I Refuse to Make an ‘in a jam’ Joke

Hari the Kid has an article in Citizen Matters about how Bangalore’s musicians don’t have any dedicated place to perform where they aren’t dependent on corporate sponsors, or tickets or entry fees from listeners. But this will require the police to give them permission to perform in public spaces:

It had been smooth sailing all along until June 2008, after which the corporate sponsor decided to divest itself from the Sunday Jams, thereby raising questions over their very existence. In the absence of sponsorship on a continued basis, it would not be possible to arrange for a musical venue and a sound system (collecting a token fee for performance from the participating bands being out of question as it would go against the tenets on which this movement was founded).

In order have a place within the city where musicians could perform, without being under corporate mercy, the Sunday Jam movement staged a protest near the MG Road statue on the 13th of August. They wanted their music strip at Cubbon Park back, to make it a place where musicians could gather on a regular basis and perform, just like in the 80s.

(Citizen Matters Bangalore)

I personally feel that the Bangalore administration will be as unreliable as the corporate sponsor, if not more so. After all, this is a city where the police deals with the menace of rising crime by banning live music and dancing. Even if the Bangalore jammers get the Cubbon Park music strip, one complaint from a curmudgeonly thathappa or one protest by Vatal Nagraj types will be all it takes to get the strip yanked away again.

I know these guys don’t want to charge entry fees or tickets, but maybe they should consider doing what Manchester United did in their early history. When they went bankrupt, they held a charity bazaar to raise funds and just went about collecting chanda from their fans to pay off their debts. If the organisers, musicians, and fans got together, chipped in money and set up a formal organisation which could rent places, that could work out. Relying on corporate sponsorship isn’t as risky if the corporation (or co-operative, or trust, or partnership) is your own.

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