Mumbai was once the hotbed for big-ticket concerts. Old timers will remember the heady Michael Jackson show in the 1990s. There were many star acts before and after that red-letter day.
But what happened in the 2000s, and later? Madonna, U2, Coldplay, Katy Perry or Lady Gaga — none of them have performed in Mumbai. With a truckload of permissions and licenses that ensues with getting down any popular act to perform in the city, the music lover is left stranded. Most organisers prefer heading to Delhi, Bengaluru or the North East. Cut down on permissions, hefty entertainment taxes and red tapism that act as spoilsport. It’s high time the city’s music-loving junta be given their due with a groovy artiste line-up.
A separate area comprising a night bazaar with pop-ups and gigs will give the city’s nightlife a whole new lease of life. This could also be a platform for many local artists who come from different parts of India to showcase various world-class acts, like they do on various talent hunts on television.
The idea is to have a good time and not at the cost of someone else. After the recent case of drunk driving that took place on Mumbai’s Eastern Freeway, maybe, drivers-for-hire and cab services should be made compulsory for everyone going to a club. The police today are doing a good job of the nakabandis and this might just be able to take some load off them.
Though it is common belief that Mumbai is one of the safer cities in India, where girls can go out alone even at an odd hour, that sense of security has reduced over the last decade. Security and safety is most important when it comes to nightlife. Safety for women who are going to pubs on their own or with a bunch of other girls can be ensured by staff who are approachable and help with transport problems. Also, private taxi services need to be more alert and vigilant about their drivers. An increase in the number of women drivers in these companies would help.
The recent concert by Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren saw thousands of Mumbaikars flock to the NSCI grounds in Worli. But post the show, most people were stranded on the roads as cabs refused to ferry people. The cops seemed helpless too. Mumbai has always been proud of its public transport, which makes it different from many other cities where people are restricted if they do not have their own vehicles. With autorickshaw and taxi fares on the rise, their attitude towards commuters must change. A stricter approach from the traffic police might help facilitate this.
A closing shot from the Armin van Buuren concert in Mumbai. PIC COURTESY/Fashionmostwanted.com
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