Rollingstones to lick Mumbai 14 April

MUMBAI: After being in hibernation for quite a while, Mumbai's live event scene is all set to shake, rattle and roll courtesy The Rollingstones. The band will perform at the Brabourne Stadium on 14 April. Music aficionados may recall that Canadian rocker Bryan Adams had performed at the same venue nine years ago.

The Mumbai concert promises to be one heck of a firecracker, what with containers containing 100,000 kilos worth of equipment being shipped. Rollingstones' production director Jake Berry said that there would a be a large video screen as well as a new improved sound system. 25,000 fans ears will be blasted by 240,000 watts of sound.

The stage will be 150 feet wide and 25 metres deep, which will take around three days to rig, Berry said. In fact, yesterday the band played in Melbourne at an indoor stadium to around 14,000 people.

Event management company DNA Networks is in charge of the Rollingstones Licks Tour of Indiawhile McDowells No. 1 is the presenting sponsor. Chairman UB Group Dr. Vijay Mallya said, "Bringing the Rollingstones to India goes one step further towards cementing McDowell's no. 1's position as a Mega Brand which brings to its consumers Mega Entertainment. The timeless act goes hand in hand with the style, panache and supremacy of our brand.

With this event I have no doubt that we will be providing more excitement, which is consistent with the brand identity. I recently attended a Rollingstones concert in San Francisco at an open baseball stadium and this reinforced my belief that The Rollingstones are not a bunch of has beens. They are contemporary and appreciation for them cuts across age barriers."

As far as other events are concerned, Mallya said," We have been negotiating with Enrique Iglesias, but for a variety of reasons the concert has been postponed. After The Rollingstones, the monsoon arrives and that is not a conducive time to host an event. But in the latter part of the year, music buffs can look forward to more acts. When someone asked me why Elton John couldn't make it to Mumbai I was at a loss for words. The tax regime at the time made holding a concert here unfeasible.

However, I spoke to Maharashtra's chief minister Sushilkumar Shinde a few days ago and he agreed that the entertainment tax restructure needs to be looked at. It is on this premise that we are going ahead and we are highly optimistic that concessions for the event will be granted."

When asked about live horse racing on Ten Sports he said, " When McDowell's initially became associated with the sport, the cost benefit ratio escalated. However, not long after that, it started coming down rapidly. For years, we have been searching for innovative ways to promote the sport and make it more popular. Then the inevitable happened which was a channel was keen on broadcasting the events live.

This has vindicated our investment in the sport over an extended period of time and we will be looking at covering the Bangalore circuit soon. Another sport that I am keen on covering through television is football and cricket has shown that corporatisation of sport is healthy. I am all for diminishing involvement of government agencies in sport." In terms of endorsements while there were no immediate plans to rope in ther group to promote the product he noted that since people always want to see The Rollingstones together there would be no point in featuring them individually in ad campaigns.

Speaking on the Licks tour, the band's legendary front man Mick Jagger said," In the stadium the whole thing is more about having a big show. To me it is not just about being a musician and playing music, though it is one of the integral parts. More importantly, it is a big show and we entertain people. A stadium show should have quite a lot of well known songs. While there should be a few surprises from this sort of repertoire there shouldn't be too many." Talking about surprise stuff fans could look forward to, another band member Ronnie Wood said," We have loads of lovely untapped material like Can't you hear me knocking, If you can love me and Straight cut blues which are some of my personal favourites. These have never come out live before but now that we are doing them it is really cool."

The event is co-sponsored by Pepsi, Max, Hewlett Packard. The Indian Express and New Indian Express are the media partners while Invest UK a division of the British Trade office is the official endorsee. The 135 strong team which includes the bands entourage and the production crew will be staying at The Taj Mahal, which is celebrating a 100 years. As reported earlier by, Max will air the Bangalore event one month after it is performed on 11 April as the capacity is slightly larger with 35,000 people expected to attend. Tickets for that go on sale on 10 March while for the Mumbai event, tickets are on sale from 15 March. The prices for the Mumbai event are Rs. 2000, 1200, 750 and 500.

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