Gear Up for Mumbai’s First Socially Distanced Gig Featuring Vernon Noronha and Bryan ‘The Man’ Ernest This Weekend
The show takes place at the city’s Boho Pad in Santacruz, organized by HivePad
Before the lockdown, Mumbai gig and culture curators HivePad used to organize events practically every weekend. However, just like everything else in the world, it had to come to an abrupt halt due to the pandemic. Last month, while certain restrictions were being lifted and some sort of normalcy resumed, they began to put out feelers to see if people would be interested in attending a socially distanced gig. HivePad’s Rishi Shah says, “There was still a lot of skepticism.”
When the Maharashtra government officially allowed restaurants to open at 50 percent capacity recently, Shah and his team felt that the time was right to plot a gig away from a screen. After much planning and making sure that they adhere to all safety measures, Mumbai is all set to experience it’s first live music gig in seven months courtesy of HivePad’s Autumn Acoustics at The Boho Pad in Santacruz on October 24th, featuring singer-songwriters Vernon Noronha and Bryan “The Man” Ernest.
On the protocols in place to organize a gig in this climate, HivePad is starting small with only about 15 people allowed to attend apart from their own crew and the artists. Shah says, “There will be temperature checks, six feet distance, sanitization of the area and people entering the venue before and after the gig.” Since capacity is limited, the organizers are also going to stream the event live online.
The folks at HivePad also made sure that the artists they program were Mumbai-based ones and were also able to commute to the venue easily. “We didn’t want a two or three-piece setup. So, we were quite excited when Bryan and Vernon both agreed on coming on board for the gig,” says Shah. With the abundance of online content broadcast over the last seven months, the organizer says, “There’s too much happening on a screen and everyone is craving a non-virtual entertainment alternative now. No content can replace attending a gig in person, even though it’s with a smaller number of co-attendees.”
From a performers’ point of view, Noronha says, “As an artist playing gigs throughout the year I’ve been longing to hear an applause since March. The energy you get from playing to an audience in a room full of listeners is unmatchable online.” The singer-songwriter has found the entire digital experience to be quite “weird” and is looking forward to interacting with folks. He says, “I’ll be able to see expressions from people.”
HivePad’s aim is to get back to organizing on-ground gigs and cultural events every weekend by the end of the year. But for now, Shah is looking forward to live music’s comeback in Mumbai. He says, “People can expect the urge to tap their feet, clap their hands, maybe dance a little and go back home with a wide smile because that’s the feeling we personally also get post every gig.”