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Crowdfunding campaign aims to bring international musicians to India

CultureCrowdfunding campaign aims to bring international musicians to India

Ever sighed helplessly after your favourite artist performed a concert but not in India? Did you feel dejected after Metallica’s concert in Gurgaon was cancelled at the last minute for reasons unknown? Or did you miss out on attending your favourite musician’s concert because of the exorbitantly priced tickets? If so, then worry no more. Fan-a-gig is here to make all your musical dreams come true.

A one of its kind venture in India, Fan-a-gig is a concept initiated by an entrepreneur and a music lover, Kabir Bhasin. As Kabir says, “Fan-a-gig is a unique crowd-funding platform which unites fans with their favourite artists. The idea is for fans to be able to listen to their favourite artist on demand without having to rely on someone else to get the artist or band down to India.”

Talking about the inspiration behind the idea, Kabir says that he had been sharing various petitions on social media to clean lakes, build flyovers etc. He says, “While these all are noble causes, I thought it would be equally noble if we could bring down a music artist or band here.”  Kabir believes that once there are sufficient numbers of fans wanting a concert, it totally makes sense for them to crowdfund the concert. “Once the funding is done,” he adds, “Fan-a-gig with an event company will make sure that the show happens at the most practical cost to give fans an unforgettable experience.”

The idea at Fan-a-gig is simple. Visit the website, choose your favourite artists’ campaign, vote, share the word and wait for the concert. The interesting part is that you can create your own campaign to bring your favourite musician to perform for you.

Under the “Recommend a Gig” tab, anyone can create a campaign for their favourite artists and then share it via Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. Once the campaign reaches the threshold of the minimum number of votes ranging between 100 and 500 votes based on certain parameters, Fan-a-gig would inform the fan base about the costs expected on the basis of fan numbers and other expenses. Kabir says, “This gives Fan-a-gig an opportunity to see which artists have a sufficient enough fan base as well as understanding, and which part of India the demand is coming from.” At this point the votes needed can be as few as 1,000 and can go up to as high as 100,000.

The fans have to ensure that the campaign reaches the threshold of the votes needed. The final phase of the campaign comes when the fans fund the requisite amount of money via crowdfunding to let Fan-a-gig organise the concert along with an event company.

Recently at a concert one musician demanded jacuzzis, and a few hotel floors to be booked, which created a social media uproar considering the costs associated for one concert. Being cynical about such costs, it is clear that there would be some reservations from the fans to crowdfund the demands of the artists.

Graphical representation of how the campaign works.

Addressing this concern, Kabir says, “Since the gigs would all be fan-funded, it would be the fans that will have to be satisfied with bearing all costs. Most artist demands are made well in advance of booking them. It should not have come as a surprise to the promoters that the artists had demands, reasonable or not. These are made prior to booking them. This is called the artists’ rider list, and it contains all the requirements that the artists have before and after the show. This includes any special requirements, from their mode of transport to their food and beverage requirements. It’s the industry practice when dealing with any artist and has been around for a long time. Some artists have more outrageous demands than others but we live for the art they produce and would satisfy any demand of theirs to watch them do what we love about them.”

Fan-a-gig’s endeavour is to satisfy fans at various levels of financial capability. Kabir also made it clear that there could also be more intimate shows for fans that are willing even to pay more for a gig of their favourite artists. In another scenario, the costs for a more popular and much more demanded band would go very low due to their mass appeal and larger fan base.

“Everything depends on the fans that are driving the campaign. This is what our USP is; we are a platform that is of the fans, fueled by the fans and completely for the fans,” he says.

Another question that looms is: Whether the campaigns will only be for international artists? On this Kabir assures us that this platform is “artist agnostic” and would always help any group of fans to watch their favourite artists live. However, he also emphasises that in India barely a handful of international bands or artists have played, and there have been many who haven’t performed in India at all. Thus, it is expected that the demand for bands that the fans have never heard will be more.

At present the website is running campaigns for Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters, Kailasa, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Shpongle, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Black Eyed Peas and Parikrama.

Talking about Indian music scenario, Kabir believes that we have evolved a lot, by outgrowing our Bollywood obsession and developing a huge range of genres. He says, “The reason for this growth seems to be the fact that when in 1991 we started liberalising our economy, many foreign influences could reach India via cable television. Another possible reason is the exposure to international musicians as they visited India and performed with Indian artists.

“There are a lot of good bands that have come up in India, from Millinium, headed by Vehrnon Ibrahim in the late 1980s, to Parvaas who is fronted by Khalid Ahamed. These are bands that have created their unique sounds and have managed to create a diehard fan following. Artists like Kailash Kher have not only created a unique sound but have also managed to create inroads into Bollywood getting their music heard by a much larger section in India.”

So the only change Fan-a-gig aspires to bring to this scene is, “More music, better music, fan demanded music.” 



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