Bengaluru Disc Jockeys Contemplating Alternate Careers.


Ban on playing live or recorded music is forcing local DJs to search for alternate careers, or migrate to a new city.

Bengaluru, Sept. 04, 2018 : A new ban on playing live or recorded music has been implemented in the city after Supreme Court upheld Karnataka High Court’s order for restaurants and pubs to obtain licenses if they are playing live music.

Indiranagar is a host to city’s most prominent pubs and restaurants. These places are usually filled with people on weekends that come to enjoy live music performances by DJ’s and music bands and to unwind themselves. .

DJ’s are paid either 10 percent of bar sales or 50 percent of entry tickets, depending on their arrangement with the pub management. The music ban has caused a drop in patrons who visit these pubs and restaurants, directly affecting the income of the performing artists in pubs.

Disc jockeys Raul and Bayzz, who perform under the ‘Behold Infection’ banner, said they were now forced to look for gigs in places like Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. They have been performing in Bangalore for the past four years and were doing well until the ban.

“It’s difficult to survive as a freelance artist in the city without any gig. We have invested heavily in our equipments. Without steady work, it is difficult to maintain overheads” said DJ Raul. They used to get four to five gigs a month. After the ban, they have not received a single gig in the city.

A leading ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) who practices at Chinmaya Mission Hospital said, anything above 60-70 decibels (dB) is considered noise. The pubs play music at more than 100dB. Continuous exposure to loud music above 70 dB can lead to hearing loss.

People above the age of 50 who are exposed to loud noises above 70 dB can experience high blood pressure and lack of sleep. Children exposed to loud noise can develop speech disturbance.

Exposure to loud noises can lead to what experts term as ‘temporary threshold shift.’ It is defined as loss of hearing when exposed to loud sounds. A two -hour exposure to music in pubs playing at 100dB can cause temporary threshold shift temporarily, which can transform into permanent in a person if untreated.

Residents who stay around pubs where live music is performed are constantly at risk of hearing loss. Soundproofing the pubs is practically not possible as the cost is too high. The ENT specialist also suggested that pubs can reduce noise pollution by playing the music at 60dB and having windows with vacuum sealed glass, which will not allow music to pass to the other side. This type of glass is three times costlier than the normal one.

“We used to visit pubs in Indiranagar every weekend. Listening to live music over a couple of beers gave us relaxation after an entire week’s hard work. We no longer visit these pubs”, said Santosh S, an IT employee with Magna InfoTech.