BENGALURU: Owners of pubs and restaurants in the city are an apprehensive lot nowadays. With the city police bringing in stringent rules under the Licensing and Controlling Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore city) Order, 2005, the city’s most popular music and performance venues are shutting down.
Already watering holes like Humming Tree, bFLAT and Monkey Bar have downed their shutters as they were unable to procure the public entertainment licence.
Many of the owners said they have been losing out on venues to play music which in turn has affected their livelihood. They feel that the strict rules will sound the death knell for the pub and restaurant business in the city.
In September, Humming Tree shut down, followed by bFLAT in October and Monkey Bar, the city’s first gastro bar, in November 24.
An employee of a pub which recently shut down said the livelihood of employees of these pubs were at stake. Many of them, according to him, may end up doing the wrong things.
“The Bengaluru Police Commissioner thinks they can cut down crime, curb noise pollution etc by closing down pubs? Think again, sir. You will be pushing them into a world of a different crimes which will be tougher to handle. Livelihoods are lost, we are left jobless,” said Anthony D Mario.
Anthony’s is not just one voice. He said there were hundreds of them who took to the streets to protest against the police and economic slowdown for the closure of the pubs.
Tushar Mathur, a musician, said this rule will definitely hit a large number of musicians. “Firstly, the artistes do not make much money. They have to play at least four shows a day to make some money. Now, we are not able to get any shows.”
Shubham Roy, a folk singer, said he had started his career at Humming Tree, and got to play at other venues as well.
He said this is just not going to be the same for beginners now. “It is a setback for all musicians. Artistes like me who have the experience, can still get to play elsewhere,” he added.
Eben Johnson, partner of Ben and Flow, an artiste management firm, pointed out that they had lost 30-40 shows a month.