In the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, India, November and December are the perfect months to have open-air events, and Regenerate – the duo of Aneesha Kotwani and Bhisma Sagar decided to hold their first anniversary celebrations at the ‘Pier’ – which as the name suggests, is a pier by the Arabian Sea that overlooks two iconic structures – The prestigious Taj Mahal Hotel and The Gateway of India. With a line up of some of India’s finest homegrown talent and a closing set by USA-now-Berlin based Kevin Knapp (OFF Recordings/Hot Creations), November 8, 2014 was promising to be a dance music enthusiast’s dream.
The event wasn’t just about the music. Sure, it was the focal point, but if you didn’t want to stand and dance for a good amount of time, you could browse over to the art section headed by India’s urban youth lifestyle media company Homegrown (headed by the very dynamic Varun Patra), and even add a few eclectic pieces to your collection by some of India’s very talented artists.
By the Pier kicked off at sharp noon, and it was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. With lazy, yet sultry vibes by the talented DJs, it was hard to not get moving and get your feet tapping. Upon entering the venue, it was hard to believe that you were in the heart of the bustling and noisy city of Mumbai with some solid sets being played by the artists.
The venue, which was completely transformed to give it a quaint festival feel, you were greeted by cuisine from some of the city’s most famous outlets. If you did stop by only for the music, the waft of fresh food instantly lured you towards those food stalls, be it Japanese, dim-sums, or even good ol’ fries. Not in a mood to eat just yet? You could grab an ice-cold beer, or refreshing cocktails and walk around the venue to soak up the gorgeous view and look at the cutting edge art on display.
The DJ console was set up against the backdrop of the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal hotel, and just added to the beauty of the venue and the day of wonderful music that lay ahead. Sets by Regenerate’s Blurry Slur and one half of Orbs & Zen – Nicky Ramnani started off with mellower vibes, but they were just a precursor to what lay ahead.
One of our featured Future Leaders – Pune boys Roan Sable & Sidhant Naren aka Oozeundat, who dabble in the darker side of techno still kept their sound intact, but played some amazing deep house tunes that were perfect for a 3pm lazy Saturday afternoon. Following in their footsteps were Bangalore based Twokid Wicked, who made their Mumbai debut with some delicious, foot-tapping sounds, which, against the backdrop of the beautiful Taj played some gorgeous melodies that took us right into the sunset.
Dancing to those tunes, with a beautiful backdrop and the sun-setting over the Arabian Sea and a light breeze whishing by, it was hard not to smile and be happy. When the sun set over the sea, Twokid Wicked finished off their set and the very talented Gaurav Malaker (one half of the audio visual collective BLOT!) took over, captivating the audience with hard-hitting tracks that got you off your seat (if you had taken a break from dancing to rest your laurels) – and instantaneously made you dance. As the city and the venue lit up, it was hard to believe that this is the very same city that we all love to hate at times. The weather behaved itself and there was a slight coolness in the air which only added to the charm of the event. Happy faces and dancing feet only got happier when Kevin Knapp took over – which paved the way for complete dancefloor destruction.
If you were tired by this point, be rest assured that Kevin Knapp completely blew it out of the park and every single person was on their feet and dancing away. Battered soles? It didn’t matter – the infectious groove, coupled with the general atmosphere of people smiling and dancing made you get up and dance. It was as though your feet took over your body and did it’s own thing.
10pm and as per outdoor event rules, Kevin ended his set with a flourish, and everyone finally gave their legs a bit of break, not without feeling like they’ve had a day well-spent. A vibe that was purely about soaking yourself in great music, spending a day with friends and being happy, Regenerate’s “By The Pier” has set the benchmark for classy, and well-thought out, not to mention fun open air events. With the festival season well and truly upon us in India, this was a perfect way to kick it off. Cheers to the crew at Regenerate for not only organizing a fantastic event, but for flawless execution and making sure that everyone left happy.
Here’s to several more events like these!