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Some key brands in the Live Entertainment industry are changing the conversation around events market and doing it in style. The grandeur of events hosted in the country is beyond imagination.

Today the live entertainment industry is gaining immense popularity with events like Sunburn and Comic-Con gettingrepeated year-on-year. Event management today is more of creating an experience worth both money and time. All such events today are the right bend of technology, creative content and innovative ideas.


One can feel a fresh breeze of convergence keeping pace with the rapidly evolving media ecosystem. To keep up with the newly shaping future, companies are re-envisioning every aspect of what they do and how they do it.

The most disruptive, forward- thinking companies are striving to create an integrated ecosystem suited to a consumer-driven dynamic – one in which social media and e-commerce are interlinked with the entertainment experience itself.

According to a report by IBEF, Indian media and entertainment (M&E) industry grew at a CAGR of 10.90 per cent from FY17-18; and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.10 per cent to touch Rs 2,660.20 billion (US$ 39.68 billion) by FY23 from Rs 1,436.00 billion (US$ 22.28 billion) in FY18.

As they say, the Gen next is very informed these days, they are not the ones restricted to their ipadsor television, but instead, they go out and dive into the luxury of an experiential market with events coming up almost every month.


Year endings are the best time for the events business. This is the niche time of the year when brands put up their entire focus on planning around Christmas and New Years. 2018 witnessed some of the biggest names of the industry like Zee5, Kingfisher, Fastrack, Jack n Jones, Skybags, Spicejet, Magic Moments, Little Hearts,
Captain Morgan, Havmore, ITC, Redbull to Sunburn, a Percept Intellectual Property, is Asia’s Premiere Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Festival, and is ranked amongst the world’s biggest music festivals.

For the love of DC and Marvel, audiences were showered with Comic-Con, a multigenre entertainment and comic convention held annually. Some brands that stole the show at the event were Swatch, Marvel Studios, Amazon Prime Video,Maruti Suzuki Arena, Sony Pix.


The events and activations industry in India is expected to cross Rs 10,000 crore mark by 2020-21, as per an EY-EEMA (Event and Entertainment Management Association) report. The industry, which was at Rs 5,631 crore in 2016-17 overall, has been growing at a 16% CAGR, even overtaking the Indian media and entertainment (M&E) industry, which is growing at 11-13% CAGR, the report ‘#Experience_Next’ said.

Talking about the growth of events business in India and the growth of Live Music Industry, Saugato Bhowmik, Head, Live Viacom18 and Consumer Products, Viacom18 said, ‘‘The Live Music Scene has evolved exponentially with several music festivals and concerts spurring up in different parts of the country, programming a range of commercial and non-commercial but unique acts. As the country witnesses large and increasing digital consumption
along with the rise of streaming services, discovering artists had become easier unlike a decade before when commercial acts dominated the market.’’

Briefing on non-commercial acts and events, Bhowmik added, ‘‘Now, we see a rise in non- commercial and new-age acts which is great for the music scene. Audience and the change in their content consumption pattern have also encouraged several genres in the country. Today, the youth is not limiting itself to just Rock, Pop or EDM but wants to explore and enjoy the variety of music which is a driving factor in the evolution of live music scene in India.’’

Further talking about collaboration between International Artists and how it has contributed to Sunburn’s growth, Karan Singh, CEO, Percept One, talked about the initial days how they had focussed on bringing down top international artists to India.

‘‘We have been accounted to bring some of the top artists across India. Some of the famous artists like Martin Garrix, Krewella and Dimitri Vegas have also made their debut in the country through Sunburn. Artists themselves enjoy performing here in India, because the atmosphere and vibes they experience in India is not comparable to anywhere else in the world. We have been fortunate enough to maintain the relationship between the artist and a fan that automatically creates a connection with the brand itself,’’ added Singh.


Creative events other than live music are grabbing more eyeballs these days. Comic-Con India is an excellent example of how the Indian market is adopting the culture and showbiz from the west. In its 8th edition of Comic-Con Delhi took place on 7th,8th,9th December 2018 and was a hit with its fan.

Talking about the yoy growth of the event, Jatin Varma, Founder, Comic Con India, said, ‘‘In 2011 at our first edition in Delhi (which was free to enter), we had about 5000 people show up. Last year, with 5 shows and multiple ancillary events, we hosted close to 2 Lac visitors combined. The growth has been phenomenal and this trend continues year on year.’’

Conceptualizing the event and how India Market has adapted it, Varma added, ‘‘I believe there are a lot of factors that worked for us, from timing to the unbelievable growth in social media and digital content over the past 7 years. But most importantly, it’s been the uniqueness of the concept. It’s an event unlike others and the fact it encompasses all of popular culture, that helps pull in all types of audiences be it comic book fans, co players, gamers, movie & television fans among others.’’


As it is said, right marketing strategies and a handful of activities can build up the brand. But in the case of such events it is necessary to have a considerate focus on the target group. While Sunburn and Viacom’s Supersonic might be of interest for the people in their mid twenties, on the other hand Comic Con might interest people age certain limited age group.

‘‘While our festival happens once a year, we try to stay active and relevant in the minds of our TG through multiple extensions like Arcades, Club Nights, Campus, et al. These gigs act as our marketing pillars spread across the year. Beyond this, a fair chunk of our marketing campaign also includes campus ambassador program & campus activations through which we reach out to over 1000 colleges in India. Also apart from the conventional mediums like radio and television, we hugely rely on digital because it helps in engaging with our TG on a one-on-one basis,’’ said Bhowmik.

Talking about Sunburn’s journey since its inception and how it has been marketed to the right TG, Singh said, ‘‘we started our journey in year 2007 in Goa as a very niche event which had a different concept. It became one of the best events in the world and we started noticing 50,000 crowd. After years of growth, we shifted our venue from Candolim to Vagator Beach as we needed a bigger venue. Eventually, we have now moved to Pune and we are also
getting the good response there. Meanwhile, we have expanded our event in different formats- Sunburn Arena, Sunburn Campus, Sunburn Pre-Festival and Sunburn reload in tier 2 & 3 cities. In year 2017 we did almost 73 shows which have now crossed over 100 events.’’


Events like Comic-Con are internationally backed up and are often associated with movies for promotions, but here the question arises ‘Is India market gearing up for the same sooner in the near future?’

Further commenting on the same, Varma added, “Internationally, our sister event in New York – the one & only New York Comic Con, has previews and star-casts at the show. In India, we are slowly moving there and creating that
space. Our market is still smaller and thus we do not have cast & crew of international properties coming down. But over the past 7 years with partners such as Disney, WB &many others, fans in India have been able to get experiences similar to the ones at the international shows. With local content, we had Baahubali do something on these lines over
the past few years, from cast members, to fan experiences, screenings & comic book collaborations. The Indian market is certainly moving in the same direction.’’


Published in the Jan 2019 issue of Pitch Magazine.


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Anam Khan

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