Growing up listening to mainstream pop music, my ultimate dream was to attend a huge concert with lighting design, smoke machines and choreographed routines amid a sea of other crazed fans. But as my musical taste changed and I grew older, I started seeking a much different live music experience. With the popular options varying between loud electronic music in clubs or talented artists not receiving the attention they deserve in pubs, there was a need a for a middle ground. In order to ensure a better live music experience, a lot of people are deliberately making the decision to go beyond the conventional, to create gigs that are more wholesome.
In celebration of World Music Day on 21st June, we look at some of the companies organizing house concerts around the nation. These intimate musical events are organised in private homes or in unconventional venues for the purpose of coming together, meeting new people and of course, listening to music straight from the artist.
Started in 2014 in Delhi, House Concerts have been consistently organizing intimate art events ranging from musical sets, jazz nights, poetry recitals, Bharathanatyam performances and theater acts, depending on the location. After organizing a number of successful events in Delhi, they have also started to do events in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Goa and more. The format of the event and the number of audience are customized to give the best experience for the host, the talents and the audience.
Organised by the Indie art label Workerbee, Homebound started off in Chandigarh as a music festival and currently their Sit Down Sessions are being organised in Chandigarh as well as in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. By hosting performances in venues that keep the sense of intimacy alive, they hope to lessen the boundary between the artist and the audience.
Meeting people and partying beyond pubs and usual spaces, BeatMap, founded by the performing arts collective Kommune, organizes house parties that feature musicians and storytellers. Being called an offline social media, they bring together a number of curated guests for their parties from a variety of backgrounds and interests, and is usually set in private homes or interesting venues. The events are usually a BYOB deal (depending on the host) and gives space for all those involved to make conversation and probably make a few new friends by the time they leave.
IV. Sofar Sounds
Perhaps the forerunner of intimate gigs, Sofar, short for Songs From A Room, started off in London in 2009 and now organises events all around the world. In India as well, Sofar has organised gigs in around 13 cities, in different types of venues – from houses to studios and even museums. The tickets are usually available on a first come first serve basis where one can register, sometimes with a +1 and then wait for a confirmation. The venue and artist is only revealed close to the event, keeping the audience intrigued till the last minute.
In addition to these, there are many other local ventures organizing intimate gigs, even in smaller towns of India, promoting independent art and music in their own ways. If you know of more such ventures with their own interesting takes on how to promote art, do let us know.
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