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News |  26 Feb 2014 18:06 |  By RnMTeam

Bajaao to unveil new festival and guitar brand

Online retailer Bajaao Music Pvt Ltd (BMPL) and their events division Bajaao Consulting and Entertainment Pvt Ltd (BCEPL) have partnered with Hard Rock Café (HRC) to curate artistes performing at various venues of the franchise. This one year partnership will be a huge project for Bajaao’s artiste management division.

To give an in-depth idea about their association and their future plans, Radioandmusic’s Jescilia Karayamparambil spoke to Bajaao COO Shawn Pereira.

Excerpts:

Give details about your latest partnership with Hard Rock cafe.

Basically, Hard Rock Cafe will be managing most of the gigs that they would do. What is interesting about Bajaao is that we are close to most of the artistes in the independent scene. Since we understand the indie scene better, it is easier for us to come up with artiste line-ups. Depending on the dates provided by HRC, we will programme those shows. However, we have nothing to do with the Wolfmother show that is happening next month as they have partnered with Vh1.

HRC will handle things like special nights and sponsored nights. Roughly, all the shows that take place during special Wednesdays and Thursdays will be handled by us and we have pitched new ideas to them. They usually have two hour long sets played by one band that usually ends up being covers of other bands or artistes. The bands, especially the younger ones, do not have enough material to play original music for two hours. So we decided to change the format a little bit and have two bands. It includes having a young band open for a more senior band. Then you have shorter sets and you have more crowds because there are two bands, and it will be better for artistes. Technically, you have 52 weeks in a year and if we are programming for 40 weeks then we will be working with 80 artistes. That is our plan with Hard Rock Cafe.

We have been working with artistes from 2006, when Bajaao.com was formed. We started the first Jam room in the country ‘NOC’ which is situated Andheri East where our office is. It is the same place where Ashutosh and I started our office. Bands would come there and jam since there was adequate equipment and there were no restrictions. Our next step was the underground rock venue ‘B69’ which was also in Andheri, close by to
the office. We had 150-200 shows there in a year and artistes played for us at subsidised rates.

What are your upcoming partnerships and activities?

We have also got into a long term partnership with Phoenix mall in Kurla and Lower Parel. We run both of those shows from production sound, back-line and artistes management. We handled major aspects of Ragasthan and will continue that partnership next year as well. We will be working with a few more festivals but have not yet confirmed these. For instance, we are currently working with a wine festival; and a fish and food festival. So we are spreading to other events also that is not just related to music but will have elements of music in it.

We will be working on our own festival and once we have sealed the deal, we will have better clarity on where we are heading. It will be our property and we will have many partnerships. We plan to have the festival around October-November outside Mumbai. It will be an out and out music festival that will cater to niche audiences. We are working on the concept of what we want it to look like. Once things have solidified then I would like to talk about it. We played with the idea for more than two years, and since we have done smaller properties like ‘B69’ on our own and had firsthand experience with larger projects like Ragasthan, helped build our confidence to develop our own property.

How has 2013 been for Bajaao?

The event division which started last year was under the same banner of Bajaao.com. It was really an off and on activity before we had the department in place. BCEPL is a different company right now because it has been a profit making entity. Himanshu Vaswani who was with Rolling Stone India before has joined us to run this division. He has been working with us for two years now.

After the team was founded we were associated with a lot of activities like our latest project- the Jack Daniels Rock Awards. We worked with Superdry, Diesel and many such brands, and have tied up with Rayban, Converse, Red Bull Tour bus and others. We have been able to work with big brands and have been able to do big shows. Last year, we did the film ‘Aashiqui 2’, where we overlooked sets for the film, equipment and helping with playback singers. We have designed studios for numerous companies like Google, and have also expanded in many areas.

How is the retail market doing?

We have expanded a lot on the retail front. At one point guitars, keyboards and piano were the primary products of sales. Now, we have seen a boom in studio engineers who have many options for home studio which is the biggest market right now. It is one of the biggest categories right now. We will start our own brand of Guitars which will be launched in one month. It will be called ‘Vault’, and will be our home brand. We will extend it to many other accessories as well. The product is made in China and a team along with Ashutosh had gone to check the quality of the product. It will be mid-range guitars that will be used by music lovers across the country. Our aim is to provide low cost quality products.

How much growth are you expecting for 2014-2015?

We hope to double our growth, but we would expect it to take place naturally. After adding our guitar brand and a new warehouse, we will see at least a 30 per cent boost in all our categories.

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