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The making of 'Bollywood Music Project', the music festival inspired by good ol' Bollywood

The Delhi edition of BMP attracted a crowd of over 25,000 fans and engaged over 55 million people digitally. Over 50 artists from the Bollywood Music industry, along with over 200 musicians, came together on 3 stages to perform never-heard-before experimental, alternative Bollywood music. BMP is the only music festival in the country to have pulled off two successful editions in Mumbai and Delhi in its debut year. Here we speak to the key stakeholders and learn what went into its making.

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Deepak Choudhary, CEO, Event Capital

Main organizer, BMP

The one biggest advice I could give event planners aspiring to launch an independent event IP is to “go big or go home”. I have learnt this the hard way. I have been investing in smaller IPs throughout the last decade but the returns have been small peas compared to what Bollywood Music Project promises. BMP is my dream project. I may have to wait few years to break even but I know for a fact that the capital invested now will bear me exponential returns.

The plan is to keep building on the scope of the festival. Independent Bollywood music will always be popular with all age groups. We are creating a niche in this segment. The festival kicked off in Mumbai last year and this year it came to Delhi. In just two editions we have seen the pace change. From here we will go to Bangalore, Hyderabad and the east.

The biggest blessing is our partners at BMP. TM Talent Management with its expansive repository of artists and talent, the support of Laqshya Media Group, the production expertise of Scoop, design sense of Neelabh Kapoor and the faith of our generous sponsors; it has all come together beautifully. The next two years are very exciting for BMP.

Tarsame Mittal, Founder, TM Talent Management

Co-organizer and Artist Manager, BMP

Working on Bollywood Music Project has kept us on our toes but has been extremely exciting. We began with bringing veterans like Hari Haran, Sajid Wajid, Rekha Bharadwaj and Sunny MR onto our advisory panel. We then created a wishlist of artists.

The festival would run for two days, so we only wanted two headliners. Festival format was such that it started at 2pm, we reserved this slot for new talent. The more experienced and popular artists came on as the day and the crowd progressed.

A lot of artists charged us relatively much lesser than their usual rates because of their belief in the event. The entire artist community has been abuzz since the festival has launched. This was the silver lining for us. By the end of it we had more artists wanting to perform and few available slots.

The most challenging bit was to manage the ego of artists because they all wanted to perform at prime time. Also parallel stages were featuring different artists. As a result insecurity crept in and managing that became a bit exhausting.

Being from an artist management background we knew what artists wanted and therefore didn’t leave any stoned unturned to deliver in that area. We didn’t compromise on technical, graphics, LED, sound quality, programming all of which was of supreme quality.

Ali Safdar Zaidi, COO, Scoop Brand Holdings

Production Partner, BMP

Even though it is easier to deal with authorities and to plan and execute large format ticket events in Noida or Gurgaon, we consciously chose the heart of Delhi city because something like this had not been done for long and NH7 weekender was the last of this kind. Unfortunately Delhi does not have many dedicated venues for this format of entertainment therefore we were taking a big risk going with Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.

The festival demanded a three-stage format. Keeping the geography of the location, we planned the layout of the festival in such a way that we could accommodate all the three stages and not have any technical and general operation issues. With the LA Acoustics team evaluating the best stage locations, stages were finally plotted in such a way that at no point of time did we have clashes in sound.

Due to the constraint of stage time per artist, rehearsals and sound checks would start at 6am and would go on till gates opened. We managed almost 100 artists per day covering areas like artist lounges, 16 greenrooms across 3 stages and multiple hospitality riders.

Since the festival was new on the block, a lot of consideration had to be given to production budgets. We planned the entire event keeping this factor in mind, without compromising on any elements. We invited technical vendors from smaller towns to come and showcase their equipment. It was big risk that we took since these vendors were not exposed to such large format events. Happy to say each one of them rose to the occasion and delivered beyond par.

Neelabh Kapoor, Founder, Pandora’s Box by Studio Neelabh

Space design, art and décor, BMP

The entire production was done in three days because the venue was not available before that. The venue was acquired phase by phase to save on cost during which spontaneous curation was done via live remote venue plotting.

Our approach towards space design was to work backwards. The space was over four acres in size and had to accommodate three stages. It was important that the audience could navigate through the venue easily and was not left confused. It was also imperative that they do not get visuals of one stage while they were focusing on another.

Starting from the box office, to the path running into the venue, to the imposing installations before leading up to the main festival area, every inch of the venue was connected as if a story was slowly unfolding. In line with the storytelling concept, a walkthrough was created at the entrance with static alphabets and cutouts allowing the audience to gradually acclimatize with the festival vibe as they walked in. Vibrant fabrics and colors were used to bring alive the cirque theme. Incorporating bright colors induced a happy feel. Imperfection was the glue that connected the story and highlighted the raw and relaxed vibe.

While travelling between stages the audience could stop at the food court positioned strategically in the middle. Lounges were also placed in a way that the view of the general public was not blocked.

None of the design elements were fabricated. Quirky and unexpected articles were used for decor and to create installations such as arches made of old chairs, an old run down train etc. This not only enlivened the psychedelic and abstract ‘cirque’ theme we were going for but also helped cut costs tremendously.



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