This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and are not a reflection of Ping! as a whole.
The pandemic of 2020, on account of the spread of COVID-19, ensured that the semesters this year were forced onto screens of laptops and mobile phones, so were not only classes in lecture halls heckled through, but also the events put up by the different clubs of IIIT-H, including the annual music festival hosted by the Music Club, Unplugged.
The fifth rendition of Unplugged wasn’t quite the evening of chilled out performances, be it vocals, instruments, both or otherwise, on Campus grounds as it had been for the years before. Instead, the Music Club came up with the idea of having it done online with participants sending in their pre-recorded videos. A week-long venture, the acts were streamed in bits with the audience being the students of IIIT-H who took their freedom to throw a barrage of praises at the performers. As students who’ve experienced on-Campus Unplugged would already know, the event usually has people from other colleges turn up as well, ending with a pleasant night, often leading to meeting new people, but it was obviously not possible this year.
The Music Club predicted that it would be impractical to expect students to stare at a screen for hours on end, hence, they devised a plan to spread Unplugged across the week, in chunks of 20 minutes each. This not only ensured a better viewer experience regarding the medium of viewing but also kept the audience occupied and attentive to the mesmerizing performances. Another added benefit was that since Unplugged was streamed at a time when college was in its full flow with everyone drowning under the burden of assignments, students were able to take a break from all the work, even if for a very little while, just to be able to maintain the light camaraderie that they have so sorely missed owing to the ongoing pandemic.
From the 29th of October, Unplugged 2020 streamed live on YouTube for 6 days straight, for a duration of approximately 20 minutes each day. There were crowds north of a century on all 6 days, and as was expected with such an enthusiastic audience, the Live Chat was filled with positivity and support for all those performing.
The acts were enchanting throughout the event, with Kartika’s Khairiyat setting Unplugged in motion, to Pranav and Mehul’s medley of several Hindi songs concluding the fifth day. Day 6 saw only the members of the Music Club themselves perform, providing us with a world of their own works bringing Unplugged 2020 to a close. Be it Sidharth’s passionate portrayal of Teri Galiyan or Eshika’s guitar play on Elvis Presley’s celebrated Can’t Help Falling in Love graced by the view of a sunset in Aurangabad or even Professor Vinoo Alluri and Professor Ashwin Jayanthi performing Madworld and Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a’ Changin’, each performance was a joy to behold.
The excellent work from the Music Club to have had thought out everything so well and choreographed the entire event brilliantly to have had brought about this affair is worthy of applause. The Plague has had run its course well and truly to have had dampened spirits across the year, but the performers left us in a pleasant daze by showcasing their talent during Unplugged, being able to take our minds off the numbing monotony that the world online and inside has subjected us to.
Should anyone want to enjoy the performances of Unplugged 2020, follow this link: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3Dk3yjiWxuv0w%26list%3DPL3b7waRe5vvosBXSKVGZjd48uGgyR8tPo&sa=D&ust=1608750295800000&usg=AOvVaw0gOkQl5YkA-fDPOQtXMGE5
Update (27/12/2020 2:00 AM): The earlier version of the article incorrectly counted this year’s Unplugged as the fourth edition; it is the fifth.