Till last year, garba revellers preferred a private garba party held at a farmhouse on the ourskirts of the city. This year, however, there are few parties of such a kind.
The reasons are not hard to find – upgrading the farmhouse for garba is expensive, increasing awareness among parents, elections, strict vigilance by cops and inflation.
The city used to witness private garba celebration parties, open only to family members and close friends. The venue was a farmhouse or private party plot where youngsters could have complete freedom and fun. However, due to the increase in crime rate at the venues for the past five years there is strict vigilance maintained by cops.
In addition, due to the upcoming elections, there is a special security check going on after 12am. Privacy has taken a back seat for party lovers in the city. Vishal Shah says, “The public has stopped going for private garba parties as they want to avoid the ugly raid scenario at farmhouses. Even the non-liquor parties suffer due to raids.”
“After the declaration of elections there is a code of conduct imposed by the cops. Hence garba parties aren’t being held,” says DJ Rouls.
Parents have become extra cautious about their children roaming around the city till late night. “It is not about being a girl or a boy. I feel all parents should know where their kids are having fun,” said a homemaker, Dipti Shukla.
Himanshu Shah, chief mentor of SOI events and marketing says, “Garba revellers enjoy more in larger groups where they meet people from all walks of life. The small dandiya events have lost their importance,” he adds.
People also expect garba venues to have good lighting, music and food. “It is too expensive to hold garba parties at a farmhouse as there is a huge upgradation needed when it comes to technology too,” says Jaydeep Mehta, director of True Events.
Moreover, the increasing prices of petrol have made Amdavadis stick to their own society or the nearest garba venues. The president of the confederation of Indian clubs, Jayesh Shah says, “Being economical is the first priority for Amdavadis. The common man is badly hit by inflation. It is not affordable to drive away to distant places for the middle class and the elite have other options in the city now.”
Deval Shah, a garba enthusiast says, “I would rather spend on my costumes and jewellery and dance at a city venue than spend hours commuting to a farmhouse on the outskirts. And the experience might just turn out to be not worth it.”