"Bringing U2 to India is a truly defining moment" says, Kunal Khambhati, BookMyShow

Entertainment | September 30, 2019 | Interview

BookMyShow Live Nation U2: The Joshua Tree Tour DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai

BookMyShow and Live Nation recently, announced U2: The Joshua Tree Tour, the record-breaking smash hit tour celebrating the band’s seminal 1987 album ‘The Joshua Tree’ to India on December 15th, 2019 at DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai. The show will be a huge celebration as it marks the band’s first-ever performance in India as well as the final date on U2: The Joshua Tree Tour.

In an exclusive interaction with EVENTFAQS, Kunal Khambhati, Head – Live Events & IP, BookMyShow speaks about bringing international band U2’s debut performance in India and shares insights on the evolution of the live event industry over the years.

International band U2 is all set for its debut performance in India with ‘U2: The Joshua Tree Tour’. Can you share insights on how did you manage to bring them on board?

BookMyShow is thrilled to bring legendary rock band U2 for their first-ever performance in India! Ever since they started 43 years ago and changed the landscape of international music forever, their music has touched millions of hearts across the globe and their massive fan following is no stranger to our country as well.

The band has been wanting to perform in India for several years now, but were in search of the right partner to help them navigate the complexities of the market, as also ensure an unmatched global experience in India.

At BookMyShow, we are constantly looking for marquee, highly acclaimed out-of-home entertainment experiences that can be showcased to Indian audiences. We have been working with Live Nation (producers of the tour) for over 8 months now, to make U2’s India show a reality, with the Mumbai concert being the final stop in U2: The Joshua Tree Tour’songoing Asia tour.

December 15th will not only be the band’s first ever performance in the country but will also be historic for it marks the final live performance of the iconic The Joshua Tree album which has been touring for the last 32 years. We are honoured to be able to bring one of the most legendary international rock bands to India, giving their fans an opportunity to be a part of this unmissable experience.

BookMyShow is changing the concert landscape in India by bringing in a slew of international artists. Share your thoughts on it?

BookMyShow has evolved from being India's leading entertainment ticketing platform to a full-stack player for all entertainment needs in India. We cater to millions of customers looking for the best out-of-home entertainment experiences, be it across movies, plays, sports or any other live event.

Until a few years ago, most live entertainment experiences typically saw audiences aged 35 and above. In the last couple of years however, we have seen this category widening to form a strong connection with younger audiences as well, growing especially strongly for BookMyShow. Internationally acclaimed artists like Ed Sheeran, Aziz Ansari and experiences like Disney's Aladdin, elrow, Cirque du Soleil BAZZAR, NBA India Games 2019 have all been received very well by audiences across age and interest groups ushering a new wave in India’s entertainment landscape.

Bringing U2 to India is a truly defining moment, not just for the music landscape in the country, but also puts India on the global map of entertainment in terms of its ability to be able to host a concert of this scale and magnitude. We are privileged and honoured to bring one of the world’s longest-standing and greatest live acts to India and extend this special once in a lifetime opportunity to every U2 die-hard fan!

What kind of challenges does one has to face while bringing in/managing International Artists for Music festivals/Concerts in India?

India is one of the world's youngest countries while also being the second most populous nations and is home to millions of consumers with ever-evolving preferences for unique entertainment experiences. From being the ticketing destination of choice for all movie goers in India, BookMyShow has, over time, grown to be an enabler and creator of marquee global and best-in-class out-of-home entertainment experiences in India, successfully paving the way for international event organisers and artists to consider India as a serious market for live events.

While India is a tough market with macro challenges including weather conditions, infrastructure impediments and high taxation policies, the potential vast audience base makes it a critical market for artists and the entertainment ecosystem, the world over. For this, weat BookMyShow, work with industry partners, locally and internationally, as also the government towards resolving some of these and thus, bolster the future of live entertainment in India as we strive to become a partner of choice to bring great experiences to India.

Take us through your journey, on the evolution of the live event industry and bringing International Artists in India.

The live entertainment segment has seen a phenomenal growth in the last few years. When BookMyShow first entered the out-of-home entertainment segment in 2007, we sold just 61 tickets (live entertainment) through the entire year. By 2012 that number had grown to millions and continues to increase each year. From 100 events in 2007, we now have several thousands of shows and unique events listed under various categories including sports, theatricals, music concerts, live performances, amongst others.  

Today, the live entertainment industry in India is at a juncture where its growth and the audience appetite for such experiences is only rising. BookMyShow continues to play an increasingly important role in this ecosystem, consistently going deeper in the entertainment value chain. We have been able to introduce some of the biggest and most unique live entertainment shows and formats in the country while keeping consumer experience at the centre of all such global intellectual properties in India.

There has been a high uptake for these experiences that have been priced at par with their global shows and this is evident from the strong ticket sales that we have witnessed on our platform. This is a reflection of the latent demand in India for such world-class experiences and the willingness to pay for such events by evolving audiences. We will continue to offer to our millions of patrons, the most loved global experiences in their home country, executed to perfection akin the global standards that they have come to expect.

In an exclusive interaction with EVENTFAQS, Kunal Khambhati, Head – Live Events & IP, BookMyShow .

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