I wrote this piece about Goafest in February. firstbiz/brands/hot-unsafe-and-closed-shacks-goafest-is-so-broken-that-it-cannot-be-fixed-77027.html. Then, on March 26, I had written, provoked by a press release that was sent out by the organisers, that the organisers had lost the plot https://facebook/anant.rangaswami/posts/10153895074765577?notif_t=like Srinivasan Swamy, who is in the drivers seat, commented on my FB post. Please do read his comments. I have heard some angry comments amongst industry elders about Anant’s Firstbiz piece and I was told that some pressure may be exerted on Network18 via the media agencies asking him to refrain from writing nasties against Goafest. I hope that doesn’t happen, that wouldn’t be right, Pradyuman Maheshwari wrote yesterday - See more at: mxmindia/2014/03/mediaah-why-goafest-hasnt-lost-the-plot-and-deserves-one-more-chance/#sthash.OUNmkX6l.dpuf. Let me say it again. The organisers have lost the plot. The organisers, all of whom I have known for years, forget that, for many years, I supported Goafest more than anyone else. I underline that: more than anyone else. I became the editor of Campaign India in September 2007. The 2008 edition of Goafest was the first edition that Campaign had anything to do with. I convinced the management at Haymarket to invest in bringing out a DAILY magazine at Goa which entailed a financial risk of Rs. 10,00,000 -- only because I felt that Goafest deserved the support. In all the years that I was editor of Campaign, we worked with the organisers to help them get speakers. Interesting speakers, who would not ask for payment. In some cases, speakers who would not even ask to be reimbursed for their airfare. I played a direct (large) or indirect role in getting Dan Wieden, Sir John Hegarty, Scott Goodson, George Michaelides and Susan Clark to come for Goafest. Suman Srivastava will certainly remember my contribution. In an attempt to make youth get involved with the icons of the industry, Campaign India ran contests so that under 30s could meet, and have a drink or two, with Sir John and with Dan Wieden. Campaign ran contests where young professionals won iPods -- just for being at Goafest and being spotted there. When ASCI decided to run a competition at Goafest to increase awareness and I reached Goa on a Wednesday and discovered that there was no substantial or motivating gratification for the winners, I called up Praveen Kenneth (who has NEVER been to a Goafest and has never been involved with AAAI)and convinced him to BUY 10 Blackberry phones (they were cool, then) as prizes. Praveen not only agreed, but worked out the logistics for them to be bought AND shipped to Goa in time for the winners to receive them. I could go on -- theres more that I did. And, as I watch the elders not bothering about Goafest, it gets my goat. Each year, I have all but begged them to work on speakers earlier. Each year, I have all but begged them to engage with those who are upset with Goafest and the Abbys. Each year, I have all but begged them to make the event more inclusive. Last year, in disgust, I decided not to go to Goafest -- but still sent my Storyboard team to cover it. What did we see? Average, boring content (in the main) and a divisive Abbys (made more so by the Tata Salt mess). This year, I will not be travelling to Goa for Goafest. Because the organisers have learned nothing. Because they do not care. And industry elders are making angry comments about me and my views? Wow.
Posted on: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 00:57:14 +0000
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