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!
Mumbai's National Center for Performing Arts (NCPA), near the Oberoi hotel in Nariman Point, is the place to go to listen to traditional classical Indian music. 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! Shows usually commence early evening around 6.30 p.m. Tickets cost from 150 rupees for the general public. Some events are free.
AntiSOCIAL opened in Lower Parel's Mathuradas Mills Compound in mid 2019 and replaces the defunct antiSOCIAL venue in Khar, which closed in 2017. The new space has been designed especially for live performances, with capacity to accommodate a nine or 10-piece band on stage and 500 guests. It's complemented by state-of-the-art lighting and sound system. While the venue hosts top musicians from India and across the globe, one night per week is set aside for showcasing up-and-coming local talent as well. The entry fee varies depending on the act but can be anywhere from free to 1,200 rupees.
This snazzy arena in Lower Parel's Kamala Mills Compound has more than a dozen hand-picked boutique food and beverage stalls, a store selling quirky products, pop-up bar with inexpensive cocktails and local brews on tap, and a space for regular live music gigs. The vibe is vibrant, and you can either chill at one of the tables in the courtyard or stand up close to the stage. It's designed to offer something for everyone! Opening hours are noon to 1 a.m. Bands perform from 9 p.m. onwards.
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 although the Andheri one is still operational. Head there for a good dose of American food and culture! The menu is packed with tasty burgers, fries, steak, salads, and indulgent deserts. The cafe serves up a variety of live rock performances as well, including some big-name ticketed events. It's open daily from noon until 1.30 a.m. Expect to pay 750 rupees on live band nights, although this varies according to who’s performing.
Wednesday nights are dedicated to live music at Bonobo, one of Mumbai's top bars in trendy suburban Bandra West. This groovy jungle-themed rooftop bar has both outdoor and indoor spaces, and delicious cocktails. It attracts a laid-back arty crowd. The live music events are eclectic with acts on rotation for a four-week residency. The bar is open from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Performances start at around 10 p.m.
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. The bar is located in the Reclamation area of Bandra West. Bands commence 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. Opening hours are 9.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. Tickets cost 400 rupees.
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 music from all kinds of genres including pop, rock, funk, and blues. Entry is free and the bands start playing at 9.30 p.m.
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. The only drawback is that the location, in Mumbai's eastern suburbs, is out-of-the-way for most people.