In March 2016, we at evam did something that we’ve never done before. We put up a stand-up festival across 3 cities, Chennai – Bangalore – Dubai. We hosted over 50 artists in over 16 shows across 12+ venues. It was one hell of an experience.
And this is coming from the people who have been managing the Hindu Theatre Festival across 5 cities for the past 8 yrs!
This will not be a blog on how well the festival went or how difficult it was pulling it off (anything worth something is :P) But more along the lines of all the fun we had planning and executing this beast of a project.
First, it was figuring out why we wanted to do this stand-up festival and how we want it to be different from the other stand-up festivals that currently happen in India. For us, it boiled down to two key points:
- Give our audience in our core markets a wide array of comedy content to watch and enjoy
- The opportunity to work with and bring together as many artists as we could, while making sure the artists have fun mingling and performing together
Second, it was sooper fun figuring out the content we wanted to showcase at the festival. Reaching out to artists and figuring out who could perform when, where, with who, while juggling the schedules of 50 very very busy people. Putting together all-star shows, themed stand-up shows, sketch comedy shows, improv shows, Tamil comedy plays, panel discussions on comedy, open mic community events, rising star shows, etc. was a huge learning experience.
Then as we got into the thick of executing the project, figuring out travel plans, travel bookings, accommodation, venue co-ordinations, light, sound & other technicals for each of the shows, décor and stage set-up at the various venues, etc. etc. All this while promoting the festival, making sure as many people hear about it and come and enjoy some of the best content in the country. Boy we learned a lot. We truly realised how important it is to work as a team. And how important it is to trust your team mates to do their side of it! We worked with over 60 people across each of these cities to pull this off and unless each one of them did their job with the utmost care and dedication, it would have all fallen flat.
At the end of it all, the true reward for a Producer to doing all this, is seeing over 4000 audiences come to your shows, laugh their guts out for 90 mins and having a ball of a time with their friends. When you are standing by the stage or at the tech console, the show finishes, the applause, standing ovations, hoots, whistles, mobbing their favourite artists for selfies / conversations, man does it give you a sense of achievement!
Now that we look back at the festival, we are not thinking about the exhaustion, all the accounts that need to be closed or the issues that cropped up which we had to fire-fight. All we are thinking about is how much fun we had and when do we do this again, putting to use all our learnings. How to do it differently? How much bigger can we do it? Which other cities do we do it in? What are the newer types of content we try to showcase? Can we bring down some international artists?
Phew. The life of a Producer. Always a better way to do it.
Team evam Standup Tamasha