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Government to promote Chennai music festival

Vani Doraisamy

It will extend marketing, publicity, infrastructure support

— Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Carnatic vocalists Sanjay Subramaniam and Sudha Raghunathan.

CHENNAI: Markazhi music festival is all set to go global, thanks to an ambitious partnership being worked out between the State Tourism department and music sabhas to market the December music season.

For the first time ever, the Government will be an active partner in the music season from next year, extending marketing, publicity and infrastructure support and including it in its successful `Enchanting Tamil Nadu' campaign, which is now on a global platform.

"We have taken a policy decision to go for joint venture partnerships to promote tourism. We will work in collaboration with music sabhas, hotels and tour agents and even private accommodation providers to make it [music festival] the biggest event in the cultural calendar. The modalities are being worked out, including the possibility of selling sabha tickets through TTDC counters and distributing brochures at all important tourism events," V. Irai Anbu, Tourism Secretary, told The Hindu .

The Government has asked N. Ramji, Music Academy secretary, to present a consultation paper on how sabhas could partner in the event. This music season alone, over 500 artists gave more than 3,000 performances in music sabhas in the city and hotels reported full occupancy as music lovers came from all over the world.

Apart from Chennai, the Government is considering promoting events such as Thyagaraja Aradhana at Tiruvaiyaru. "We are working on a three-fold business principle: attract a large number of tourists, make them stay longer in Chennai and make them spend more during their stay," Mr. Irai Anbu said.

Apart from music lovers, efforts would be made to attract business and health tourists to savour the music season. The Chennai music festival would also be featured in TTDC's road shows and electronic media campaigns overseas.

"This is an effort that has come at the right time as the Chennai music festival is evolving on the lines of Edinburgh Music Festival and needs to be showcased to the world on the right platform. Some suggestions made by us include an internet campaign, developing paying guest accommodation facilities and a mega music festival on the Marina," Mr. Ramji said.

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