Are you a Freeloader?

The loudness of their voices increases in direct proportion to the thunderous roar of an audience at a concert area. These are those people who’re likely to start a moshpit even at a folk music concert. Well, here I take the privilege to introduce to you all “The Freeloaders”  😀 . Every time I go to a concert I’d see innumerable back t shirt clad guys talking at the top of their voices about their favorite bands or the bands they’re about to witness perform live. Ermm!! They are super-stoked…of course, for a matter of fact not all of them are like that;  but you know what’s funny? the humorous thing is the fact that  the rest of the black t shirts pack are(Freeloaders) who’re always on a quest to find means and ways to enter a gig for free. You know, it would be unfair of me to only adjudge the black t-shirt guys; so here I am now going to bring to the limelight another set of Freeloaders but these are a little bit different.  These guys wander about the concert area with big smirks on their faces at having gotten in for free and their credentials of being “volunteers”. Quite impressive right?  I don’t really know how much of them the event organizers really require. But as far as I can see, whenever I go to a gig especially in my hometown Shillong, I’d definitely see more guys with volunteer badges than the actual crowd. What an irony? For a city that bleeds music at all times, how is it possible that guys in badges pre-dominates the actual crowd. Where are the much affirmed music loving people?


I remember back in the days when the Great Indian Rock graced the Shillong soil for the first time. The festival brought the best of the nation’s line-up to our city keeping in mind that this is the city that “flawlessly rocks”. I was still in high school then, yet, I was an ardent supporter of the scene. On my way to the venue, I overheard a conversation between two lads, it went something like this: “dude! I had managed to lure a friend to give me free tickets”. He is here looking or perhaps already got free tickets not only for himself but as well as his friend. I said to myself  ” What is this?? A joke I added“. The “person who wore a T shirt of a known metal band “ decided to opt for a free entry. By doing that, he only proves that he has got nothing worthwhile to even be labelled as a mediocre fan of music. So, why was he even there in the first place? Gosh! that got into my nerves.

Anyway, whatever I experienced was three years back. However, this phenomenon is getting even worse now. Most gigs organized that comes with a price tag will always have a turnout disappointment. Be it big or small, in all probability some say that tickets were a little too expensive…..hence fail to attend & these are the same guys who spend approx 600 bucks just on alcohol per day. Where is the scene headed to five years from now if this is the kind of response coming from people who hail from a city that associates itself with rock music? And what’s even harder is to make these people buy original music of our very own local bands.

That is the very reason why I chose to write this word-piece, I want to see a change & not just mere change; but drastic change that would help in the development & growth of our local scene. Its high time for  people to leave behind that stuck-up being which they have been living with for so long now. Therefore, they’re ought to grow up,  stand up with their fists high and  say “I should adhere to appreciate what these bands are doing & therefore, pledge myself to sincerely support them & the scene“. Amen!


Rundolf Mawlieh