How Covid-19 Took a Toll on Major Events in India

The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus has no doubt ravaged economies the world over. Public has been forced into their homes due nationwide lockdowns whereas businesses and services have been made to hit the pause button on their operations. Since the key weapons for fighting this virus are social distancing and staying at home; industries such as aviation, travel & tourism, hospitality and events ended up taking the worst hit.

In order to curb the spread of Covid-19, public gatherings were put to an immediate stop everywhere and travel restrictions were put into place. Lockdown in India shut all workplaces, schools, colleges as well as public spaces such as malls, parks, cinemas, gyms but Covid-19 also took a severe toll on events in India. Let’s take a look at the major events that got cancelled or postponed indefinitely because of Covid-19.

1. Indian Premier League

The India Premier League (IPL) is an annual fixture on TV screens since 2008. Cricket enthusiasts all over the country gear up every March to support their favourite league team or players, be it live at the stadium or at home on their screens.

Originally scheduled for 29 March 2020, IPL was initially pushed to 15 April. However, once the nationwide lockdown was announced by PM Modi, BCCI suspended the 2020 season of IPL till further notice. Recent developments indicate that IPL will now be staged outside of India, with UAE being a possible host for this season.

2. India Fashion Week

The India Fashion Week (Autumn-Winter 2020) is one of the bi-annual fashion extravaganza organised by the Fashion Design Council of India. Slated to take place in March, the fashion week got postponed indefinitely. On 24 May, FDCI announced via its Instagram that it was going to host India’s first ever digital fashion week – further details of which are still awaited.

3. IIFA 2020

The International Indian Film Academy Awards are one of the most popular film awards for professionals working in Bollywood, the Hindi language film industry of India. Ever since the first ceremony in 2000, the IIFA ceremony is a much awaited event for both the members of the industry as well Bollywood fans across the country.

This year, the IIFA weekend was to take place in Indore, Madhya Pradesh from 27 to 29 March. However, due to the pandemic related restrictions the ceremony was pushed indefinitely. It is now likely to take place in November 2020.

4. Ultra Music Festival

The global edition of the popular Ultra Music Festival, Road to Ultra was scheduled to take place at GMR Arena in Hyderabad on 7 March and at Backyard Sports Club in Gurgaon on 8 March. Even though the lockdown wasn’t announced yet, the outbreak of the pandemic was starting to take hold and the organisers decided to cancel the event just like they already cancelled editions in other cities around the world.

Other Events

Other key events that were impacted by Covid-19 related restrictions include:

  • The India FinTech Festival 2020, presented by Government of Maharashtra – postponed until further notice.
  • FIFA Asian Qualifiers for World Cup 2022 – shifted October – November.
  • Delhi Literature Festival – postponed until further notice.
  • Indian Games Expo – postponed until further notice.
  • Gamethon Expo – rescheduled to 20-22 October.
  • Goafest – postponed until further notice.

Apart from the above mentioned events, stage shows, theatre, comedy clubs and music concerts have all been substantially affected. The financial blow to the events industry is estimated at Rs. 3000 Cr. in just the first two months as reported by survey figures of Event and Entertainment Management Association of India.

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