Priyanka Talreja on college festivals that grow bigger and healthier each year
If you are a college student then there is no possible way that you escaped the fest fever which all of us witnessed this year. Yes! It just grows bigger each year and this year was no exception. There were at least ten new fests on the map and looking at the kind of show that they put up, not one soul would think that these colleges were first timers.
College festivals today have gradually become all about making crazy websites, organizing press meets and calling celebrities, and of course the bigger the celebrity signifies the better the fest. This was clearly not the idea behind festivals a few years back. Fests were supposed to be a platform for interaction and positive competition but things have clearly changed.
Being a JAM reporter I got the ‘opportunity’ to be a part of numerous festivals this year and I was quite shocked to see what they have transformed into. The whole spirit of competition has deformed into “we have called X to perform and Y had appeared on campus yesterday”. More often than not, I was left asking, “Can you please tell me more about your events!” And this is when they would have a totally blank expression on their face. In order to give me this piece of information they had to refer to the fest schedule or put me on to a volunteer who was spotted running round trying to provide the guests with some nourishment.
Let’s accept it, festivals are no more events put together by innocent students who are eager welcome other students to interact and compete at different levels. Fests are a now a gimmick to promote colleges and make them into a brand name that is sought after.
Like every other thing today, fests too have become a rat race, where everyone follows the same trend. For instance there will be no festival today that does not end with a fashion show. What is the need of a fashion show? No one really knows, but this event always grabs eyeballs and so it is an integral part of each fest. Approve of it or not, this is what co-curricular activities have boiled down to and unfortunately will remain this way. Under the garb of fun let’s make our brand name stronger.
I spoke to a college insider to find out exactly what it takes to put a fest together and he informed that for a 5 day festival they took a preparation time of 5 weeks. He also went on to say that the college management did help them in the financial matters but they managed to get a few sponsors themselves too. They had a core team of 15 members and all in all they had 80 to 100 volunteers. And finally the main bit of information is that this festival took a total of a whooping 3 lacks.
So if a college does not have 3 lacks to spare, then they should forget about a grand fest as this is the kind of budget which is required to host a triumphant fest today.