The Supreme Court last week upheld the constitutionality of the order passed under the Karnataka Police Act, that directed all places of public entertainment to obtain licences from the police. This has created a flutter among restaurateurs, musicians and regulars at live band performances in the city.
Since most live bands draw a huge gathering, the directive was passed to control, regulate and supervise the crowd to ensure public safety.
While restaurant owners say that obtaining various licences is indeed a cumbersome process, musicians feel that this latest order may prompt a lot of restaurants to cut down on the number of live band performance because of the increased cost and chances of the same being reflected in ticket prices.
A restaurateur, who didn't want to be named, says that getting such licences is a long-drawn process. "Restaurant owners have to obtain so many licences and none of them are easy to get. Live performances are not a regular and critical part of our business, so I don't think we have much to worry about. But this rule will now leave music bands with fewer venues and even fewer options. The cost involved in procuring the licence will also indirectly impact the ticket pricing which will also influence a regular concert-goer's decision to attend such performances," he says.
Commenting on the same is another restaurant owner in Indiranagar. He says that this order could affect the smaller venues hosting gigs. "Live bands are a value addition to the smaller venues and this could affect their revenue. They may be prompted to reduce the number of gigs which could limit the options for musicians and concert-goers," says the owner.
The music community in the city have also raised concerns. Bruce Lee Mani, singer and guitarist with 'Thermal And A Quarter', feels this latest directive could dampen the spirit of those who regularly attend live band performances and may have an effect on the number of gigs in the city as well.
"I don't think people would be happy if the tickets begin to cost more than they already do. If the gigs reduce, then it is unfortunate for the music bands in the city," he says.
Sharing an organiser and musician's perspective, Vineeth Vincent says "I think that legitimate rules and regulations for live events need to be put in place. We need to look at the safety angle and the noise level in residential areas need to be kept in check. We are a massive population and while we expand, we need to make sure that we don't curb another person's freedom while we try and express our own. So we all need to meet at a mid-point. If the laws are legitimate and sensible, we should give them some consideration."
A regular concert-goer and a musician, Jonas Monteiro says "As a musician who believes in performing original pieces, I will have fewer venues because most restaurants that promote live band performances may opt to cut down on the shows. And from a concert-goer's point of view, I don't want to be limited to fewer venues. We now have a wide choice and I would like it to remain that way," says Jonas.