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Garba organisers feel the pinch,revise entry fee

Garba organisers in major cities of the state are struggling to find sponsors this Navratri owing to low participation from real estate players and telecom companies,who used to be the mainstay of the business during the nine-day festival.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: October 20, 2012 2:33 am

Garba organisers in major cities of the state are struggling to find sponsors this Navratri owing to low participation from real estate players and telecom companies,who used to be the mainstay of the business during the nine-day festival.

Organisers claims the number of sponsors and the amount spent on garba events have gone down by over 30 per cent this year.

“Builders spend significantly during Navratri. But this year,many of them do not have much active projects on hand to market. We are seeing that builders with both plotting and housing schemes have a low ad spend for Navratri events. Even leading telecom players who usually co-sponsor events are doing their own brand activities and associate with one prime venue,” said Devang Shah,Director of Xpertz Advertising Events,that manages sponsorships for top five garba venues in Ahmedabad,Vadodara,Rajkot and Surat.

Earlier,exclusive venues would price passes anywhere between Rs 700 and Rs 1,500,but this time,the same are being sold for Rs 150 to 500 a day.

“We have not taken part in any Navratri event this year as sponsors because we did not have any new product to market. So we felt it did not make sense to go for sponsorship. In the past,we used to sponsor two to three premium events in Ahmedabad and Vadodara,” said Jateen Gupta,MD of J P Infrastructure Pvt Ltd.

This has forced garba organisers in Ahmedabad to keep price of passes minimal despite rising input costs while in Vadodara,they have hiked the prices.

“We get participation from around 18,000 people every day but sponsorship is fixed. As far as tickets are concerned,we have increased the price for boys by Rs 300,” said Vikram Gupta,head,event management,CREDAI Aarkee garba,which is organised by a group of 15 builders from Vadodara.

Vadodara’s United Way Garba,one of the largest venues in the city in terms of participation (over 25,000 people participate every day) and sponsorships,has also hiked the prices of its passes for boys. They will have to shell out Rs 2,000 for a ticket,an increase of Rs 200. “The cost of organising the garba has also gone up due to rising power cost and other factors,like smart card,security personnel and trauma centre for the participants,” said Dolcy Simon,executive director,United Way.

Telecom players are also looking at just one prime venue per city for their brands. “We have partnered at one venue in Ahmedabad,Surat,Rajkot and Vadodara this year,” said Arul Bright,Chief Operating Officer at Idea Cellular Ltd,Ahmedabad area.

Manoj Choudhary,event organiser for Shanku’s Water Park,Mehsana and Karnavati Club,said,“Overall,the sponsorship has come down by at least 50 per cent. Apart from premium clubs that bank on membership,sponsors for independent organisers have come down. A major chunk of developers usually sponsor for the Water Park,but this year,it has been difficult to find sponsors.”

Sabarkantha collector bans entry fee

AHMEDABAD: In a bid to to stop commercialisation of Navratri celebrations in Sabarkantha,District Collector L C Patel has banned the sale of entry passes between October 16 and 23 at garba venues.

“There are many festivals celebrated in the country where there is no entry fee,so why should Navratri be any different? This will encourage people of all castes and communities and from all sections of society to participate as equals and enjoy the festival. This has also been done to aid the Election Commission so that there is no wrongful use of Navratri venues for campaigning by political parties. Earning money through collection or sale of tickets,passes or invitations during Navratri is prohibited and breach of the same will elicit police enquiry,” said Patel.

A press release issued by Patel’s office said that residential societies can take voluntary donations or gifts for organising Navratri functions. “Organisers can put banners and raise money through advertising,” he said.

The district has been following the “tradition” of non-commercialisation of garba since 2001.

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