Sing in Kannada, this is Bangalore : Foxtrot forces act to leave stage

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In a shocking incident of callousness and language extremism, Foxtrot’s management, the live-music venue in Bangalore, shuts down an artist’s sound mid-performance and forces them off the stage because a group of customers did not like the language they were singing in.

The incident took place at Swadesi’s gig last night which was co-promoted by Azadi Records and 4/4 Experiences as part of the act’s Khulle Naagde tour. They were sharing the stage with Hanumankind and Street Academics. While Street Academics was performing in Malayalam, a group of men started heckling the artist to perform in Kannada because they were in Bangalore. Their attitude was such that they wanted the artists to leave if they weren’t able to sing in their preferred language. Foxtrot’s management rather than pacifying the guests or asking them to leave resorted to shutting down the sound while the artist was performing on stage. The incident was narrated to us by Sarthak Kulshrestha, promoter and organizer based in Bangalore who was present at the gig. 4/4 Experiences also released an official statement. Here is an excerpt from the statement : (read the full here)

We strongly protest against Mr Kant and the Foxtrot management’s behaviour and the lack of respect and support shown by them towards the artists. We would also like to highlight our stand against the atmosphere of intolerance that is targeting artists from different regions and would like to express our concern about the ease with which a small group of people can interrupt a show and get an artist silenced in the absence of support from venues and their management teams. We would also like to apologise to our fans and Street Academics in particular for this incident.

We got in touch with the Foxtrot team this morning to get an official statement from them :

The team at Foxtrot acknowledges the incident last night that arose as some guests did not respond as expected to the performance. While we respect the artists and their work, due to situational requirement, we had to stop the gig midway, and apologised to the artist, and requested the next to perform. This was in the best interest of all at the venue. However, we urge people to respect each musician and his/her work; we’re confident there was no bad intent. To great music always!

On asking about how Street Academics dealt with the issue, Vivek, the DJ and Producer for the act says :

Here is our take on the series of unfortunate events that lead to Foxtrot and its management cutting our set short. Our set came to an abrupt stop when Foxtrot cut the mics and the music midway through our set supposedly due to complaints from three or four customers who have zero respect for artists. According to the management people were not vibing to our set and they cut our set short amidst rising tension in the crowd. This is far from true since there were plenty of people having a real good time and mind you they weren’t all Malayalees. Now as artists we are not obligated to put on a show for anyone apart from the people who came to see us perform. Hatred towards a language or rather people who speak that language is all too familiar to us and this is not the first time that this has happened.Much love to everyone who came to see us perform. You showed up and you showed love that’s all that matters. We would like to thank 4/4 experiences and Azadi records for the opportunity and for their relentless support.

Incidents like these put other well-organized venues in a bad name and encourage the customer to treat artists however they deem fit.