'Fun' not at other's cost

Unpardonable behaviour

'Fun' not at other's cost

For a City that’s always been seen as the rock capital of India, it should be a matter of pride to be tagged as one of the best places in the country for Electronic Dance Music (EDM).

From hosting ‘Swedish House Mafia’ and ‘Above and Beyond’ to DJs like Hardwell and Tiesto, Bangalore seemed to be working well within its 10 pm deadline and changing the perception about its otherwise dull nightlife. Given the number of international acts that have performed here of late, the trend ought to have been
uplifting. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. What goes on at such concerts extends beyond music.

The kind of crowd that shows up may not be the fault of the organisers, whose job is to promote the event, sell tickets to anyone interested and pay the performer. But there is no justifying underage drinking, spilling drinks on people, falling over strangers, passing comments and general lack of civic sense that is often seen when concert-goers get into their ‘party mode’.

Aman Mehra, who has attended many EDM concerts in the City, believes that such concerts are worth attending to witness good music and enjoy with friends. “Unlike a rock concert, an EDM concert is all about dancing and physical energy. It’s meant to be an occasion to remember with your friends. It’s fun to get a little high and unwind. But it’s important to make sure that you stick to your own group of friends,” he says.

He admits that on several occasions, he has felt protective about his friends seeing the crowd. “Since there are such large numbers of people involved, it tends to get over-crowded. Taking advantage of the chaos and making a move on strangers or generally misbehaving is disgusting. It’s meant to be a reason to celebrate and people should dance and have fun. At the same time, they have to make sure that they’re not making someone else regret for being there,” adds Aman.

Women, in particular, are usually the subjects of improper behaviour. “Even if people don’t have the wrong intention, it’s not cool to have drinks spilled on you or random men bumping into you ‘by mistake’. That is something that I’ve experienced at a lot of events, including rock concerts and EDM parties. It’s always fun if you’re with people you trust but I prefer being responsible for my own safety,” opines Megha Bisaria, a professional.
The constant threat of being groped, manhandled and pushed around is something that Kirsten Raymond has also observed.

“These concerts attract a largely elite section of the City. But with it come those whose sole attraction is the eye candy. I’ve had several female friends who have had not one but several instances of being subject to lechery
and it isn’t always apparent who the perpetrator is,” says Kirsten, adding that these
occurrences aren’t limited to Bangalore.

According to him, the solution is to not let the incident pass. “It’s our right to dress the way we want. My advice, based on friends’ experiences, is to always confront the culprit. In the long run, a conscious effort to be on guard and willingness to face these perverts will be more of a deterrent than a reactive solution. As a regular to these concerts, I can guarantee that you will not be left alone,” he wraps up.

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