If you have any queries on the December Season, this place will be of some help.
Here are some of some frequently asked queries about the December Season and tips we have provided. Ping us if you still have questions to ask!
When are the programmes for the December Season made public?
The December Season of music and dance covers concerts hosted by diffrent sabhas (arts organisations) in many parts of the city of Chennai. The best concerts and festivals are generally held between the second week of December (from around 11th) to the first week of January. However some sabhas begin their fests as early as November.
In January, most sabhas host exclusive dance fests which may go on till about January 20.
As and when schedules are released, this website will post them - this starts from early November.
When can we get detailed concert schedules?
While sabhas finalise the main artistes by September, they have to juggle with the accompanists. And hence, sabhas make public their concerts schedule in mid/late November.
How do we choose the best concerts?
The best artistes are featured at all the leading sabhas. Some auditoriums will be great, some average. Some have great atmosphere. All leading sabhas feature the top ranking artistes. Generally, their concerts are in the evening ( in the mornings too, on Sundays). If you are new to this music world, please ask a knowledgeable person to help you decide on the artistes.
How do you get tickets for the shows?
At most venues, tickets can be bought at the counter. But it is advisable to buy them in advance for shows of top artistes. Sale of daily / season tickets start on December 1. Hardly any sabha offers online booking. Each has its own box office policy. Tickets range from Rs.150 to Rs.2000.
Are there any free concerts?
Some sabhas host concerts to which admission is free. You need to look up the daily newspapers ( The Hindu's adverts section is useful) to locate those. All lectures and talks are free and open to the public.
Where do we get information about the daily concerts?
'The Hindu', a leading daily English newspaper, carries adverts on all the leading concerts. As do other dailies. KutcheriBuzz also brings out a smart GuideBook which is out by Dec.5. Copies can be had from the office at 77, C P Ramaswamy Rd., Alwarpet, Chennai 60018. Call 044-24994599.
Can we meet leading artistes at the halls?
There are no formal face-to-face sessions with the artistes that are arranged at the halls. Rasikas like you have to be content with saying 'hello' backstage after a concert.
Is there special transport for this festival season?
The city does not run buses specially for the season. Autos are your best bet but the drivers often demand fancy fares. If you get a fair idea of the auto fare from hotel desks or friends, then you can convince the drivers to settle for them. Most festivals are held in the areas of Mylapore and T. Nagar / Mambalam.
Are there any cultural tours for groups?
We are not aware of tours of this nature. However, Kalakshetra, a renowned arts institution may be willing to arrange walk tours of its campus. Look out for adverts on heritage walks / documentary film screenings, etc. in the daily newspapers. KutcheriBuzz also posts details on fringe events on its website.
Which are the most suitable hotels to stay at? Any near concert venues?
Hotel Karpagam, Mylapore is the nook for artistes as well as guests. It is a simple, budget hotel, near the Sri Kapali Temple. Staying here will allow you to get a 'feel' of Mylapore life. And it it close to many sabhas. But it is tightly booked!
The better hotels in Mylapore zone are Savera, Woodlands and Maris. All these are close to the concert venues - book early since this is also the tourist season.
Is this a good time to also shop for Carnatic music albums?
A few mega sales of music albums are held at some locations in Chennai.
Sales are also on at stalls at some auditoria.
When does the dance fest at Mahabalipuram (Mammallapuram) commence?
This fest is hosted by the state-run Tourism Department at the seaside and heritage site of Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), some 54 kms from Chennai city. It normally begins in mid-December and ends in early January. Bharatanatyam, Kuchpudi, Odissi and Mohiniattam dances are presented every evening. The shows are ticketed and tickets can be bought at the venue. The setting is great and open air. If you plan to get back to the city, you can catch local buses or drive back. A bus trip takes about 90 minutes.