Live music has really caught on in Mumbai, with many people now preferring to go out and listen to a live band than a DJ. Visit any of these popular Mumbai live music venues and you won’t be disappointed. There's everything from classical to rock, including original Hindi Indie music!
If you want to hear traditional Indian music, Mumbai's National Center for Performing Arts (NCPA) is the place to go. The NCPA hosts a wide range of leading musicians, such as Kishori Amonkar, Zakir Hussain, Shivkumar Sharma, Ajoy Chakrabarty and Hariprasad Chaurasia. Other special live music events, including performances by international artists and bands, are also held there. The NCPA has a fine-dining restaurant and casual all-day cafe as well, if you're feeling hungry!
- Where: National Center for Performing Arts, NCPA Marg, near the Oberio hotel in Nariman Point, South Mumbai. Phone: (22) 6622-3737.
- Time: Varied, but shows usually commence early evening around 6.30 p.m.
- Tickets: From 150 rupees for the general public. Some events are free.
The Quarter opened at Mumbai's newly restored Royal Opera House in October 2017, transforming the venue into a prominent culture and entertainment enclave. It consists of an outdoor restaurant, cocktail bar, cafe, and Live at the Quarter jazz club. This evocative "live listening environment" is richly decorated with beveled mirrors and sparkling chandeliers. It was co-founded by one of the people behind revolutionary BlueFrog (now closed) and features local musicians plus top acts from abroad. The programing is diverse, with genres extending beyond jazz. In addition, live music is not only curated but created. This happens by hosting artists in residence every fortnight, and collaborating with them to stage concerts.
- Where: Mama Padmanand Marg, Girgaum, South Mumbai. Phone: 83291-10638 (cell).
- Time: Performances start from around 9 p.m.
- Tickets: 750-1,000 rupees for special events.
The famed Hard Rock Cafe chain found its way to Worli in central Mumbai in 2006, and later opened a second outlet in suburban Andheri West. Unfortunately, the Worli branch has closed down although the Andheri one is still open. Anyone needing a good dose of American food and culture should head there. The menu is packed with tasty burgers, fries, steak, salads, and indulgent deserts. It serves up a variety of live rock performances as well, including some big-name ticketed events.
- Where: Sharyans Audeus, opposite Yashraj Studios, Lokhandwala, Andheri West, Mumbai. Phone: (22) 2674-3901.
- Time: Open daily from noon to 1.30 a.m.
- Tickets: From 750 rupees on live band nights, although this varies according to who’s performing.
This unique, award-winning Mumbai bar is dedicated solely to retro music and the mature crowd loves it! In mid 2018, the owners decided to go one step further and recruit musicians to form a band called Pratham, to create original Hindi Indie music and play it at the venue. These groovy performances usually take place on the first Tuesday of every month. There are live Hindi acts on other Tuesdays and jam sessions on Sunday evenings as well.
- Where: Shop 1/2, Ankleshwar, ONGC Colony, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra West, Mumbai. Phone: 90820-46382 (cell).
- Time: Bands start at 10 p.m. Sunday jam sessions from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Bandra Base is an intimate, dimly-lit culture club that holds live gigs with space for up to just 60 people at a time, in what feels live could be someone's living room. An initiative of Whistling Woods film school to form a community of artists, it's a place to appreciate music rather than party, as alcohol isn't available. The crowd gathers seated on cushions on the floor, listening intently to the performances with exceptional acoustics.
- Where: Baitush Saraf Building, TPS 3, 29th Road, off Waterfield Road, Bandra West, Mumbai. Phone: (22) 3091-6003.
- Time: 9.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.
- Tickets: 400 rupees.
Address2nd floor, Vithalbhai, Linking Rd, Phase II, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, India
Phone+91 22 2605 5353
Live music events take place every Wednesday at Bonobo, one of Mumbai's top bars in trendy suburban Bandra West. This groovy rooftop bar has both outdoor and indoor spaces, and attracts a laid-back arty crowd. The events are eclectic and often feature The Bombay Jazz Club.
- Where: 2nd Floor, Kenilworth Mall, Phase 2, Behind KFC, off Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai. Phone: (22) 2605-5050.
- Time: 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
If you're in the vicinity of Mumbai International Airport on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, drop by The Stables to catch a band performing live. This British-style pub with an equestrian theme features bands that belt out all kinds of music including pop, rock, funk, and blues.
- Where: Hotel Peninsula Redpine, Andheri Kurla Road, Airport Junction, opposite Leela Hotel, Andheri East, Mumbai. Phone: 82918-47082 (cell).
- Time: Bands start playing at 9.30 p.m.
- Tickets: Free entry.
More than six decades old, Shanmukhananda Auditorium was established in 1952 to promote fine arts and hold large cultural events. It has a substantial seating capacity of more than 2,700 people, spread over three levels, and is renowned for its weekend carnatic south Indian classical music performances. In addition, it holds regular special events. This includes a free annual tribute to Allah Rakha Khan, father of tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain, every February 3. It's a diverse day-long program that's extremely popular.
- Where: Harbanslal Marg, behind Gandhi Market, Sion East, Mumbai. Phone: (22) 2407-8888. Box Office (22) 2404-4141.
- Time: Varies.
- Tickets: Varies depending on the performance.