Lack Of Quality Indoor Music Venues In India Remains A Problem!
After BlueFrog shut shops over a year ago, only a handful of venues either expanded or popped up in Mumbai providing a consistent boost to the city’s live engagements. Music continued to be the USP of these venues and stages were programmed considering the evolving music consumption on the live front. While lack of high-quality venues to promote the growth of the industry still remains.
These 5 Venues listed Below Gives Us All A Ray Of Hope:
The Stables, Mumbai
Among the few that gradually raised the volume of shows in 2017 schedule was the music venue The Stables Bar and Restaurant. A Peninsula Redpine entity, the rise in demand for The Stables among the emerging music community can be judged with its handsomely packed schedule. Singer-songwriter Vernon Norohna was one of the earliest performers in this venue. And the weekly gig nights increased to thrice a week. The credit goes to the venue for not compromising on sound, and great venues like antiSocial Khar may have a role in the much need emphasis of sound.
The Finch, Mumbai
Another Mumbai-based venue that has created a necessary buzz has been The Finch. Located in an otherwise deserted region of Mumbai, Andheri Powaii Road (in terms of live music venues), The Finch not only offers a fair quality and variety of gigs for the followers to choose from but explores an unexplored geography and a new market segment. From jazz to indie pop, the venue decorates its monthly calendar with musical cuisine that will satisfy every taste bud. The venue portrayed its serious intentions in the city’s market for live music when it hosted one of the most iconic Indian bands ever – Indian Ocean – in July this year. Not restricting itself to an identity revolving around a genre or culture, the venue quickly became a go-to place for a lot of emerging and established music acts.
The Quarter, Mumbai
One would wonder how the city never answered to the jazz enthusiasts’ plea for a proper hub featuring the genre’s domestic and international bests. The three-month-old live venue, situated in the heart of South Bombay, has replaced the popular ‘BlueFrog sound’ or so some do argue. The venue, co-founded by former BlueFrog honcho Ashu Pathak will also curate and program shows at its neighboring partner for live acts – Royal Opera House. The Quarter will associate with the recently renovated iconic stage for Artist In Residence efforts, one that featured Morocco based outfit Tinariwen. The band has already hosted young kids on the block like Kush Upadhyay Group, Rhythm Shaw and helped serenade loyal jazz enthusiasts with performances featuring legendary Louis Banks.
Flyp @ MTV, Mumbai
After opening its gates to live music enthusiasts in Delhi, the entity opened another venue in Mumbai towards the end of the year. With almost five dedicated nights per week, Flyp @ MTV, in three months, has quickly found itself in a strong position from the brands and promoters’ perspective. With nights revolving around themes like tribute gigs, singer-songwriters sessions, and electronica sets, the venue has carefully experimented with several genres before narrowing down to the current nature of programming.
Auro Bar and Kitchen, New Delhi
Established towards the end of 2016, Auro put itself on the maps towards the start of 2017. With aggressive programming and tying up with concepts and IPs, Delhi-based Auro Bar & Kitchen quickly rose to popularity in the music fraternity. Inclined a bit towards underground electronic music scene, the venue does not shy itself from programming bands that hold the potential to create a unique live music night. Delhi has seen its fair share of venues either reemerging or growing in 2017, and the Saint and Sinner can be another example of the same.
The Storyteller’s Bar, Pondicherry
With exciting partnerships involving Mumbai based artist agency Krunk and local entity Side-B, Pondicherry’s newest offering to live music The Storyteller’s Bar is the country’s new spot for spoken word artists, poets and musicians. Situated in the quaint, away from hush-bush nature that arrives with metropolitan cities, The Storyteller’s Bar enjoys the history, culture, and art that surrounds and incorporates Pondicherry and the resulting appreciators of the same living in this union territory. Co-founded by former BlueFrog head Simran Mulchandani, the venue will also entertain workshops, sessions, and performances. To reimagine a dedicated venue for live performances in that part of the country without leveling down on any aspect usually involved in a serious project, The Storyteller’s Bar will act as a much-needed option for musicians to consider while touring the country.
While the problem here remains, these are restricted to only two-three major metropolitan cities, which definately is a major limitation as well as an opportunity for entreprenuers and musicians to look out for.