As part of Chennai’s Smart City Project, the city Corporation is encouraging events put together by young artists and this stretch is expected to see more live performances.

news Music Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 14:48

A group of youngsters strumming and tuning their guitars on the newly inaugurated Pedestrian Plaza in Pondy Bazaar drew a few curious looks. When the mics and speakers were being set up outside Kairasi Store, a small crowd began gathering. On Sunday, many unassuming shoppers at Panangal Park in T Nagar, Chennai were in for a sweet surprise.

As part of Chennai’s Smart City Project, the city Corporation is encouraging events put together by young artists and such performances are expected to become a regular affair on this stretch soon.

Speaking to TNM, Arjun Madhavan of Unwind Centre who brought together the performers that evening says, “This performance is more of a promotion for an upcoming event called the Road to Global Isai Festival (GIF) that will be held at YMCA in Nandanam on November 30 and December 1. We are making use of this opportunity to promote our show and to introduce Chennai folks to the idea of street busking, a concept that’s pretty well known in the West.” Passers-by were handed out pamphlets as musicians continued entertaining. 

Although a Chennai Corporation initiative, Arjun shares that the idea is still very new to the city. “We had no hassles in receiving permission to perform but since this also involves different departments, it might take some time getting used to.”

Ranjana, who is also part of GIF’s organising team adds, “The Road to GIF will have many local talents perform and the event itself is a precursor to the main event that will be held in February next year. This is the first time we have planned for a pre-show event.” Global Isai Festival, conceptualised by Exodus and launched in 2012 in Chennai, is an annual affair that will showcase Indian and international artistes.

The opening act on Sunday was by the two-member Tamil indie band Othasevuru. Tharun and Pravekha who began with a small story involving a crow, soon had the audience tapping their feet and clapping to their music. Others who performed that evening included Devoid, Abijith, Yogi and Voltage B.

Chaithan, a resident of Kolathur who had come to shop at Pondy Bazaar on Sunday paused briefly along with his friend to enjoy the music on his way back home. “This seems like a very interesting idea and should be encouraged,” he says. For 47-year-old Muregasan from Madurai who had just moved to Chennai to work at a hotel in the area a couple of weeks ago, the evening was a fascinating experience. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he quickly tells us even while his eyes are fixed on the performers. 

Devi, a resident of Gerugambakkam, who had come to shop at Pondy Bazaar along with her family, is excited for her son to experience live music for the very first time. “I’ve not experienced live music before, neither have my children. It is very nice to see them enjoying it,” she adds, holding the hands of her 8-year-old son, Lokesh.

Not just the adults, the evening turned out to be a treat for children as well. Sisters Pooja and Poorna from West Mambalam, who were enjoying the performances along with their mother, nod with shy smiles when we ask them if they’d like to perform in public someday too. Updates on upcoming events can be tracked on Chennai Smart City Limited’s Twitter page.