KARACHI: This year has hit us all hard. The pandemic brought our lives to an unexpected stop, the world shut down, and we were surrounded by uncertainty. Karachi, too, has been a victim of what 2020 had in store for us. From COVID-19, to the plane crash in May, to the more recent flooding in the city, Karachiites have been through it all. But as Raania Durrani from Salt Arts says, the people of Karachi listen.
Even amidst the chaos in the metropolis, we listen to each other. We listen to what our city needs at the moment and what its people need to feel at home again. And Salt Arts has been one platform which the people of Karachi have turned to time and again.
The creative agency recently took to its social media to call out to its favourite audience. Starting with a throwback to Shamoon Ismail’s performance of ‘Karachi’ earlier this year, the team dedicated the post to artists who have been affected by both, the lockdown and the rain. Soon, fans were introduced to the Comeback Karachi campaign, which left many excited at the possibility of Salt Arts concerts returning to the city.
“For Salt Arts, Karachi is the #1 audience – for 5 years and for 91 live shows Karachi has trusted our advisories, followed rules, celebrated our success as their own, and has given us tough love when we struggled. With #comebackkhi we asked our audience if they would return when we call them, but, kindly, gently, patiently, responsibly, empathetically – to enforce the power of public cooperation. We also asked audiences to help us identify earnest brands/sponsors, and tag those who they think would help #bringbackkhi – let’s see who steps up,” shared Durrani, Co-founder and Artistic Director at Salt Arts Pakistan.
“We hope to open Karachi’s concert season – Inshaallah, in a safe, outdoor, self-managed environment, with all necessary precautions and personal accountability as a prerequisite to attend. There will be many changes we all will have to embrace, together. Variables have changed, box-office is slashed dramatically, distancing, health and safety compliance is the focus. Audience advisories will now be mandatory guidelines, there may be conditional sales. And, it will take some work to get it right, and rebuild a sustainable new-normal concert model for Pakistan and South Asia to follow, so patience too, is requested.”
With international events like the 2020 MTV VMAs being held in outdoor spaces while practicing social distancing, the return of social events is not entirely impossible or unrealistic. Salt Arts concerts are events that the people of Karachi, specially, have found joy and passion in, given that the city does not have many other creative outlets for the public. Music, in general, has the power to bring people together, it serves as a universal language which so many speak. Perhaps the campaign by Salt Arts has lit up a ray of hope in the otherwise disappointed hearts of the people of Karachi.
“You, Karachi, can make this happen for all of us, and help us return to work, safely. By saying yes you give us energy and courage. We hope God and the universe is on our side, and good health prevails. Let’s be positive and see how this unfolds,” concluded Durrani.