Bengaluru Club Venue BFlat to Shut Next Month
Owing to increasing license and operation issues, the venue announced it will close its doors after 10 years
One of Bengaluru’s longest-running club venues, BFlat Bar in Indiranagar, announced yesterday that it would be shutting down on October 2nd, hinting at issues that arose out of the recent law enforcement drive that demanded venues to get new licenses for live and recorded music.
The venue, located on the bustling stretch of Indiranagar’s 100 Feet Road, has been in action since 2009 and only began celebrating a decade earlier this year. The closure of BFlat comes a year after another long-running venue in the city, Take5, closed down in August 2018 citing issues with the Karnataka government’s license laws. BFlat and its top-floor restaurant, BTDT, were run by singer-promoter Arati Rao-Shetty and husband Sunil Shetty. BFlat’s Whitefield outlet, housed in Brookefield Mall in suburban Bengaluru, also faced operational issues that led them to close down last year.
The venue said in a statement on Facebook, “We regretfully announce that bFLAT and BTDT Indiranagar, Bangalore’s first dedicated live performance venue and loved restaurant (former Highnote), and home to many music lovers and foodies, closes its doors, effective October 2nd, 2019, after 10 and a half years of supporting the Arts. Positioned as a platform to showcase, in particular the independent music scene, jazz and blues as well as stand-up comedy, bFLAT has become an iconic institution. A launch pad to many a musician and band, bFLAT has acquired a stellar reputation for its careful selection of music, great food and excellent acoustics.” They added, however, that they hope to “return to Bangalore in a new avatar.”
BFlat has hosted top Indian and international artists over time, ranging from jazz and blues (its mainstays), plus rock, electronic music and stand-up comedy. The outpouring of support from the country’s music community was almost immediate on social media. Shillong blues rock veterans Soulmate’s guitarist Rudy Wallang said in a comment, “I’m feeling really sad hearing about this… So many memories that we will forever cherish! Thank you Arati and Sunil for all the support and love you have given us all the years we played there. One of the best ‘live’ venues in India ever. It’s been an honor and a privilege.”
Chennai rock band Grey Shack’s guitarist Vikram Vivekanand added, “I’m really hoping that this is only temporary, but as it stands, I’m really sad to see one of the finest music venues in Bangalore close its doors. Played so many gigs there, and we really got to call it home.”
Bengaluru-based Kashmiri singer-songwriter Aabha Hanjura also took to Facebook to count it as a “personal loss.” She added online, “My most special gigs have happened in this beautiful venue. So many songs that were just ideas, have first been played here, so much of our music has been celebrated with joy and love by so many fans who’ve come back again and again for our shows here because the experience is unmatched, the band, all of us have always felt at home at Bflat and loved playing here! Thank you for the good times BFlat.”