By: Yohan P Chawla
From the erstwhile passive ticket-bookings-provider role, BookMyShow has become an active partner with some of the better entertainment providers in India. And now, with their long-term association with perhaps the world’s best live entertainment giant in its space, Cirque du Soleil, BookMyShow has actually helped open the doors to the entry of the world’s best such live entertainment providers. How? Well, by assuring them of a captive audience for their offerings in India, thereby providing proof of concept or rather, demand in India for such mega properties.
Also, this is extending and expanding BookMyShow offerings in the live entertainment space in India.
With over 12 million ticket sales a year, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group reinvented the circus arts and is a popular name in the Live Entertainment space across the world.
Cirque du Soleil’s Bazzar is their latest creation, which will feature a range of acrobatic marvels ranging from teeterboard, portage, acrobatic bike, contortion, duo roller skate, duo trapeze, aerial rope, slackline and live music with one singer and two musicians on stage. With performances pairing imagination and impressive scenography, unique characters, remarkable aesthetics and acrobatic feats; ‘BAZZAR’ will feature key Cirque du Soleil elements. Citi Bank is the presenting sponsor for the show.
Having been in the ticketing business for about 19 years BookMyShow aims to lead the live entertainment space with this association. This also opens the gates for various other international entertainment companies who have been eyeing at the Indian market for quite sometime.
Further, they have complete support from the Government of Maharashtra, led by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who, along with BookMyShow CEO and Co-Founder Ashish Hemrajani, had visited the Cirque du Soleil facility in Montreal, Canada.
Bazzar has about 30 shows planned in Mumbai and Delhi each, and it starts in November 2018. Tickets for these are now available exclusively on BookMyShow — starting from a basic entry price of INR 1,250/.
This is the first time that Cirque du Soleil is premiering a show outside of Canada, which makes it all the more exclusive for the Indian audiences. This also indicates that Cirque du Soleil has realized the potential in the Indian live entertainment market.
Speaking about the association, Ashish Hemrajani, CEO and Co-Founder of BookMyShow, said, “We started working on this project about 2 years ago, and it has been a lifetime dream to work with Cirque du Soleil. There is a huge similarity in the value systems of Cirque and BookMyShow, and that is something which really encouraged us to come together for this unique association. Running this business for almost 2 decades now, the country has changed. I think as the country evolves, we will evolve too and stories will eventually be born out of this country known our history.”
Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, said, “I have been wanting to come to India forever, and we were waiting for the right time and more importantly the right partner. It’s very important for us that we work with people that share the same values and that’s what I found in Ashish and BookMyShow. All the right conditions are now in place and we are going to win with the help of our local partners. When we are talking to our local partners, we are not just talking about Bazzar, but we are also talking about how we will build a new business here, in India. It’s a multi-million dollar production and we are here to stay.”
With a 360-degree seating, the show promises to have no bad seats, and promises to provide an immersive and intimate experience.
Commenting on the team Susan Gaudreau, Show Director said, ‘’In total we have 30 artists, 6 dancers, 22 acrobats from various backgrounds and equipped with various skills, 2 live musicians and a team of 22 technicians and show operators which keep the show running. We have a variety of nationalities in our team such as Russians, Brazilians, French Canadians, and Europeans. We also have two Indians who will doing the incredible Mallakhamba. Everybody of my dancers and artists are unique. Nobody is trying to be the same as anyone else.”
Hemrajani said, “A lot of people don’t realize that BookMyShow has been in the live entertainment space for almost 20 years. When the company was founded it always did ticketing for movies, plays, sports and events. We did have live entertainment and immersive experiences but they were far and few in between. The challenges were around infrastructure, transport, price points that the consumers could afford. And I feel a lot has changed in India in the last twenty years. People now are more discerning and affording. There is lot more focus on infrastructure and we are putting things in place, whether it’s the tech that is required to execute something. I think the Indian audiences are ready and we keep our customer at the centre of the universe.’’