Backstage at Revels—Unsung Heroes of the Fest
From setting up the mesmerising Proshow stage to overseeing the safety and security of the students on campus, there is a lot which goes into making Revels a success each year. Working around the clock, the staff and students are what make the fest. Here, we take a look at such lesser-known responsibilities, which are essential to the fest, but often go unnoticed and unappreciated.
Security Staff—The Fest Vigilantes
One of the most critical jobs, demanding extra effort on every day of the fest, is to ensure the safety and security of all the people on campus—including the outstation participants and the visiting artists. Be it the captivated crowds during Proshow or the hard-working student bodies toiling all through the night, every aspect of the fest has to be regulated and accounted for. Mr Rathnakar Samanth, the Deputy Chief Security Officer, provided some insight into this vigilant effort. He elaborated on how the security guards work throughout the week and even forgo their holidays during the fest, as the requirements reach maximum capacity. With the change in the Proshow venue from KMC Greens to the MIT Football Grounds and Quadrangle recently, he deliberated on the importance of crowd control and the effort that goes into maintaining the venues and keeping them safe from all eventualities. Further, maintaining queues, vigilance over tickets, providing artists with the option of sound-checks, and organising the local PA systems, are all herculean tasks that do not receive much attention.
Speaking about his twenty-four years of service and experience at MIT, Mr Samanth feels proud to be involved in the college’s fests for almost a quarter of a century. He mentioned how, over a decade ago, the fest used to be an open-for-all event, which further increased the responsibilities of the security staff. He also commented on the notable shift in the students over the years, as they move away from the norm of socialising with people only from their native regions, to be more inclusive and integrated amongst themselves.
ProShow—Keeping the Fest Alive
Nothing symbolises Revels as much the Proshow, and other than the mammoth task of organising and inviting the artists, something which is equally essential and laborious is the stage and sound set-up. While often underappreciated, a lot of time and effort goes into making these essentials work like clockwork within the pressing time constraints. While the sound requirements for all the category events are met with the help of MAHE’s sound and PA systems, the Proshow artists require a different level of quality and assurance. Hence, such requirements are outsourced, and professional vendors are contracted. Organising a hundred events within an allotted budget is no easy task and requires many sleepless nights on the part of all the student bodies and the council.
Cafeteria—A Token of Their Gratitude
During the day, the cafeteria becomes a hotspot for all students participating in Revels. “We get nearly eighty per cent of the crowd, including outstation participants. We ask the entire workforce to be available during Revels because of the enormous crowd, and the orders need to be fast-moving to diffuse them. We also make surplus food due to the high demand, and it does not go to waste at the end of the day,” said Ganesh Shenoy, Cafeteria in-charge, when asked about food preparation during the fest.
NLH—Our Home Away From Home
Serving as the make-shift home for all the categories working throughout the night is the New Lecture Hall. The NLH caretakers also play a vital role during the fest, and their contribution often goes unnoticed. “During the fest, we stay back till 8 AM helping the students set up the projectors and provide connectors as well as any other resources that are asked for,” said Krishna Nair, the NLH floor in-charge.
The overall success of Revels lies in the culminated efforts of all these workers behind the scenes who toil through thick and thin to provide everyone associated with the fest, an unforgettable experience each year.