Any musician who is part of a band would admit that there is no bigger high than touring together and performing shows across the country. And several bands are now getting an opportunity to do so. Here’s a look at factors that are helping them realise this dream.
More gig venues
With five outlets, Hard Rock Café is one of the most popular performance venues for bands. Blue Frog, Mumbai, has been one of the pioneers of hosting tour gigs. They recently opened a branch in Delhi. Emmanuelle de Decker, programming head, Blue Frog, feels it isn’t just the number of venues that is helping bands tour. “Venues like ours provide a great acoustic environment which is conducive to good performances. And the future of independent lies in live shows,” she says. Last month, the music hub hosted a multi-city concert tour for Sridhar/Thayil’s album launch. “We are planning something for Indus Creed in the coming months,” she says.
Tours could be extremely expensive, but with sponsors supporting bands, things do look promising. In the past, certain liquor brands associated themselves with live gigs, and today, other brands are doing the same given that they get visibility.
The Delhi-Lucknow-Mumbai leg of the Swarathma tour was sponsored by youth channel Bindass. Says Kunal Mukherjee, director, marketing, UTV and Bindass networks, “We support upcoming bands who we believe will make it big in the future.” The band will also compose an anthem for the channel based on their travelling experiences.
The entry into tier-two cities is another new trend. Last year, besides playing at Delhi and Gurgaon, city rock outfit Overhung also performed at places like Mathura — very unlikely destinations.
“It was great to be playing to a fresh, new audience that hadn’t listened to our music before,” says guitarist Howard Pereira. During their ongoing tour, Swarathma is also playing to an all-new audience in Howrah, Lucknow and Mysore. “As a folk-rock band, we connect with people in the smaller cities as they understand our style. Also, expanding our reach is good for us.”