Published: 04th May 2020
After the COVID-19 pandemic is over, is it the 'end' of the epic cultural fest?
Can you actually enjoy a cul-fest if the whole thing is online? Or if the dance show has no tango? Cul-fest junkie Atendriya Dana explains
As the Coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc around the world, all kinds of cultural events, sports events, movie releases and more have come to a standstill. We have already begun discussing and planning easier, low-cost ways to deal with the issues that will become relevant after the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the current situation, we have always been kind of shifting towards a digital world completely (after 2014-15), however, now it is such that we don't have a better or any option actually.
Culturally too we are heading in the same direction, using the digital world as a platform or a means to express their cultural expertise be it singing, dancing, sketching or any kind of skill for that matter. Various clubs at Jadavpur University — poetry, drama, dance and so on, have taken an initiative to conduct competitions online already. We are asking students to send their poems, posters on Facebook and Instagram — we give out the topics and accordingly, they follow guidelines and post it on a specific page or send it to us, then we forward it to the judges over email. Prizes can be anything like getting featured on social media or monetary as well. We have started this Beyond the Classroom initiative for students who are pursuing a specific subject but would like to attend some other class or would want to know about a certain topic, our professors are speaking about it during live sessions held from the university page. Video-calling platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts can be used to rehearse group dance, conduct debates and for singing competitions.
Maybe, maybe not: The possibility of a fest this year looks quite bleak. A lot of companies are facing losses and are in debt, thus we don't know how many can or may want to sponsor even a single event for the cultural programme
Atendriya Dana, Student
Division of work
A cultural college fest can be divided into parts — competitions, guest speakers, performance. Competitions can be accommodated on the digital platform, what might pose a problem is the guest performances — like we collaborate with a band, so they will have to do it through Facebook or Instagram Live. Fests have passes that are given or sold to students, which they have to show at the venue before entering, so what we can do is send it through email, give them an ID and password and ask them to login at the specific time.
Speaking about the monetary aspect of cultural programmes, branding is one important part — venue branding and digital branding are the main components. Venue branding will not be existent then, so we have to amp up the digital branding for the events.
Time to go live
Competitions, celebrity performances, seminars through live sessions on Facebook, Instagram and other similar social media platforms
Many apps for you here
Apps like Eventbrite, a platform that can be accessed online or via a mobile app, scale from basic registration and ticketing to a fully-featured event management platform
Meetings, discussions through Zoom, Hangouts, Google Meet and other video-calling platforms
(As told to Shreesha Ghosh)