Concerts in your living room

Concerts in your living room

Imagine sitting in your own living room with your favourite artiste strumming away on his guitar to that song you love, just a few feet away from you, without the usual buzz of an indifferent crowd. Seems almost too good to be true. Well, not anymore.

A few people have taken it upon themselves to reinvent the concert experience and change the game for both the artiste and the audience. Such platforms have started popping up across the city and have slowly led to growing communities of like-minded people, dedicated to the art.

From arranging a small concert at home for a birthday to stepping into a stranger’s living room for a dance recital, there are a number of ways one can partake in the festivities.

Communities and organisations like ‘SoFar Sounds’, ‘Chipili’, ‘Beatmap’ and the ‘Living Room Kutcheri’, are a few among the many striving to do the same.

Gurupriya Atreya, founder of the ‘Living Room Kutcheri’ and a musician herself, holds concerts once a month in her own living room to small crowds that tend to appreciate the performance more.

“When we as artistes perform at smaller gatherings, there is no barrier between the audience and the performer, hence keeping the whole interaction, seamless.”

Irfan Khan, co-founder of ‘Chipili’ goes on to state, “More often than not, people go out to a pub or bar to have a good time rather than pay attention to the music. With all this amazing talent out there, no one’s really listening, hence leading to that talent getting lost. Performers don’t get the platform they deserve”.

While the sessions for the ‘Living Room Kutcheri’ happen on a monthly basis at the founder’s own home, performances can be booked ahead of time for different events and venues with ‘Chipili’.“ We match the talent according to what people want to listen to, at their convenience,” adds Irfan.

Are people warming up to the idea of having strangers come to their homes to perform? “We’ve learnt that ‘chai’ and biscuits are great ice-breakers”, quips Atreya. She goes on to add that though people may be hesitant at first, they do come in numbers because it’s not just any other activity.

“You know you’re going to somebody’s home, hence it’s inevitable that there will be some sort of interaction.”

Hari Sankar, co-founder of ‘Beatmap’, a sort of Airbnb for performance artistes, says, “It’s not your traditional concert space. It’s a gathering, a creation of a community of like-minded people. Art is a necessary part of it, but it is not taken over by it. Conversations mingle with the performances and after a while, everybody is comfortable around each other.”

In all fairness, the idea of holding events at home and in other such intimate settings have always been a part of our history and culture.

Atreya states that the idea itself existed centuries ago through the concept of Chamber concerts. “I, myself, grew up in a home where we would hold concerts organised by my mother, during festivals. This is just an extension of that”. Khan, too, believes that the concept is not alien with regard to the Indian context.

“Though people are quite apprehensive with the idea of having strangers come to your home, the fact of the matter is that we’ve been doing this for centuries. Funerals, weddings, births, we’ve had entertainers for all sorts of important events in our lives. We just want to bring this concept to the mainstream”.

While many of these events are crowd funded and are held on a monthly or weekly basis, some of them can be pre-booked. All the information can be found on their respective Facebook pages.

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