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A New Venue Opens Its Doors in Vadodara This Week

The Alembic City Art District also boasts art studios, an exhibition space, a museum, restaurants and a skate park

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Anurag Tagat Nov 11, 2019

The amphitheater area of Alembic City Art District, Vadodara. Photo: Courtesy of Alembic City

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While we’ve seen Ahmedabad’s alternative music circuit in Gujarat take some shape, rise and diminish over the years – with event promoters such as Fangirl and previously, Metalabad – Vadodara hasn’t got as much of a spotlight shone.

The home of artists such as rock band Manefus, singer-songwriter Shashwat Bulusu and prog metallers Tailored Haven and more, there’s been a steady demand for live music in Vadodara according to gig promoter Saloni Adeshra. Previously part of the team that put together the Big Squat Festival in Ahmedabad in 2018, the 22-year-old is now co-curating monthly gigs at Vadodara’s latest space, Alembic City Art District.

Set up by Alembic Pharmaceuticals and Alembic Real Estate – the property company’s managing director Udit Amin is an electronic music producer himself – this new venue is a repurposed factory originally set up in 1907. With spaces such as The Distillery, Amphitheater, Museum Square and the Courtyard, Amin and the team have been programming artists such as Bengali ethno-punk artist Tritha Sinha (with fusion artist Martin Dubois), Bengaluru folk artist Vasu Dixit, New Delhi singer-songwriter Sanjeeta Bhattacharya and Ahmedabad singer-songwriter Meera Desai since early this year.

The Distillery

The Distillery venue, which can house 300 people, at Alembic City Art District, Vadodara. Photo: Courtesy of Alembic City

Surprisingly, Adeshra says the lack of alcohol sale in Gujarat is a boon. She adds, “What many artists love about performing in Gujarat is that the audience is very attentive and they come to the gig only to listen to the artists. For an average gig in Baroda, we would typically have 250 to 300 people come.” Non-reliant on food and beverage sales, Alembic City Art District shows are currently supported by the parent company, who Adeshra says are keen on supporting the arts, including independent music. Alembic City Art District will also host art exhibitions, galleries and houses a skate park, museum and restaurants.

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The first of the top line performers at The Distillery include New Delhi producer-singer Lifafa aka Suryakant Sawhney, who will perform on November 16th. Adeshra says about the choice, “We are very careful in curating acts that appeal to the audience in Gujarat and we want to slowly take them across genres.” There will be a focus on electronic music producers to start with for Alembic City Art District gigs, followed by artists across genres. A big advantage for event promoters is an in-house sound system all set up and ready for use. Adeshra adds, “The most important thing here is that now we have an ecosystem in place that can facilitate the growth of indie music in Gujarat. We have good recording and production studios, promoters, artist managers and now we have a venue with a sound system.”

Lifafa performs at The Distillery, Alembic City Art District on November 16th. Event details here.

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