Late birds are singing

Night's young

Late birds are singing

The metaphorical ‘calm before the storm’ may have lulled the City’s party-goers to sleep early last weekend with pubs and eateries shutting down at 11.30 pm.

The disappointment was how it used to be before the extended 1 am deadline came into place on March 1 as a three-month trial run. But the final verdict, as of Sunday, is that the party won’t stop till 1 am!

Raghavendra H Auradkar, commissioner of police, says that he has already issued the orders to keep eateries open till 1 am on all weekdays. “As per the law, the extension of time for bars, restaurants and pubs has to come from the excise commissioner, who is the competent authority. As far as eateries are concerned, I’ve issued orders for them to stay open till 1 am for a year through the week. These are eateries included under the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments Act. However, bars, restaurants and pubs will stay open till 1 am only on Fridays and Saturdays,” he states.

Karnataka Excise Commissioner Shambhu Dayal Meena was unable for comment. However, his PA says that while the proposal for the nightlife extension has been sent to the government, the approval is still pending. “There was a meeting with chief secretary Kaushik Mukherjee where this issue was raised. However, there are no proceedings yet,” he declares.

For people with a social life or who enjoy attending events around the City, be it music, dance, theatre etc, this comes as very good news. Regulars of the music scene, for instance, say that they saw this coming and are eager to see how it plays out. Sunil Abraham, a regular concert-goer, says, “It’s about time that the City grew up to have its nightlife till 1 am at least on weekends. People have to let their hair down, especially the youngsters. I’m hoping that this move will give Bangalore its ‘international’ status back.”

Varun Murali, guitarist for City-based folk rock band Swarathma, says that while this obviously means more time for music, there are other implications too. “There’s more music and it’ll be safer with more people out on the roads till late. However, this also means that there will be more alcohol consumption, which might lead to untoward incidents. As much as there’s good to this move, there’s bad too. Everything depends on how we handle it,” he opines. 

This will affect the comedy scene in Bangalore too, says comedian Sundeep Rao. “If shows start later, it gives working people a chance to catch them, especially on weekdays. A lot of people like going out on week nights unlike earlier, where Wednesday and weekends were designated days to drink. So there might be a few early birds who don’t like getting out late but a good number of people will make an effort, stay out and enjoy. A show that would have earlier ended at 10 pm will now end at 11.30 pm if not earlier,” he notes.

Shanthi, who frequents different cultural events, adds, “It seems like the government has finally manned up to the task of allowing Bangalore to have the nightlife it deserves. Safety and public transport are matters of concern but it shouldn’t prevent the authorities from doing their job.”

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