Singer Akriti Kakar, who was recently in Dubai for her first live concert on a foreign shore after the pandemic, is glad to see the live music scene back in business. However, she worries that the audience is not yet ready for the same.

“Performing abroad is a thrill parallel to none. I did 11 hour-long rehearsals with my band and created some real fun mashups,” shares Kakar, who had a musical date in Dubai on November 6.

The Saturday Saturday (Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania; 2014) hitmaker, who feels that virtual shows are not as satisfying for a performer, continues, “When it comes to the audience, the numbers have drastically reduced.”

Elaborating on how it hinders her creative process, the singer says she derives her “energy from the people in the audience”. However, she is trying to look at the brighter side. “Being able to perform in these times itself is a big blessing and fortunately, my band and I have been at it,” says the 35-year-old, who has lent her voice to hit numbers such as Aanan Faanan (Namastey London; 2007) and Iski Uski (2 States; 2014).

The key to restarting larger concerts, Kakar believes, lies in a fully-vaccinated audience. “Live concerts with large gatherings can come alive provided the organisers ensure the ones attending are duly vaccinated. They could also run rapid tests for people before they enter the venue and absorb that cost at their own level,” opines the singer.

Expressing her concern over how the pandemic has affected the lives of everyone including artistes, Kakar makes a heartfelt appeal to organisers. “It’s vital that the organisers continue giving work to artistes so that they can pay forward. A lot of livelihoods depend on us. So what we need to do as artistes right now, is pay our band and team their due when we get paid for our work,” she concludes.

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