Roger Drego to Manage the Sound at Global Citizen Festival India, Reveals Sabbas Joseph

Entertainment | October 17, 2016 | Interview

Sabbas Joseph Wizcraft Roger Drego Global Citizen Festival Coldplay

Talking to EVENTFAQS about the upcoming Global Citizen Festival, Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft International today confirmed that Roger Drego will manage the sound at the event set to take place on November 19 at MMRDA Grounds, Mumbai.

Roger Drego as a brand is owned and managed by Mumbai-based Star Professional Audio, a company that specializes in making and developing loudspeakers, power amplifiers and professional audio gear for the installation market in the country. It has also diversified its expertise into the field of signal processing, power and cabling solutions, digital networks and various fields of electronics that come under the sphere of lighting and live and installed sound.

“Roger Drego will handle the sound. We will soon announce the other partners as well”, said Joseph.

Ever since it was confirmed that Coldplay will perform in Mumbai, the Global Citizen Festival India, has become the most talked of upcoming LIVE event in India. In this interview with Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft International, we explore more!

Tell us more about Wizcraft’s association with the Global Citizen Festival in India.

The Global Education Leadership Foundation and the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation are the drivers of the Global Citizen India initiative. And they brought on Wizcraft as partners to co-create the project and produce the event with them. So we work with them on driving the initiative.

The Global Education Leadership Foundation is an initiative started by Shiv Khemka, who is the Vice Chairman of the Sun Group. The Foundation runs a leadership development programme that works at the grassroots level to build ethical and altruistic leaders who have a bias towards decision-making. And so they run an education program on leadership and ethics at around 7000 schools across the country, and from that they’ve curated a team of leaders who are members of the Leadership Development Programme. So, as part of the LDP, these leaders are involved in the Global Citizen India initiative. And they work with us and lead on multiple fronts along with our team to be able to develop the entire project.

Tell us more about Global Citizen India….

Global Citizen India is the first major event-initiative that Global Citizen (US) is taking outside of America. Global Citizen India is a movement to get the world rid of extreme poverty. Over 270 million Indians are living in extreme poverty.

Global Citizen Festival India would be held annually in a 15-year journey with the target being to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.

The focus of the inaugural edition is on three of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation.

The belief is that together we can change the status quo. Together we can get rid of extreme poverty. Change begins with me. #Shuruaat Hoon Main is our war cry.

How will the various Indian and international acts come together at the event?

Performances by celebrities are alternated with policy makers, leaders and corporates coming on stage to make commitments about what they would be implementing over the next few years in order to meet the Global Citizen India’s goals. Wizcraft has been responsible for enlisting the artists and performances for the event. There are celebrities featuring in different performances — you’ve got singers, you’ve got film actors, and the entire content is a combination of entertainment, NGO presentations, messaging, speeches, and commitments that are made on stage – commitments that are far-reaching, and would create an impact over the next few years.

It is a concert of accountability, where people go on stage to make commitments to drive social change. Commitments are identified by the TGELF advocacy teams working with NGOs; corporates, state governments and international bodies are making commitments in this regard and then work together to implement it simultaneously.

The entertainment is a part of all this. You’ve got a 100,000 people there in the audience and so you’ve got performances by Amir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Ranveer Singh, A.R Rahman, Abhijeet Singh, among others; and there’s of course Coldplay and Jay Z. There will also be collaborations between Indian and international artists coming together. As we get closer to the event, we will make further announcements regarding this.

A relatively few number of tickets are actually being sold, while the rest are free. How does this work for an event of this scale?

Tickets are priced at INR 5000 onward, and there are only about 12,000 tickets going up on sale. When you’ve got just that small a number being sold, people who are paying for tickets and attending, must be able to pay a sufficient amount so that the costs are met, and 80% of the tickets remain free.

The idea for so many free tickets is that people can win those after committing and taking social actions.

And then, of course, we also have sponsorships to make this viable.

How do the associations tie in with the overall goal of the event?

Sponsorships, television rights, and digital rights play a key role in the success of the event. Colors Viacom 18 is the presenting sponsor, while UPL is the Powered By sponsor. The project enjoys a strategic relationship with Viacom18, The Times of India group, the Maharashtra government and the United Nations. There is also Google, Unilever and Voot who have the digital content rights.

These are clients who have already entered the initiative, and they are not supporting it merely as another entertainment event sponsorship. Unilever is already doing a lot of work in the area of health and sanitation through their Swachch Aadat campaign. Google is addressing the issue of gender equality through economic opportunity.

So, each of the partners that have come in have clear objectives and are aligned with the larger agenda of the Global Citizen India initiative.

Remark upon the response you have received to various announcements, especially the announcement of Coldplay performing?

The response has been phenomenal. I don’t think any event prior to this except Michael Jackson received this kind of a response. You’ve had reams of newspapers being written, multiple television stories, the online world went berserk and twitteratti opened new chapters in communication. You can get a sense of the response from a few statistics — the Global Citizen site literally had more than a million registrations within three days; we now have more than 4 million social actions; the tickets that went on sale were sold out within minutes; and the action journeys that have been committed and done by people over the last few days have already beaten the 10 million mark. So quite clearly, it’s been a huge success by any stretch of imagination. I don’t think many people expected this phenomenal response, and everyone was pleasantly surprised.

We are in the midst of the third Action Journey which is focused on Gender Equality. The response has been exciting and the possibility of Popular culture and public policy working together presents an opportunity for strong communication and a convincing message: Change is Possible!

Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft International has confirmed that Roger Drego is the Sound Partner for Global Citizen Festival; shares more on what we can expect!

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