After facing severe financial distress for eight months, band performers and singers are looking forward to the upcoming wedding season with a hope of making up for their losses.
The pandemic outbreak had brought the economy to a standstill and performing artists were at the receiving end. Due to the imposed lockdown, there was a ban on the gathering of people for which several functions and cultural events were suspended this year.
Asif Raza, 49, performs with his troupe of five band members. Throughout the year, he performs live music at a Dadar restaurant and during the festivals he performs at live stage shows. "Our regular income has stopped since March. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, restaurants haven't resumed live music performances yet and the festive season went completely dry, which is why we are looking forward to the upcoming wedding season," Raza told the Free Press Journal.
Another music performer, Aadesh Gangadhare, 35, stated that this year he has received three bookings; however, clients are paying half the money. "The pandemic has put many artists out of business, which is why there has been an imbalance in the demand and supply. We have to agree on less money or else these offers will also go out of hand," Gangadhare told the Free Press Journal.
Ram Narayan Shinde, 55, has been in the event business for the past two decades. Shinde followed the footsteps of his father and became a 'Bhajan' and 'Garba' singer. This is for the first time, Shinde with his troupe will perform at a wedding ceremony.
"During Navratri, we didn't get a single show due to lockdown also because of the COVID-19 restrictions. Satsangs are also not being held, which is why we don't have any other option than to perform at weddings," Shinde stated. Meanwhile, city-based event manager Dhawal Parab stated, due to COVID-19 restrictions, not many people are opting towards live performance sessions.
"Very few people are opting for live music performers and there are many people who want to get the job, which is why there has been an increased competition amongst performers," Parab told the Free Press Journal.