Coping with COVID-19: Financial Health Management for Cultural Festivals

Coping with COVID-19: Financial Health Management for Cultural Festivals

The rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation made it difficult for the cultural sector. Through this Festival Connections session, we looked at ways in which cultural festivals managed their financial health in uncertain times.


Dhruv Sheth, Chief Operating Officer - OML Entertainment Pvt Ltd
Kathy McArdle, Director for England and Cities - British Council
Rishabh Lalani, Independent Fundraiser
Shubha Mudgal, Musician
Festival Management
Financial Management
Planning and Governance

About the event

The rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation made it difficult for the cultural sector. We tried to explore the large-scale impact it brought about in the sector in general and the cultural festivals sector, in particular. British Council, in partnership with the Art X Company, designed a series of webinars on areas that needed urgent attention. The first one from the series, Coping with COVID-19: Financial Health and Management for Cultural Festivals, was held on 30 April 2020. Dhruv Sheth, Chief Operating Officer, OML Entertainment Pvt Ltd; Kathy McArdle, Director for England and Cities, British Council; Rishabh Lalani, Independent Fundraiser; and musician Shubha Mudgal took part in the webinar.

The session was introduced by the Director of Arts, British Council India, Jonathan Kennedy, who reminded us of the contribution of arts and culture in these times to humanity and how crucial it is to keep making art. The first speaker of the session, Dhruv Sheth from OML Entertainment Pvt Ltd, an agency that produces one of the biggest music festivals in India, the NH7 Weekender, elaborated on financial planning methods that were useful to festivals in general and underlined the importance of planning ahead. Dhruv also spoke about cutting costs during such times to keep the business afloat. Musician Shubha Mudgal brought in another layer of complexity to the discussion by pointing out how performing artists who might not be able to access technology to pivot in such times. She advised that artists should not be averse to change but find ways of integrating their practice with new mediums of cultural consumption to sustain themselves and their artforms. Rishabh Lalani added to the conversation on how arts and cultural practitioners should leverage the value that arts brings to the ecosystem. He said that they should advocate for their causes through such times but not turn a blind eye to the graver problems that humanity would be facing. Kathy McArdle concluded the session using various case studies from the UK. Apart from showcasing how festivals have been successfully fighting the pandemic, she also shared tips on advocacy methods that the culture fraternity could use to bring their case to the state.

This event was held as part of the British Council’s Festival Connections in partnership with Arts and Culture Resources India (an Art X Company initiative), an annual programme of expertise, knowledge and networking between India and the UK.


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British Council

British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding, and trust between people in the UK and…

Contact Details
Phone No 0120-4569000
Address British Council Division
British High Commission
17 Kasturba Gandhi Marg
New Delhi - 110 001

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