Our Goal Is To Foster Collaborations & Deliver Exceptional Experiences - Vivek Dudani
Read this exclusive interview with Vivek Dudani, Head of Events & Programming, SOCIAL & antiSOCIAL as he shares his insights about antiSOCIAL's experiential events, collaborations and evolution to a launchpad for emerging talent
With an unwavering commitment to fostering a vibrant community, Vivek Dudani has redefined the contours of India's cultural scene, transforming it into a thriving hub of artistic expression and innovation. From curating electrifying music gigs to spearheading thought-provoking workshops and festivals, Dudani's strategic vision has propelled antiSOCIAL into a powerhouse that transcends the boundaries of traditional entertainment.
What unique experiential offerings has antiSOCIAL contributed to the cultural scene in India?
Since its inception, antiSOCIAL has been instrumental in revolutionising India's cultural landscape. We are not just about the exciting gigs or thought-provoking workshops, although we have plenty of those! What started as a simple café has now bloomed into a bustling community space and a spot where all sorts of artists feel right at home. We have become a staple in India's nightlife, bringing together all the cool cats who groove to the same beats and thrive on the same artsy energy. With our diverse line-up of cultural events including music concerts stand-up comedy, poetry slams, art exhibitions, and theatre, we have created a vibrant haven that welcomes and celebrates every form of artistic expression imaginable.
What experiential elements has the brand employed to bring something new to nightlife and clubbing?
With a data-driven approach, antiSOCIAL has delved deep into understanding the impact of music and nightlife on a city's cultural fabric. This research-oriented mindset allowed us to create a venue that transcended mere entertainment. It became a sanctuary where people could detach from the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in music, art performances, and more. We are not just a place; we are a feeling, a second home for the night owls and the creative minds who just can't get enough!
How has antiSOCIAL evolved over the years to become a launchpad for emerging talents in the Indian and international music and arts scene?
At antiSOCIAL, we proactively identify and nurture up-and-coming talent. We are always on the lookout for promising artists, primarily through our industry connections, various events, and being receptive towards recommendations from established artists. This network-driven approach is key to discovering and nurturing new talent. Additionally, we team up young artists with big and established names to create an incredible show, to provide emerging talent with greater exposure. This not only helps them display their talent on a bigger stage but also captures the attention of larger crowds. We believe that through these opportunities, emerging artists can gradually build their careers, and it turns out to be a win-win situation.
The perfect example of this phenomenon is Divine's journey. It may be hard to believe, but Divine's first step into the public arena took place at antiSOCIAL. During this significant moment, he insisted on taking complete control of the show. To our surprise, the show rapidly sold out in less than half a day, with a queue of over a hundred eager fans clamouring to gain entry. This story of Divine serves as a testament to how individuals can grow towards greater heights with determination and a touch of valour.
Can you tell us more about the exclusive membership card and how it enhances the experiential journey for the patrons of antiSOCIAL?
The Exclusive Membership Card is not just about perks; it is our way of saying thanks to our amazing patrons. With VIP privileges and discounts on drinks and goodies, it makes every visit to antiSOCIAL a step up. Plus, the early access to cool merchandise and the special antiSOCIAL Goodie Bag is our little way of making them feel right at home and part of our awesome antiSOCIAL crew. The customized membership card acts as a tangible symbol of their unwavering support, reaffirming their position as essential members of the dynamic and flourishing antiSOCIAL community.
How does antiSOCIAL collaborate with other organisations and festivals to bring unique and engaging experiences to its audience in the form of events and festivals?
At antiSOCIAL, fostering collaborations and delivering exceptional experiences to our audience is a priority. We employ a proactive approach in identifying and nurturing potential partnerships, particularly focusing on promising artists and festivals. This process is largely facilitated through our extensive industry connections, active participation in various events, and our receptiveness towards recommendations from our network. Our network-driven approach serves as a crucial foundation for discovering the right opportunities.
During vh1 Supersonic last year, we collaborated with them to bring a standalone antiSOCIAL stage at one of India’s largest music festivals. The stage was specifically catered towards giving a platform to young emerging artists from India, culminating in a high-energy performance from disco legend Bill Brewster.
Another example is the IT Ball we did in July 2023 in collaboration with The House of Luna. Themed around ‘Welcome to the Future’, we received a great response from the drag and queer communities who participated in the ball, a ramp show and much more.
Furthermore, we work actively with Kommune and storytelling curators to bring novel experiences to our patrons. From spoken word to open mics – we understand and want to celebrate the power of storytelling, and what better place than antiSOCIAL.
Could you share some insights into the experiential events and programs that antiSOCIAL has planned for the upcoming months, particularly focusing on its efforts to introduce innovative experiences to the audience?
We have a yearly IP called FRAMED which is theme-based, and we are looking at building more such initiatives that are consistent with the brand ethos and bring value to our community. This includes music lovers, creative professionals, artists, producers, and much more.
Furthermore, we will be revamping our marquee IP – Satrangi Mela – this year. Satrangi Mela travels to SOCIAL and antiSOCIAL outlets across India giving a platform for LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs, alongside a host of programming and community activities that inform, engage, and entertain our patrons across India.
A key initiative we have in the pipeline is the ‘Disc Jockeying workshops’ for female musicians and music producers. We understand the role we play in defining culture, and want to make an effort to grow the diversity in the industry and bring forth a lot more Indian talent for the audience.
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