Have you registered for any upcoming fests? Or are you too keeping a tab on the future ones? While Delhi University has all kinds of students, the fest-regulars, the specific-event participants, the highly competitive win-them-all, or the just-having-fun kinds, fests are a time wherein we can jump from our course to another. However, does the participant ever realise what goes behind the scenes in organising those events, keeping them running and smooth and awarding money? Nah! That is why I take you backstage to the nitty-gritties of department fests, where the Unions work hard to capture that one shot at glory.
While the mantle falls on the present Union to live up to the standards of the previous fests and set a future precedent, expectations are the first thing that they are worried about. Trust me, they may refuse, refute or even confess, but everybody is worried about how to make their fest the most popular in the circuit. Everything depends on how memorable your fest is, not just for winners but also for participants, till the next year.
How much footfall you see matters a lot, almost the same as the above factor. Participation, or footfalls at any event are the single-most significant determinant of the popularity of the event and the fest. How you harbour participation is dependent upon the various logistics, posters, social media marketing, spamming, email invites, calls and other aspects of Marketing and Branding.
The events, where you participate with so much enthusiasm, are the brainchild of the Union. To even plan the content, various rounds, every little detail, question and query, the Union tirelessly thinks, re-thinks and formulates in what you see as a well-organised activity. The events have to be of a wide variety, ranging from the mainstream to creative first-timers, to fusion of fandoms and field-specific. It is all about giving something that is worth experiencing and piques the interest. Carefully chosen Event Committees work on the set guidelines and facilitate them to your amusement and maybe even victory.
Taking on the role of the Finance Ministry of the department, the Union crosses its fingers in the hope of a college-approved and granted budget that is never too less. Actually, no matter what, it always is less. Add to the disappointment, the soaring budgets of other, more affluent fests. There are also some colleges that go looking for sponsors, which undoubtedly requires how well can you sell your fest and its idea. Some portion of the budget or some goodies are also sponsored by those companies. Left without much choice, then begins the breaking down of the event awards, the cash prizes, the logistics, Honorariums, refreshment budget and the marketing budget. Keeping track of each and every penny used with proper invoices and bills collected, is a major stress factor.
If you call a famous author, or the Governor of RBI, or any other well-known veteran of your field or not of your field, half of the audience you witness is there to hear that dignitary speak. After all, these are what young undergraduates aspire to be. If you are lucky, during your tenure as a college graduate, some department fest may invite your idol, and that will change your entire college experience.
Apart from just the events, every fest has some behind-the-scenes committees as well, that are majorly responsible for everything from the functioning of an event, to handling conflicts, keeping tab on refreshments, participants, technical equipment and guarding the money. They are the hawk-eyes of the fest, stealthily sliding by your side and never letting you know their agenda. All this requires the acquiring of the role of a Human Resource personnel, interviewing, testing and trusting people to be efficient and up-to-the-mark in their jobs.
Setting The Date
Everybody wants that the fest be at a time when it is not clashing with any other college fest or department fest, lest it reduce the footfall. After all, a lot of the students go on to attend the concerts and thereby reduce a large portion of the participation. March is the most feared month, my friends! The later you place yourself, the more scared you are.
Department Fests are no cake-walks! They are that stepping stone into the real world, that is forgotten after every year. If you are in a Union, I think you know what I am talking about. Have you started receiving those calls for sending delegations to other colleges? Irritating, right? And if you are a student, well, pity and be proud of your Union and give them a break. Help, applaud and appreciate them.
However, on a general note, please don’t be intimidated by the above, it looks scary but a Fest is the most fun-filled event of the year. I recommend you to be there, to enjoy, to quarrel, to run and to experience the re-birth of a new fest every year.
Featured Image Credits: DU Beat