Final Encore: blueFROG to shut its iconic Lower Parel venue by month end
Live music aficionados from the city will be heartbroken to learn that blueFROG, a pioneer of Mumbai’s live gig circuit, will bid adieu to music fans by the end of August.
Among the country’s premiere live music performance clubs, blueFROG opened its state-of-the-art live stage and lounge at Lower Parel’s Mathuradas Mills Compound back in 2007. And nine years into dominating Mumbai’s bustling live music scene, it will shut its iconic city venue on August 28, when the lease expires.
While the franchise’s closure isn’t exactly the end of the road for blueFROG in Mumbai, since it is already on the lookout for two other venues in the city, it will still leave a vacuum in the hearts of their loyal patrons.
blueFROG’s future plans include relocating and opening two new venues across the city, with one in South Bombay and one in Suburbs. The management is in fact quite optimistic about its expansion plans and a firm believer of reinventing themselves with the times.
While one might wonder why the expansion plans can’t accommodate the existing venue, blueFROG’s Managing Director, Sumer Vaswani, explains that the near 6500 sq.ft venue’s rent was a big factor. Over the years, the property rent across Lower Parel has witnesses a steep rise, making it difficult for business owners to sustain margins while paying the increased rent.
In the case of blueFROG too, relocating just made more financial sense in the long run.
While the Lower Parel venue took over a year to build, no surprise considering the fact that multiple teams collaborated on the venue’s sound stage and interior, there’s no saying if the team will have the luxury of spending the same time again. But Vaswani maintains the new venues will retain the signature blueFROG interiors.
Similarly the company, famous for hosting live gigs six days of the week and promoting newer talent, will continue to stick to their core principles of promoting musical talent in their newer avatar.
Ahead of bidding goodbye, the franchise is performing their final encore in the form of a month-long series titled ‘The Last Set’, which started on July 30 and culminates on August 26. The next two days will be dedicated to FROGFEST, which will feature performances by multiple artists across genres throughout the day.
From September, the venue will house Toit, a Bangalore-based microbrewery, who reportedly agreed to pay 1.5 times what blueFROG was paying to seal the deal.
Going forward, the venue may be gone for good, but blueFROG will continue its association with artists and music festivals until it opens their next venue. Meanwhile, if you’re a die hard fan, their Pune franchise is merely a three hour drive from Mumbai and Bangalore is a two hour flight.