Moral policing affects live gigs

Jun 17, 2012, 09:14 IST | Urvashi Seth

City musicians call Mumbai a dull city as pubs, lounges cancel live performances

Following the entertainment tax that came into effect in 2011, ACP Vasant Dhoble’s moral policing is the final nail in the coffin, say live musicians in Mumbai.

Fearing a raid, many nightclubs in Mumbai are cancelling live and electronic gigs in the past one month.

“With the early shutdown, overpriced alcohol, strict checking for drunken driving and the need for excise permits, people have turned to house parties. This second blow will hit many more live artistes,” said Savio D’Sa, vice president, Disc Jockey Federation Of India (MCTS).

Musicians in the city are a worried lot. Ernest Flagnan, a pianist from Girgaum, said, “The only way live music can survive if this city is if musicians form bands and perform in gardens and parks, instead of pubs.”

According to Nikhil Peirra, a disc jockey, the recent raids have affected his income. “With Mumbai police charging most of the pubs for overcrowding, many owners have decided to just operate as a permit room or a restaurant. For people who are organising house parties, recorded music is replacing the need for a DJ,” he said. 

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