Monday, January 16, 2006

10 pm deadline: concert killjoy

A concert featuring 19 artists - the who's who of Indipop. Plus Shaggy. The Big Idea: a 12 hour blast

Sadly, the 10 am to 10 pm concert organised by Channel [V] on Sunday, 15th January at the Andheri Sports Complex failed to rock Mumbai. Entry was free against college I cards but right until 4 pm there was a sparse audience of about 200.

After that, junta started coming in. But at the end of the day, a concert that had every artist from Euphoria to Jal to Kailash Kher, managed to draw not more than a crowd of 2000.

So what went wrong? Not enough publicity, for one. Plus, the heat played spoilsport. Braving the mid-day Mumbai sun, even in January, is not very pleasant. A similar show in Delhi would have made more sense.

Now had the concert been held from 6 PM to 6 AM it would have been a surefire hit. But sadly, that will never be. The powers that be would never allow it!

It's way past our national bedtime.

Sound of music - no more
On the one hand, the 10 pm ban on loudspeakers has had a positive fallout. The din during festivals like Ganpati has definitely decreased. Not all organisers comply, but the aam aadmi can then call up the police and ask them to put a stop to the racket. Usually, it works.

However, live concerts having to comply with a 10 pm deadline is absurd. It is medeival and misconceived.

If multiplexes can have movie shows at 11 pm, surely other forms of entertainment should not be curtailed either.

This is how one entrepreneur reportedly got around the problem in Surat during Navratri this year: He constructed an air-conditioned dome covering an area of 30,000 square feet for dancers to perform Garba.

"In keeping with the orders of the Supreme Court, which has banned playing of loud speakers after 10 pm, the dome will be sound proof. This will enable the dancers to dance for a longer time," said Nitin Talati, organiser of Navratri at the AC dome. The dome has a capacity for 7,000 dancers and 5,000 seats.

The sound-proof dome is said to have cost Rs 75 lakhs to construct. One such permanent structure is sorely needed in every major Indian city!

I know Rang Bhavan would not be the same without that open-air feel but since its death as a venue things haven't been the same. A sound-proof Rang Bhavan is better than no Rang Bhavan!

The enjoyment of music is a legitimate economic activity all over the world. Why should the new 'globalised' India be any different?

Update: This year visitors to the usually noisy Glastonbury music festival in the UK partied way past the deadline with wireless headphones. Mid-day asked assorted noise-makers - rockers, baraatis, clubbers - whether they'd be happy with such an alternative.

The answer so far: no. In fact last year a dandiya organiser in Borivili did switch off live music at 10 pm and offer junta a chance to continue swaying to the tune of headphones. 50% of the dancers hung up their sticks and left.

But who knows, we may yet overcome technophobia. And the day will come when dandiya lovers will shop for 'metching hedphons'!


  1. Wow! I think not many guys in our campus knew of any such concert! Never saw anyone attending concerts in daytime, at least in mumbai :|

    Guess a better way might be to ban pvt. noisy celebrations post 10pm but go ahead with PUBLIC celebrations like NY, garbas, etc. Cannot imagine no-garba-after-10 in at least gujurat :O Must have been a really pathetic situation :(

    Thankfully no one here on campus restricts us on 31st from having a candle-light booze on rooftop & rocking all the night ;-)

  2. hey, your death as a venue link leads nowhere.
    Nice post, made me miss Bombay crazy rules and all.

  3. I don't understand. Before the law came into place, I often used to hear people criticizing our governemnts for not banning the use of loud speakers. Now when a law is in place, you are asking for making some 'exceptions'. One has to realize that with every benefit, there is a tradeoff. You have to weigh between the two and make your choice.

  4. kind of agree with Ankush here. rock shows (which I enjoy immensely) are as much a problem for some residents as the music(?) in Ganesh festivals is for others. how does banning both become absurd? or is the former legit because it's essentially the upper-middle-class educated people who enjoy it, unlike the bastiwallahs who enjoy the latter? If nothing else, one must commend the government for the fairness -- if it comes to popular votes, rock shows won't stand a chance anyways, but the every-other-day-festival-music will have lots and lots of takers. so think twice before you wish anything ;-).


  5. Its good the Supreme Court has banned the use of loudspeakers after 10 PM. In fact, they should have banned it totally. If you have to go for wild party, go to a private place. You have absolutely no right to disturb others.

  6. Even Bangalore has same kind of restriciton. For event like Bangalore Habba, there was no restriction. For the records it was organised with government support. BUt there was no relaxation to 10 pm rule. Some days they allowed music and functions to go till 10:30 but that too with lots of fuss. And one important point was that it was happening in mid of Bangalore Palace, so problem of disturbance to residents of area was literally absent. But still they had to shut the show by 10:30..

  7. Rashmi,
    There needs to be some regulated ban, or else, our people will misuse freedom. We don't need medians in roads if people properly follow rules and not cross yellow lines. They are constructing medians spending so many crores just for the reason that our people are not disciplined. Many more examples like this point out to our people's indisciplined naturs. So, if given a chance, they will play loudspeakers through midnight and I guess that is why the SC made 10 PM deadline keeping in mind that 10 PM for our people means a well after 10, till midnight too! Chastise Indians, not our laws!!

  8. Rashmi,

    Kinda agree with some the comments posted above. If you like the rule for Ganesh Visarjan, then the same will be applicable for rock shows/music shows.

    A major fallout of the ban on Rang Bhavan was that classical music shows were also banned. I mean, when was classical music a noise for ears but then the government implemented the ban.

    I dont agree with the 10 pm deadline for Dandiya or for music shows. A particular place should be reserved for music shows and other such fun activities. And the government also can open biddings from private organisers during Navratri celebrations for the use of such spaces. This will earn some revenue too!!!

    And as one mate said, what we need is a change in mentality...

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  10. If multiplexes can have movie shows at 11 pm, surely other forms of entertainment should not be curtailed either.

    I dont agree with this. The reason to put ban on loudspeaker in public places after 10PM is because they disturb people living in the neighbourhood. But sound from multiplexes dont disturb anyone so no point in banning them. So there is no one to one correlation between multiplexes and Navratri celebration or for that matter anything that is public celebration.

  11. I think the [V] concert failed to rock Mumbai because... I think no one can get ready to rock before 8 p.m. and hey!! That's when the concert got over!!

    Besides, it was probably Shaggy... I mean, who's gonna listen to his unpronouncable and unintellegible lyrics?? (personally speaking, the only bit of Shaggy's lyric that I understood was "it was'nt me") And that too at a time when nightlife has'nt even begun for Mumbaiyyas. So I guess, it was pretty much lame.


  12. 10am to 10pm would never have worked, even in Delhi. At the Youth Nexus, last month, most people turned up only after 5:30pm. In fact, all other gigs/concerts have begun after 7:30pm.

    Fortunately, most concerts in Delhi are not in residential colonies, though there are parties in parks with people singing 'Happy Birthday to you' for the entire neighbourhood (heh).

    What is alarming is the time the police helpdesk takes to pick up the phone. What if it was an emergency?

  13. what was the event committee thinking while deciding the date of the concert.jan 15 same date that of mumbai marathon.
    i had been to mumbai marathon though i did not participate i was tired myself after running behind abhishekh is it possible then to run to andheri the same day and shake my ass for shaggy.

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