‘Many from the creative economy have been devastated‘: Sanjoy Roy, Teamwork Arts

Industry Watch | January 20, 2022 | Feature

Sanjoy Roy Teamwork Arts

Online events have helped the industry tide through the Covid waves, but they cannot replace in-person event experiences. This fact has been established beyond doubt during the last two years. It is also evident that the online event juggernaut has not proved to be a lifeline for all.

EVENTFAQS Media reached out to stakeholders to understand their views on when they expect a return to ‘normal’ physical events and their ‘highest high’ and ‘lowest low’ of 2021.

Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, believes that things should be back on track by February- March 2022.

He also underlines that many in the creative economy have been struggling for survival during this difficult time, recalling one phone call to dissuade a dancer from committing suicide with his two daughters.

‘The permanence of Plan B’
- Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts

Even as the second wave of the Covid19 (Delta variant) receded leaving in its wake death and devastation across the country, there was hope and an anticipation to return to a new normal. Plans were put in place for new festivals with rescheduled dates and we saw a resurgence in the numbers of people wishing to be part of a live programme. But in each case there was a Plan B – the digital experience that expanded our audiences, brought in much needed revenue and allowed us to bring together artistes from across genres and across countries. More importantly, we were able to survive this phase of the pandemic and emerge stronger for the lessons learnt.

The lowest point was receiving a call from a dancer and costume designer who had been impacted by Covid19 and had decided to commit suicide with his two daughters. A 30-minute conversation to dissuade him from this madness, raise much-needed resources and send in counselors helped prevent a tragedy. Sadly, there are so many from the creative economy ecosystem who have been devastated by unpaid bills, loans and mounting debts. With local, state and central governments oblivious to the pain of this segment, life has been very difficult for those in the creative sector.

The pandemic cycle is slated to last for five years, with each wave of the variant growing weaker in terms of its after effects or impact. We are seeing this with the spread of Omicron. In India, one hopes that the wave will peak by end-January or early February in the major cities and towns and will ease away by early March across the hinterland.

We can expect a degree of normalcy for a while, but much will depend on the rollout of the booster and the push to vaccinate every child and adult to ensure overall protection.

EVENTFAQS Media reached out to stakeholders and asked them to recall their ‘highest high’ and ‘lowest low’ of 2021 and understand their outlook for a return to ‘normal’ physical events in 2022.

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