Liquor ban on highways hits live bands across the city hard

Liquor ban on highways hits live bands across the city hard

Liquor ban on highways hits  live bands across the city hard
The highway liquor ban which came into effect on July 1 has affected not only bars and tipplers across the city but also musicians and bands.

Bengaluru, known as the Pub Capital of India, plays host to a number of bands and independent musicians.

With most pubs and clubs in the city unable to serve alcohol, the live music industry has taken a big hit. Weekends always meant packed houses, with people swarming in to see their favourite bands perform and downing a couple of pints.

Debjeet Basu, of Perfect Strangers, a Bengaluru-based band, says watering holes are unwilling to hire bands because they are not getting enough revenue while other places are almost unaccessible.

“First of all, there are limited venues that have bands. With the ban in full effect, most establishments are not getting as much revenue as before. People coming to listen to bands want to have a good time and drink.”

Most places which used to serve alcohol and have live bands performances are on MG Road, Church Street and the surroundings. With Church Street being dug up for TenderSURE work, it is extremely hard to find a parking spot.

“We performed at Blue Frog a couple of weeks ago and there was a drastic fall in footfall. This can also be because of the condition of Church Street where there is no place to park. So, basically it’s the double whammy of the ban and the condition of Church Street,” Basu said.

1 Fret Away, a Bengaluru-based alternative rock band, has been facing the same problems, with venues in MG Road and elsewhere in the CBD reluctant to have band performances.

Harshit Hegde, manager, 1 Fret Away, said the ban was an enormous loss for new and upcoming bands that were trying to find a footing. Other bands like Indi  G­r­a­ff­­iti are still optimistic about the music scene in Bengaluru.

Bharat, vocalist and guitarist of Indi Graffiti, said the ban had affected quite a few venues across the city, but bands should still try bringing in audiences with their own music.

“Surely, the ban has affected the city and it is true people like to drink during such shows, but I feel there is enough power in music

to draw audiences in, despite the ban. We, as a band, will play at any opportunity we get because we want to share

our music with people. When such problems come up, all we can do is to try and circumvent them somehow,” Bharat said.
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