Combining equal parts of nostalgic celebration and contemporary entertainment, the 17-week long bandstand cultural revival performance series ended on Saturday with a grand finale at the Hanging Gardens bandstand.
The evening’s musical line-up included local groups Tough on Tobacco, Ankur Tewari and the Ghalat Family, Something Relevant and Pune-based Lambada along with the Maharashtra police band.
The bandstand culture revival venture, an initiative of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) along with the Bombay Elektrik Project (BEP), an initiative
that promotes artists, began with the impulse of bringing back a 200-year-old culture of playing music in the city’s traditional bandstand locations.
“Earlier there used to be a culture of free, public performances which we are trying to bring back for the middle classes,” said Kavita Sharma, joint director of the BCCI. “Not everyone can afford to go to malls, pubs and theatres.”
Drawing in a motley crowd of collegians and senior citizens, Hanging Gardens was abuzz with energy on Saturday evening.
The city originally had 10 bandstands, but many of these are now silence zones.
The one at Dadar is under renovation and the eponymous Bandra one was deemed too small for the performances.
While the rock bands played their own compositions, the police band combined Bollywood numbers with choir favourites, among others.
There was also a sequence featuring Something Relevant and the police band jamming together.
“We wanted to both recreate the band culture and get the youth involved, which is why we had got together so many young bands,” said Sushil Verghese, head, strategy and operations at BEP.
They hope to put together another series of such performances later this year.