antiSOCIAL Returns with New State of the Art Venue in Mumbai
After ceasing operations in Khar in 2017, the new venue finds its latest home in Lower Parel
Oh, how we’ve missed a large capacity music venue in Mumbai! While performance spaces such as Above The Habitat and Flea Bazaar Café have been doing their part to keep live music alive in the city and the closure of Hard Rock Café Worli last year, Blue Frog in 2016 and antiSOCIAL Khar in 2017, the maximum city has been without a dedicated location to hold big club gigs. Theater venues like the NCPA and Royal Opera House have hosted stellar gigs recently to fill that void, but it’s nothing compared to watching an in-your-face live band standing in the front row of a club venue.
Thankfully the wait is over with a new and improved antiSOCIAL replacing Todi Mill Social in Lower Parel. Business Head at Social, Mayank Bhatt says, “The idea of antiSOCIAL is to match the best warehouse parties around the world in terms of state of the art systems.” He adds, “Staying true to our ethos of creating collaborative experiences, our team has worked with some phenomenal companies to produce a superlative audio-visual experience: be it lighting design from Martin by Harman, or the very first Adamson live sound system in a club in India, with sound design by Munro Acoustics.”
The new space will be able to accommodate a nine or 10-piece band on stage and at full capacity can hold up to 500 people. Ask CEO and MD of Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Riyaaz Amlani why venues across Mumbai aren’t able to hold large outfits and he says, “As you’re aware, no standalone performance venue can remain just that. This is why most venues double up as restaurants.” He further says, “What makes us stand out is our focus on and support for the communities that keep all kinds of cultures and subcultures alive.”
Amlani also tells us that the now-defunct antiSOCIAL in Khar saw many experiments take place but that the venue was small and “outgrew the space it was confined to.” Speaking about the visual representation of the Lower Parel location, he says, “In terms of design, we go with the aesthetic of Hindustani grunge; we celebrate the Indian aesthetic without being kitschy.”
With regard to what kind of performances people can expect at antiSOCIAL, Bhatt explains that they intend to showcase the best in music and contemporary culture that India and the world have to offer. He says, “Whether it is the biggest stars in India or global superstars, performing at antiSOCIAL is a badge of honor because it is a space that fosters this community deeply.” Bhatt also tells us that one night a week the venue will put the spotlight on upcoming artists and give them a platform to showcase their talent.
The opening week at the new venue will feature performances by electronica artists Tarqeeb, Ox7gen, Zokhuma, Rafiki and Dreamstates on October 5th, veteran pianist Louiz Banks’ outfit The Louiz Banks Matrixx perform the following day, post-rockers Aswekeepsearching launch their new album ROOH on October 10th while Mumbai blues-rock band Blackstratblues hit the stage with their own album launch gig for their record When It’s Time on October 13th. “We’re also working with some of the most cutting edge agencies and artists pushing futuristic sounds, be it KRUNK, Mixtape, Slick!, Regenerate or Shark & Ink and many more to ensure antiSOCIAL becomes the de facto space for genre-bending events and performances,” says Bhatt.
During the day the venue will serve as a functioning restaurant and workspace. Bhatt says, “antiSOCIAL will be a home for creative communities who can use this space as their office, create content or just come hang out.” Ask Amlani if there are plans to expand the property to other cities in the country and he says, “We intend to take it to Pune later this year, followed by Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata. This will enable us to bring contemporary Indian culture to a nation-wide audience.”
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