An Exclusive Interview with Manuj Agarwal, CEO, Percept Live Shares Exciting Insights of Bollyboom

Entertainment | January 16, 2020 | Interview

Bollyboom Percept Live

Bollyboom is an existing Intellectual Property, which belongs to Percept Live, a potential forerunner that introduced a new genre called Bollywood Electro Music, a fusion of Bollywood music fiesta and electronic dance music in the dynamic Indian market since 2013. Here is an exclusive interview with Manuj Agarwal, CEO, Percept Live, where he shares insights on Bollyboom.

From its inception, how do you think Bollyboom has grown over the years?

Bollyboom was launched in 2013 after witnessing the stupendous success of Sunburn and its growing cult status. Bollywood music has been an intrinsic part of every Indian and by combining this with the beats of Electronica, state-of-the-art production, SFX, and the best of Bollywood Artists we knew we could offer a brand new BDM twist and create a unique Live Entertainment experience for the huge numbers of Bollywood music fans all across India and overseas.

The very first edition of ‘BollyBoom’ featured legendary music maestros Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Salim-Sulaiman, Shveta Pandit, Shraddha Pandit, and Shadab Afridi who set the stage ablaze with their foot-tapping, head-banging music specially created to the infusion of electro beats of DJ Lloyd, DJ Nik & AJ, and Acid. Over the years we chose the most popular Punjabi Bollywood / Pop Artists like Guru Randhwa, Diljit Dosanjh, Honey Singh, Badshah, Amyway and many more who are immensely popular amongst the youth. The production was at par with international standards with top of the line Technicals, AVs, SFX, Pyrotechnics and more. 

With growing popularity, Bollyboom evolved into multiple formats. We launched Club formats which ensured a national reach and also gave us an ability to introduce and promote young upcoming Bollywood DJ talent pan India. A pioneering initiative saw us take over popular traditional Indian festivals under the Bollyboom banner and create a brand new revived experience for the youngsters who were already used to celebrating festivals such as Holi, Valentine's Day, Baisakhi, Friendship Day, Christmas and New Years Eve with popular Bollywood music. ‘Bollyboom’ is the ONLY all India and even International brand in this space. We also produced and launched successful International Bollyboom shows across Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, South Africa, Singapore and more.

Having the ‘first mover’ advantage with Bollyboom certainly gave us an edge compared to many other ‘me-too’ Bollywood live event shows that popped up after Bollyboom’s launch in 2013. Bollywood infused with the beats of Electronica is a phenomenon that's become more popular since its inception and become the prime music choice of the youth today. And the proof of that is witnessed in the phenomenal growth of Bollyboom over the past 7 years pan India and overseas.

In your opinion, where does an IP like Bollyboom stand in the overall LIVE entertainment market in India as the audience has a wide range of options to choose from?

Bollywood Music has been a lifeline of India for ages now. Every Disc, Lounge, Club, Wedding, Birthday Celebration prominently has Bollywood music being played in its original & remix form. Bollywood music reaches a large multitude of audiences across the globe. But the scale of Bollywood live events remained unchanged for many decades and remained confined to TV shows and niche auditorium shows. Though the popularity of Bollywood music talent is unquestionable, the live concerts never came close to any of the international artists. We never spoke of their concerts in the same league as that of Rihanna’s, Martin Garrix or Beyonce. The reason being scale and packaging, not Talent. Our shows required to be backed up with the latest production, technicals, special effects and showbiz trends to offer the consumer a wow experience. 

And that is what Bollyboom offered – the indomitable talent of the biggest and trending stars in the Bollywood music space including Guru Randhwa, Diljit Dosanjh, Sonu Nigam, Salim, Sulaiman & many more with an intrinsic mix of the best of live entertainment elements spanning live percussionists, exotic performers and a jaw-dropping experience combined with visually mesmerizing SFX and state of art Technology, curated F&B and a safe, secure, seamless experience for all attendees making the overall show a big success time and again. 

Our brand name and credibility certainly helped - Percept Live has been instrumental in blazing trends in the music and entertainment industry for decades and fans knew that any Live Event IP from the Percept stable offered a unique, state-of-the-art, guaranteed VFM experience. We already had a huge fan following with the youth across India & overseas courtesy Sunburn, and another IP from our stable in the live music space carried the advantageous stamp of reliability and authenticity for our fans. 

We also undertake a lot of research, given the dynamic pulse of the millennials. Over the past 7 years, we have continuously innovated, tested, experimented, and introduced newer and multiple variants recognizing the potential of Bollyboom across India. Bollyboom offers not only the latest trending artists and tracks but also an amorphous blend of Trance, House, Hip Hop, Electro Funk, Synthetic, Pop,  Club Music, Techno, Trance, Hardstyle and Dubstep to keep up to step with whatever is trending and popular with our fans. Our focused dedication towards delivering the very best is how we have remained successful and grown over the past 7 years versus the sea of impressionist Live Entertainment options available in the market today.

Tell us about your experience at Bollyboom. How do you think the live event industry has shaped up through the years?  

India has 600 million people below the age of 25 years and their need for entertainment is immense. The youth today is quite well informed on the global entertainment scenario. Television, YouTube, Internet, OTT, Streaming, etc has brought the latest music concerts and live shows of domestic and international artists into their bedrooms. And hence they expect the same scale and size with Indian live entertainment including Bollywood shows. Millennials have a high disposable income, are rearing to experience the very best that life has to offer, and are keen to step out of their homes and enjoy the dynamic world of live entertainment. The Live Event industry, in turn, offers these millennials a massive, fun, open, collaborative, engaging platform for them to connect, let loose and just be themselves. Music is a great unifier and music events like Bollyboom and Sunburn encourage this ‘healthy social’ experience. Rather than sit at a theatre watching a movie quietly or sit alone at home, live events offer a great place for like-minded people to meet, chat, connect, network, have a great time and make new lifelong friends. 

Over the past decade, the Live Music Festival domain has grown in leaps and bounds and is today the one-stop music destination of the millennial. India is one of the world’s largest music markets and holds great potential in the Live music domain. With 1.4 billion music lovers, a large youth population and promising economic growth, India offer a promising destination for the Live Events space. Social Media and Live Streaming has further amplified audience awareness, growth and reach in this domain. 

I foresee the Live Music industry growing at a phenomenal pace provided event organizers engage proactively with their audiences and reinvent their brand offerings basis what’s popular and trending. Event promoters must stay focused on every element of the experience inclusive of content, technicals, visuals, SFX, F&B, safety, security, cleanliness, and value add. Only by delivering a 360-degree holistic and memorable out-of-the-box wow experience will Live Event organizers be able to stay ahead of the game and create sustainable IPs in the live music space. 

Going ahead I see Bollyboom growing massively to tap many more markets across India as also overseas. We need to be atop our R&D, connect proactively with our audiences, see what’s trending, and reinvent our offerings to stay ahead of the curve and grow Bollyboom into a cult organic IP that stretches beyond our borders to entertain overseas audiences craving for a slice of India via Bollywood and everything that comes with it. 

We are already working with top talent and in the future, we will add many more prestigious names to this roster. Plans are afoot to create a curated Bollyboom show which will travel globally like ‘Sensation’. Besides that our calendar will expand to have at least 200 events pan India and overseas annually.

Here is an exclusive interview with Manuj Agarwal, CEO, Percept Live, where he shares insights on Bollyboom's growth, audience choices, and live entertainment industry.

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