| 17 Jun 2024
Local goons cause trouble at Sitara Studio; 3 arrests so far

MUMBAI: Mumbai is running scarce on live gig venues. If the skyrocketing rents, accessible location, worthy sound and non-cooperative neighbourhood had not already created nightmares for organisers and owners, there are the frequent mischievous anti-social elements making it tougher for the music fans in the city. And Sitara Studio, unfortunately, encountered one such element lately.

Four hours after the instrumental trio The Aristocrats concluded its second performance in Mumbai in the same week, five people entered the Sitara Studio and created a ruckus that probably no one was expecting.

on 17 September, the following day of the performance, Founder of (the sound management company for the gig), Warren D’Souza posted on Facebook -

“So after the amazing gig of 'The Aristocrats' at Sitara Studios, we had some locals goons who just barged in late in the night after the show for hit our staff with bamboos, threatened all the crew because they had a issue with the venue management, threw glass bottles, hurled mike stands. Finally the cops had to come, told my staff not to make a complain since they were history sheeters. What fucking world do we live in!!!” (sic)

Elaborating on the scenes that unfolded on that night (around 2:30 a.m.), one of the members responsible for the show, and an eye-witness, Nikhil Hemrajani took to his social media account -

“Close to 2:30 a.m. I got a call from my very hard-working studio manager - and pretty much one-man-army - Hardik Barot, telling me that 4-5 people, drunken out of their senses, had barged in demanding money, threatening to wreck the place if we didn't cough it up. Apparently, by some logic-defying fault of ours, several of their friends had been rounded up by the cops a couple of hours earlier and put behind bars, and we had to recompense them the collective fine amount of some Rs 20,000. Yes, it still doesn't make any sense 24 hours later. They threatened me over the phone (Hardik was forced to call me from the office landline) saying they'd "see how I'd do any shows in the future" if I didn't pay up. When I didn't co-operate with their demands, they proceeded to beat up two of Warren D'souza's sound boys with bamboo sticks, kicked Hardik a couple of times, broke beer bottles, tried to break my cabin door.” (sic)

Hemrajani added that the police was immediately called for, and the swift actions taken by the law enforcement so far has been encouraging.

“Today, I spent a total of 8 hours in Dadar Police station, and along with the personal help of ACP Sunil Deshmukh and Senior Police Inspector Shantilal Jadhav, we managed to nab three of the five boys and filed an FIR against them. Now these guys will remain in custody until the court hearing, which will decide their eventual fate.” (sic)

For now, there’s a happy ending to the whole development. Three (of the possible five) miscreants have been arrested so far, and the police expects to nab the remaining outlaws at the earliest. Not only that, the Dadar Police has also assured security to the upcoming activities to be held at Sitara Studio.

Obstacles could appear in any form in the country for live gig organisers. But it is only understandable that the venues in the metropolitan cities deserve a bit more security, considering the frequency of the shows and the being the obvious platforms when international bands tour in the country.

In the interest of the organisers and crew involved, Warren D’Souza emphasised on the need to form an organisation to lobby against any musician or tech crew.