalore Kidney Foundation
  • Cosplay Walk by the Japanese Consulate
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