On a muggy evening in Bangalore, when the daytime temperature was 38 degrees plus, an awards function signalled the launch of the 2019 edition of the annual Sri Ramanavami Music Season hosted by the Sree Ramaseva Mandali in the Chamarajpet area of this city.
The nadaswaram concert which began at 4.30 p.m. to a sparse audience under what is a massive tent that is erected for this month-long music fest in a school's playground set the tone for the event.
It was a day to recognise Carnatic music vocalist Bombay Jayashri Ramnath. The chief guest was the chief secretary of the Karnataka state.
The hosts stuck to the traditional practice that is followed in this state when people are specially honoured on stage. It was a short ceremony.
Jayashri kept her speech short. And after a ten-minute sound check, launched into her concert.
Some 2,000 people must have been under the Big Top here.
Most rasikas had bought season tickets for the month-long concerts here.
This fest comes at a time when there has been some rumble in the families of the founder of this festival, with two sides making charges and explaining their stands on issues regarding the conduct and management of the event. A compromise did not work out and this may be the reason why vocalist K J Yesudoss who performs here every year has said he cannot make it this season.
Music festivals were also launched at two other venues in Bengaluru on April 6. One of them was the fest of Vani Kala Kendra in Basaweswara Nagar and one at Vyalikaval Extension neighbourhood.
A quick look at the schedules of all the key hosts of the music festivals shows that slots have been given to Karnataka musicians; only a few top stars from Chennai are listed here. Over the years, local artistes have been asking the mandalis to host more local musicians instead of inviting many from Chennai and also paying them good renumeration.