Disclaimer with this blog I don’t want to harm any feelings….

In this blog I will tell you why and when I go Live on FaceBook. Recently DesiYUP received some questions or rather feedback about the events that we cover Live. I cherry-pick the events where we go Live and here you read what motivates me to cover an event with my iPhone.

#1 Indian music is much more than Bollywood

My mantra is that Indian music is so much more than just Bollywood! I know the entire world cheers for film songs and the image nowadays in the West is that India = Bollywood. And I’m not denying that because the Indian film industry has enormous marketing budgets to promote their films, their music and their favorite playback singers. In India films are being pre-promoted through music. The reason why ‘item songs’ are even made is to create a buzz around a film. These songs have nothing to do with the film itself, but showing skin in seductive dance scenes always works to get attention. But how do you promote good quality music without using skin? Anyway, I’m getting side tracked…

My argument is that other music genres, such as Indian classical music, do not have the same financial resources, or perhaps it can’t be executed in the same way that Bollywood shows can (outside India). Therefore I choose to go Live on FaceBook to inform our DesiYUP audience how incredibly beautiful and diverse Indian music is.

#2 Engage with our global audience

DesiYUP is based in The Netherlands, but we have a global audience. According to our statistics a majority of our followers are based in India, USA and UK. We noticed that they are pretty invested in what’s happening here and which artists are performing in The Netherlands. So we like to share with our audience the niche Indian music culture in The Netherlands. FaceBook Live is a great tool to instantly tell a story of what is happening right ‘now’. And it gives us the opportunity to connect and communicate with our international followers.

#3 Motivate music lovers to attend concerts

I, in particular, go Live on Facebook to record Indian classical music concerts in Holland. In general, I do not go Live when we organize our own DesiYUP concerts. Then I’m too busy coordinating with my team to give our audience the best experience possible.

When we are not organizing our own concerts, we make it a point to attend as many concerts as possible of mainly partner organizers. We help to pre-promote their concerts on our Facebook page to motivate Dutch music lovers to attend for example classical concerts.

What I have observed over the years is that somehow people can easily spend hundreds of Euro’s on Bollywood shows, but are unwilling to even pay 30 Euro’s for a concert ticket to support and to preserve Indian classical music outside India. Imagine my answer when people even have the guts to randomly ask me for free concert tickets….

And forget about getting sponsorship for organizing classical concerts. It seems like a mission impossible here in this country, because a majority of companies only invest in sponsoring large scale events that attract thousands of people. That’s a different story altogether that I will share with you in another blog.

The conclusion that I can only draw from my own experiences is that somehow there is not much value involved in other Indian music genres, at least not here in The Netherlands. Therefore to motivate music lovers I go Live on FaceBook and film the beauty and versatility of Indian music.

#4 Support other concert organizers

I already mentioned it in my reason number #3, we pre-promote concerts of others. DesiYUP mainly goes Live on Facebook to support partner-organizers, who collaborate with us and who also help to cross-promote our concerts. These partners have years of experience in organizing classical concerts in The Netherlands. And during talks we share experiences in organizing concerts and what we all noticed and agreed upon is that in the last four years the amount of cultural events drastically increased. Every weekend is packed with events in every corner of the country.

I believe that there are two major reasons for this expansion of (mostly free) events. Firstly the increase of Indian expats in The Netherland. Almost each and every region from India is now represented in Holland, and every region has it’s own cultural traditions and therefore their own form of community-building, cultural organizations that involve dance, music and food.

Secondly there is an increase of Bollywood shows. Almost every month we have the opportunity to spend hundreds of Euro’s on a big Bollywood star. This tells me that people now have much more money to spend than during the credit crunch. Thus, it becomes an overall challenge for all organizers big or small to sell seats.

#5 Artists deserve to be noticed

Artists who are good deserve to be noticed. The Indian music scene is an ocean of brilliant and talented musicians and a majority of these artists are unknown names in Holland. It’s not that these artists don’t have a portfolio of songs that can’t be aired on radio stations. No, radio stations in Holland do not even play Indian classical music for example. When was the last time that you have heard a morning raga on a Dutch ethnic radio station? And I’m not talking about bhajans…. Indian classical music is not the cup of tea of ethnic radio stations, yet.…

To put is very simple: ethnic radio stations only play what Bollywood tells them to air. So when well-known playback singers from India come to Holland they are more than welcome to give interviews or sing their hit songs and invite people to attend their concerts. In fact they get much more free publicity than independent musicians or musicians who are specialized in classical music.

Therefore DesiYUP uses social media as our free publicity platform to give amazing independent artists from across the globe recognition in The Netherlands. We hope that the next time when these artists will perform in The Netherlands that music lovers are willing to pay for concert tickets to see them, support professional organizations that organize small scale theatre concerts and in this way preserve and expand Indian (classical) music in the West.

Mahesvari Autar
Founder DesiYUP

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