New Year party scene shifts to outskirts of Bengaluru


Restaurants in the city that are taking bookings claim to have reduced the number of tables by half

With uncertainty over whether the government will allow gatherings in hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars on New Year’s Eve or impose time restrictions, the party scene has shifted to outside the city limits.

A quick search on the internet throws up listings of treks and camping events outside Bengaluru. One company, for instance, is offering New Year-themed adventure sports activities, including rock climbing, rappelling and trekking in Ramanagaram, with pick up from five different points in the city. All this, however, comes with a ₹1,950 price tag per head.

Others are adopting a wait-and-watch approach while advertising what’s on offer. For instance, an event planner has even roped in a DJ for the big day. The listing promises games, fireworks, bonfire, hiking and a party at Revanna Siddeshwara Betta, also near Ramanagaram. However, the event planner is yet to take bookings. “There are rumours that a night curfew might be imposed from December 26 to 31. We are waiting for some clarity on this. Until then, no bookings are being accepted,” said the event planner.

The Technical Advisory Committee has already recommended to the government a ban on all religious, political and public events from December 20 to January 2, including New Year celebrations. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) also holds a similar view, with the civic chief stating that these celebrations could result in another spike.

Reduced bookings

That said, some restaurateurs in Bengaluru have already listed their New Year events and are accepting bookings. A restobar in H.S.R. Layout has planned live music and dinner for its patrons on December 31. Cover charge ranges from ₹750-₹1,100, and the number of tables has been reduced by half to ensure social distancing, said a representative.

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A brewery and restaurant in Whitefield has booked a celebrity DJ from Mumbai for what it claims will be the “biggest party” in Bengaluru. On the list of attractions is a dance floor under the open sky, and exclusive rooms for those opting for the VIP package. Here too, the number of tables and bookings had been reduced by 50%, the representative claimed.

While the government has not issued any order on New Year celebrations yet, civic chief N. Manjunath Prasad told reporters that hotels, bars and other establishments could use just 50% of their capacity. This, he claimed, would be enforced from December 20, and a recommendation had been sent to the government. Additional marshals, police and BBMP’s health officials would be deployed to ensure this is enforced.

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Sagar Biswas

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