By Smita Ram, Rang De Team
“Mount Road is closed between 3.30pm and 7.30 pm on 13th” Our hearts skipped more than a few beats when staff at the Mahindra World City gave us this news. Mount Road runs through a 25 km stretch and most people in Chennai would have to cross through the road at some point in order to reach Sivagami Pettachi Hall — where our concert was to be held. The news made us apprehensive but did not deter our spirit. We sold a few tickets and went back to office as we had less than 24 hours to the big day and we had our work cut out.
Smita talks to fellow Rang De team members Diksha and Sarita about setting up a table to talk about Rang De.
On 13th March (the day of the concert), after sending an email about the traffic diversions to all the guests we could reach out, the Rang De team reached the venue well in advance. While the Rang De team worked on ensuring that all the seating, stalls for the sponsors and food was there, the Oxygen band members also came in early and started with sound checks and set up equipment.
Guests started to arrive around 5.30pm and it was heartening to see that people were coming in despite being stuck in traffic for a long time. The concert began at 6.30 pm sharp and what followed next was just mind blowing.
Many of us there did not know what world fusion music meant. The first number played by Oxygen was enough for us to get an idea. Each song of theirs is a great fusion between different genres. It is hard to describe what their music does to the listener. For example, there was a number called Rain dance and it made me experience the rain. Similarly a number called 12 miles took us all on a road trip, ‘Shakti’ energised and with ‘Phoenix’ the audience knew what the Oxygen guys were capable of doing. Their music has the power to take us all through any kind of experience, live it to the fullest and come back reluctantly only to be taken through the next exhilarating experience.
A centerstage view of Oxygen’s performance.
The first event of a series which we now call “Saturday Night with Rang De” took off on a great note with the Oxygen concert. At the end of the concert, we had a couple who came forward to sponsor half of the hall cost as well. Thus was the Rang De — oxygen combo.
While Oxygen guys showed off their music, we at Rang De spoke to people at different points about microcredit and the impact it has on the ground level. During the 20 minute break, we displayed a photostream with some of our borrowers.
I’d like to thank to our title sponsor Zoho, silver sponsors Vernalis Systems and Odyssey and our partners Cheesecare, Harvis Prints, Chit Chat and Indianstage. Without them this event couldn’t have happened. Manoj Mahadevan, President of the Rang De Chennai Chapter had also put in a lot of effort to make this event happen. Manoj, hats off to you. And last but not the least, thanks to all the audience that took the extra effort to make it to the concert despite the traffic conditions.
All in all, this concert was a great experience for the Rang De team. Many lessons were learnt about organising events and we promise to be back soon with the next event on a Saturday Night!