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[6th APRIL to 25th MAY  2013 between 5.30 - 8:00 p.m.]



In an  age, where the significance of ‘Music’ is restricted to Bollywood, the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry presents an alternative: mélange of music by Bands of Mumbai, through its Bandstand Revival Project. Thousands of young Mumbaikars will experience the old world charm of live music in a bandstand.


 As a part of the Bombay Chamber’s commitment to the theme, the fifth Season of the Bandstand Revival Project was launched at the Veer Baji Prabhu Deshpande and Sant Dyaneshwar Udyan on Saturday the 6th April 2013 during the sunset hours. The other popular venue which  featured live band performances during this session were the Hanging Garden Malabar Hill and Horniman Circle In a short period of four years, the project has emerged as an iconic annual event in the city’s calendar. It has been rated at number 15 out of the top 200 things most loved about the city.

The project promotes traditional and cultural links in the city by recreating an environment from the 1800s, by reinstating live bands performances in open areas in the evening hours. Besides it is also an attempt to consolidate bandstand music in Mumbai by encouraging live outdoor gigs in the city, other than those available at a price in commercial establishments. It provides a platform for youth bands to showcase their creative talent to a diverse audience while at the same time bring the music free of charge to people who cannot visit pubs or clubs to watch live performance.


We gratefully acknowledge the support we have received from the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), Tata Sons Ltd, Taj Hotels NH7 TheMunicipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, the Mumbai Police Commissionerat and Public Works Department (Electrical cell) in making this fifth edition of the Bandstand Revival Project come true.




 A great attraction in the 1850s was the music that was played every evening after the sunset on Mumbai Greens, a vast fifteen-acre open-space opposite the Town Hall in the South Mumbai that later became the smaller Horniman Circle Garden. It was a custom that continued from the days when the Governor of Mumbai resided in the Fort, in a building now popularly known as Old Secretariat. The practice to regale the Government House with music continued till the building was given up in 1860s when the Elphinstone (now Horniman) circle and other buildings were built. Until then, marching from the Town Major, located at the east-end of Hamam Street up to the end of Military Staff buildings, a band - consisting of drums and fifes and other instruments, played airs’. The brass band of an Infantry regiment went up and down promenading the Mumbai Green.

After restructuring the town following demolition of Fort Walls, regimental bands also began to play on the new reclamation at Apollo Bunder, where the Yatch Club was completed in 1881, the Taj Mahal Hotel in 1903 and the Gateway of India in 1924. The bands also performed once or twice a week in various Clubs – including Byculla Club (established in 1833), the Mumbai Gymkhana (established in 1875) and in later decades, the Wellingdon Club and Cricket Club of India. Among the regimental bands that played regularly were those of the Marine Batallion, 9th Regiment, the Mumbai Volunteer Rifle, the 113th Infantry, the GIP Railway volunteers, BB&CI Railway and the Governor’s Band. The services of regimental and private bands were engaged and the dates & venue were advertised in daily newspapers. A remarkable bonhomie among the spectators was evident at each recital.

As the Mumbai city improvement Trust developed new suburban areas north of island city, bandstands were built. These included – Cooperage Garden, Girgaum Chowpatty (Kilachand Park), Victoria Garden at Byculla (now Jijamata Udyan), Sir Pherozeshah Mehta Garden (popularly known as Hanging Garden), Joseph Baptista Garden on Mazgaon Hill, King’s Circle Garden (Maheshwari Udyan) at Sion, Parsi Colony in Dadar and Bandstands in Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The bandstands are maintained by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.

The recitals continued for a few years after India’s Independence in 1947. Perhaps one of the finest and most moving performances was held at Apollo Bunder on February 28, 1948, marking departure of British forces from India. Detachment of the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry took place amidst guard of honour by troops from various Indian regiments. The soldiers closed ranks and marched slowly through the Gateway to the tune of Auld Land Syne played by the bands. The Governor read farewell message and troops marched down the stairs to their boats.


Music a symbol of peace and harmony and has always touched hearts and soul. The Century-old Bandstand culture was a unique feature in Mumbai. This fine tradition that has been revived by the  Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry - for continuation of the traditional and cultural legacy of the city.


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