The number of New Year gigs by Bollywood stars has fallen drastically this time around
The hospitality industry is clearing feeling the economic pinch. As opposed to the usual brouhaha of stars performing at high-end events, the arrival of 2014 (read: parties) seem to lack the big names from showbiz.
Priyanka Chopra is all set to perform on New Year’s Eve at a bash in Chennai
Barring Priyanka Chopra, not a single A-list actor will be seen performing on New Year’s Eve. Not very long ago, names like Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu were much in demand at December 31 bashes. As of today, Kat and Bebo rather prefer to spend time with their respective partners.
So, are the stars not interested in moolah anymore as it’s often said that they tend to pocket quite a lot from shows while they aren’t shooting? Turns out there are many reasons at play.
Veena Vachani, a wedding planner and event manager, says the supply and demand isn’t as big an issue as the price quoted for performances. “Several Bollywood stars have hiked their price up to three times their previous cost and organisers just cannot afford that kind of budgets anymore.”
Malaika Arora Khan, who performed at Aamby Valley two years ago, falls in the same category.
Veena adds, “There were enquires from one of my clients, but the kind of money the actors are asking is simply unaffordable. And they don’t want lesser known artistes for New Year’s Eve.”
Besides, actors now have other avenues to make money like television shows, award function and endorsements. A well-placed source says, “The money they earn from other options is much more than these shows. After the Mallika Sherawat controversy when she was slapped with an obscenity case after a year-end show, stars have got a bit wary.”
It appears that the stars prefer to be on a holiday with their partners and family rather than perform. There might be a bigger catalyst behind the change though. A Mumbai-based photographer, who has been covering such events, informs, “The fear of backlash from society and moral police may have scared the actors. Otherwise, why would they leave the money, especially actresses, who earn less than their male counterparts?”
An interesting development has taken place with regards to singers as well. The crooning lot doesn’t really have that much work during New Year’s Eve. “Last year, Yo Yo Honey Singh’s show was cancelled after a police case was filed against him for allegedly singing vulgar songs. Tonight, however he has a show lined up. Rapper Hard Kaur will be performing at Rajkot,” says a source.
A person associated with event management tells us on conditions of anonymity that an actor with back-to-back releases is ignoring their company’s request repeatedly. “We tried getting in touch with him but he’s currently in the US chilling -- the same person who was chasing us not too long ago for shows. This is definitely a paradigm shift not only in his but also peers’ attitude towards year-ender shows.”\