The Sherp takes a look at some of the best off-beat and compact venues for live music in and around India!
Gone are the days when everyone’s source of live music used to be huge concerts in grounds and stadiums. Off-late, organisers all over the country have realised the need for newer and fresher ideas for venues that host live music and other creative acts. This has resulted in some really amazing options popping up all over the country for people to attend, chill and have a nice time with their friends. With time, people’s idea of consuming music has changed. Everyone prefers a more intimate and closed event where immersing yourself in the art is way more easier and fun.
We take a look at some of the best venues all around the country for live music!
1. antiSOCIAL, Mumbai
The country isn’t a stranger to the blowup success of the Social line of bars and pubs. But Khar Social in Mumbai, pushed the tab a little ahead by opening up an underground venue under their bar and aptly naming it ‘antiSOCIAL‘. Over the past few months, the venue has seen some of the most diverse and happening activities take place under their roof. The venue’s USP lies in the fact that there are no categorisations made as to what can be hosted there. You can expect to find anything from rock, dubstep, hip-hop performances to something as diverse as book readings, comedy jams and film screenings. The prices are always kept affordable between INR 300-500. With a capacity of over 300 people, you can be assured that you will find your jam here one day or the other and meet some new faces while you’re at it!
2. The Hive, Mumbai
The Hive, Bandra originated as a brainchild of Sudeip Nair. The venue, which is a tiny and cosy one room office flat in Bandra, started out as a commonplace for budding stand up comedians to come and try out their material with passionate audiences. Since then, the place has seen a huge increase in people interested in the kind of events the venue hosts. Now, they host almost 25 separately curated events on the weekends alone which is quite a feat! You can find events like improv shows, musical acts, slam poetry, flea markets and many more at this culture hub!
3. The Bandra Base, Mumbai
Meghna Ghai Puri, who happens to be the daughter of veteran film maker Subhash Ghai, recognised the need for an individual space for jazz music coupled with other art forms. Dee Wood, who is an American-based musician, settled in India long back because of his love for this country. Meghna Puri and Dee Wood joined forces with Whistling Woods International to create the one room apartment in Bandra into a niche venue for people to come, sit on the floor and get lost in the musical realms. They’ve been hosting weekend acts like jazz nights, comedy shows, art-pop festivals and short-story nights for quite some time. The crowd that turns up for the jazz nights has a more elderly charm with people trying to get their fix of the lost art.
4. The Den, Mumbai
The Den, though originally started out as a quaint little bar in the bylanes of Bandra, Reji Ravindran started a weekly micro party called “Mixtape Wednesdays” which saw people turn up for local DJ’s spinning some old-school vinyls. The parties got a lot of word of mouth publicity quickly and became one of the to-go events every week. The USP of the place being, anyone can play a two hour set and you get to be the host for the evening! What more could you ask for? Head over to The Den on a Wednesday to see some local and fresh talent set the house on fire!
5. Tuning Fork, Mumbai
Want a venue that’s super intimate, cozy and always flowing with creative minds? Well, that just happens to be The Tuning Fork’s USP! Located in Khar, in a somewhat shady by lane, the minute you step into the place, you are greeted with a small stage with perfect lighting and a cafe where you can munch on the best of food and drinks. You can expect to be treated with a variety of curated shows and events like poetry slam which happens to be their most popular event, indie music nights and comedy shows. The seating capacity being only 40 seats makes it all the more close and interactive for anyone who wants to try out their new material in front of a supportive audience!
6. The High Spirits Cafe, Pune
Back in 2006, when Khodu Irani got the idea of opening up a space dedicated to youngsters and hosting the best of the best in the local music scene, little did he know that The High Spirits Cafe would turn into what it is today. Over the years, the crowd at the High has some incredible loyal affection towards the venue. Being a student city, the place struck a chord with all the teenagers and people who wanted a different take on the music being served up. The place has the perfect vibe to just grab a beer and sit back and relax. To top it all of, they’ve been getting the best reviews from food critics and lifestyle blogs since almost forever. That’s one more feather in their cap!
7. The Humming Tree, Bengaluru
Time to head down south to see some of the music venues there! The Humming Tree in Bengaluru opened back in 2013 when the city was just witnessing the music scene boom. They’ve been the go-to place in Bengaluru for the new as well as established acts to put up some of the best performances of their craft. The venue boasts of having hosted some of the biggest local as well as international artists over the past three years. The Tree sees an eclectic crowd with refined music tastes show up at their monthly events. You can get your fix of alt-rock to dance music at this place!
8. BPM, Hyderabad
Set in the bustling area of Gachibowli, Hyderabad, Beats Per Minute or BPM, is a one-of-a kind open dance music venue. BPM launched this year in the month of May with a banger of a launch party which had artists like Dualist Inquiry, Sartek and The Elekrovertz. The venue boasts of a state-of-the-art music system paired with mesmerising sound controlled light fixtures which turn the entire experience into an audio-visual treat. The open air venue gives you a beautiful view of the hills and will definitely make you dance the night away.