‘Virtual experiences at JLF to have look and feel of Pink City’

By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, Feb 13 (IANS) The 14th Edition of Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) will embrace a paradigm shift with specially curated virtual experiences that shall have a look and feel of the Pink City, said Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director of Teamworks and the man behind organising the show who was in Jaipur recently.

Speaking to IANS, he said, “We are shooting the opening of every episode from Diggi Palace. The viewers shall pass on from the Front Lawn and Darbar Lawn of Diggi Palace while viewing the show to feel the connection with the Pink City. We are shooting in Amer, at Patrika Gate, a renowned spot of Jaipur and other such venues of the city to convey the message to our viewers that they are not watching a zoom box, but we are taking them out of the zoom box.”

With the new idea in mind, the organisers have made sure that when the audience come to the festival, they enter the Front Lawn in 3D form as it has been designed in the same manner when they used to enter in the physical event.

Roy said that Covid pandemic has brought in newer equations in the world and the scope has hence changed a lot. The new normal has allowed us to do many things which earlier were inaccessible. We shall have Microsoft founder Bill Gates, international celebrity Priyanka Chopra and many other spectrum of people this time who were inaccessible most of the time due to various reasons.

So we can say if we have lost due to pandemic, we have gained too, he added.

Speaking on the next year’s plan, Roy said, “In 2022, we can’t go back and say that JLF 2022 shall be a physical event. It will have to be virtual as well as a physical event. We have built the new audience and this new audience needs to have a look and feel of Jaipur. Therefore, we have decided to shoot the opening of every episode from Diggi Palace and other places of the Pink City.”

Roy further said that he wanted to continue the free flow of knowledge and information beyond boundaries even during pandemic in the same way as there has been so much exchange of scientific knowledge happening between countries.

He said, “We took the challenges that came our way in doing so as an opportunity. We decided of a virtual event and eventually our viewership has jumped many times as compared to our physical events. Even our reach has increased. Earlier, our international markets were the UK, the US, Canada among others. However, now, our third highest international viewership is coming from Germany. In Diggi Palace, Germany had never registered with us and we have never spent money for marketing there. Our viewership also stands high in Poland, Sweden and Norway.”.

“When we started, we ensured that our reach should include the young people as they can bring in change. Now, we have many international schools worldwide registering with us which makes it easier for us to reach our goals,” he added.

The Jaipur Literature Festival will feature an online programme this year which spreads over two extended weekends between 19-21 February and 26-28 February, 2021.

The live virtual sessions will showcase a plethora of themes and writers curated specially for audiences across the world who will be offered an immersive experience that will recreate the magic of the original literary extravaganza with augmented reality and virtual venues replete with a bookstore, a bazaar featuring traditional handcrafted goodies, and various engagement zones.

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