Last weekend, I found myself listening to some glitch-hop and sipping beer next to two artificial cricket pitches. There was also a mini-football field. Partying at clubs is passé, I’m guessing.This gig called Smash Up was held at a place called Smaaash. The sports venue’s target audience is obviously kids from affluent families, who don’t mind shelling out Rs. 500 to kick a football 10 times into a fake goal, so an automatic fake goalie can spring into action, literally, and save the fake game. In other news, Kamala Mills, where this arena is located, could well have solved Dharavi’s space issues. There is more parking space inside the compound than in all of Andheri.
Nonetheless, this bizarre venue works perfectly for gigs, with no noise constraints, space limitations and residences nearby. And this is just one of the many such ingenious venues that organisers have been seeking out for some time now. Mehboob Studio in Bandra hosted the Puma Loves Vinyl event a few months ago and still houses Live From The Console. The store, Vero Moda (for All Star Jam gigs), is the other venue that’s still active. With real estate prices driving almost every business decision (out of the city, mostly), this model has the potential to make everyone happy. The locations mentioned above double up as gig venues easily; and they aren’t the only ones that can be of a little extra use after hours...film theatres: It’s safe to give up the request for late-night shows. It’ll probably never happen. However, expecting more theatres to host live gigs isn’t asking for much. It’s already happening. Indian Ocean performed at IMAX in Wadala a few years ago. Light Surgeons brought the house down at Edward Theatre last year; as did, Loudest Day of the Year at Liberty.
With sound-proofing, seating and a stage in place, these are perfect venues. Sound studios: I attended a party at one of these years back. It went on all night, didn’t get busted and we didn’t wake the neighbours. The only issue in this case is the slight space limitation as most studios aren’t big. But then squeezing in has never been a deal-breaker for us local-train travellers. shopping Malls: If you’ve been to the humongous Phoenix Mills in Kurla, chances are this thought has struck your mind already. The mall will only benefit with the crowd; if the stores choose to remain open, that is. The event at Vero Moda, for instance, allows people to shop while they’re partying.
Parking lots: Arrange for some car music system aficionados, aka Delhi boys. Ask one of them to show off their woofers and ta-da, you have your very own The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift party underway. Imagining gigs at any of these locations a few years ago would’ve been tough. But going by the vengeance with which entrepreneurs are looking out for random venues and convincing their owners to lease them out, there’s only good news ahead.