Storm music fest organisers say a big ‘No’ to drugs
N.A. Uthappa, Managing Director, Liquidspace Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., the organizers of the Storm Music Festival slated to be held on Novermber 11 in Coorg (Kodagu), has clarified that action would be taken to prevent the use of drugs during the event as well as to contain damage to the eco-system.
The clarification was issued following apprehensions expressed in the columns of this portal that the music festival being held in the core area of the Western Ghats could cause environment damage and also make Coorg a haven for drugs.
The statement said: “We promise that we would not do anything that will hurt the culture and ecosystem of Coorg. The basic concept of Storm is to emphasize ‘responsible tourism’ by communicating various social awareness causes like ‘Ban Plastics’, ‘Ban Drugs’, ‘Love for the Environment’ etc, through a medium called music, to the youth and people alike. Storm was conceptualized as a platform to bring together the community of pure music loving individuals trying to voice out relevant concerns in the present world’s scenario.”
“Storm Festival is being perceived as a clean, environment friendly and a ‘DRUG FREE’ festival. To aid this initiative of ours, we are seeking the support from the concerned authorities to help us to enforce the same. Besides this, the festival is a completely secure area with barricading all along the periphery of the venue. The Venue will be under continuous CCTV surveillance, with over 150 private security personnel. Thus, the eventuality of any untoward incidents can be ruled out.”
“The very first step of restoring the eco-system is by creating awareness, and this is where Storm Festival would play a role in spreading the message through print, online and electronic media. We are taking an initiative to only use recyclable material all over the festival, thus preventing littering and harm to the environment. We at Storm are attempting to make this festival the ‘Cleanest Music Experience’, and we do this with bounteous pride.”
“Firstly, Storm Festival is not a hard rock festival. It is a pure music festival with a multitude of genres, but none of the artists are playing hard rock. There are a variety of bands playing carnatic/ folk music.”
“Storm Festival cannot in any way be compared to Woodstock. We are in no way portraying the ‘hippie-culture’ or ‘counter-culture’. We are only promoting music and love for nature.”
“To promote the culture of Coorg, there shall be flea markets within the venue, selling local handicrafts made in Coorg, which in turn, gives a lot of visibility to the local industry. We shall also have local artists performing at the venue, which shall further raise awareness.We are using latest waste-management techniques to recycle the waste generated, thus making sure the grounds are not polluted.”
EDITOR’S VIEW: Though the assertions made by the organizers to prevent the use of drugs during the two-day event seem genuine, it would be impossible to monitor what goes on outside the venue. In the Indian context, normally the participants at such festivals have their ‘fix’ before entering the venue.
What is worrying is the fact that the organizers have been quoted in the media as saying that the festival would be an annual feature. This could have a cascading effect in the proliferation of the drug menace in Coorg.
Moreover, even if the organizers of Storm succeed in providing a drug-free event, there is no guarantee that similar events in future by other bands would bother to conform to the norm.
Further, the statement does not throw much light on how the organizers plan to contain damage, especially noise pollution, as the venue is in the core area of the Western Ghats, one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world.