Indian Bands battle for Survival amid Covid-19 Crisis

As India’s Covid-19 crisis sweeps across the country, many industries are being impacted, and India’s city bands are struggling.

Indian Bands battle for Survival amid Covid-19 Crisis f

"This is a big question mark on our future."

Indian musicians and band owners are being forced to look for other means of income due to Covid-19.

The impact of Covid-19 in India has reached many industries, including the music sector.

Multiple Indian bands, who make their money from weddings and other events, have been out of work since the pandemic began.

As a result of these events being cancelled, bands are now facing a battle for survival amid India’s crisis.

Therefore, many Indian musicians and bands are taking up alternative careers, such as selling vegetables, to make ends meet.

Gajanan Solapurkar, owner of the Prabhat Brass Band, lost all his income as a result of Covid-19.

Now, he has opened a grocery store on the premises of the band’s office near Appa Balwant Chowk in Pune.

Speaking of his situation, Solapurkar said:

“How much will people invest in music during such a recession? This is a big question mark on our future.

“The situation is so bad that most in the fraternity are in danger of going out of business.

“We have a tradition of playing at the prestigious Ganeshotsav of Pune every year – but I don’t see that happening this year as well.”

Around 50 band troupes operate in Pune alone, and all of them have been facing difficulties due to the pandemic.

Prabhat Brass Band first formed in 1938, and is one of the most well-known troupes in Pune.

They are always present at occasions such as the Ganpati Festival, as well as traditional wedding ceremonies.

Therefore, Gajanan Solapurkar’s nephew Amod is hopeful that business will pick up after the pandemic.

He says:

“For the sake of our artistes, I pray that these difficult times pass at the earliest.”

Indian Bands battle for Survival amid Covid-19 Crisis - bands

As well as facing financial losses due to the lack of business, many Indian bands are also struggling to hold on to musicians.

Additionally, brass instruments such as trumpets and French horns require a lot of time – and money – to maintain.

The Rajkamal Band, owned by Audumber Shinde, is also finding it difficult to survive through the pandemic.

Shinde said:

“Performing artistes like us are an integral part of the cultural history of any society.”

“We are in dire straits due to the pandemic. I hope our age-old troupe survives this phase and we return in full swing very soon.”

India is currently battling its way through a vigorous second wave of Covid-19.

As a result, multiple Indian actors and singers have stepped up to do their part for India’s Covid-19 relief.

Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar has donated £24,000 to Covid-19 relief in Maharashtra.

Diljit Dosanjh has also lent support to the PM-CARES Fund, to help ease the strain of India’s Covid-19 crisis.

Louise is an English and Writing graduate with a passion for travel, skiing and playing the piano. She also has a personal blog which she updates regularly. Her motto is "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Images courtesy of Nikhil Ghorpade