MUMBAI: Soaring mercury levels notwithstanding, audiences across the country are in for a first-of-its-kind, multi-genre music extravaganza put together by premier music channel Vh1 along with Seagram’s 100 Pipers.
Starting 2 May, ‘100 Pipers Vh1 Sound Nation’ will witness 28 of the biggest Indian artists and bands perform at 23 gigs across Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune spread over 10 days.
Cult performers like Parikrama, Midival Punditz, Indus Creed and Nucleya will be part of the music entourage travelling across the country.
The event will culminate in an exciting awards night in Mumbai where Indian artistes will be recognized for their talent and contribution to music across 13 categories such as rock, electronic, pop, blues and hip-hop. Top honours will include best live performance, best new artist and best music video.
Says Viacom18 Media , SVP and GM, English Entertainment Ferzad Palia, “Vh1 is the most definitive platform for celebrating music talent in India and we are taking this a step ahead through 100 Pipers Vh1 Sound Nation. We are excited to partner with Seagram's in recognizing and honoring local talent and bringing forth the multi-city music fest at a scale which is worth looking forward to," before adding, “We could have done it last year, but we waited for a year to get more international traction and interest nationally.”
Palia substantiates saying that there were around 7,000 live events in India two years ago however this year, the number of live performances by independent artists has gone up to nearly 15,000. “Right now, in our country, there is no real platform to showcase talent under one roof. Given the recent rise of English language music artists in India, the cost of making music videos has become less expensive. We’ve had Vh1 India Rules for eight years now, which showcases the top cream of Indian talent and we plan to celebrate that talent with an award show. This year, we have two artists for each gig,” says Palia, pointing out that the event is planned as genre-agnostic.
Viacom believes that Vh1 Sound Nation is a definitive platform to have a stake in and gives no reason for cannibalization; instead, there would be an overdrive to create a different space for different music lovers. Like Vh1 had initiated Super Sonic and then, there was Contraband in association with Hard Rock Cafe and Universal Music.
An event organized on such a vast scale will obviously be supported by 360 degree marketing including on ground and online integrations. With six gigs being held simultaneously in six cities, Palia admits it’s going to be a “logistical nightmare”. He believes that an outdoor event of such proportions is bound to be logistics heavy. “This year, we are facing many revenue challenges though we are in touch with our international counterparts in Viacom. But we are facing a few hindrances in getting them here to join us for this event”, he says.
Viacom’s English entertainment channels, including music channels are treated as brands and not just channels. The four legs of the network include TV, live, digital and consumer products. As far as the last goes, the network has started with official South Park merchandise and will add to that based on popular demand.