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    Tribute bands, stand up comedians and theatre artistes — Phoenix Market City is emerging as an entertainment destination in the city

    Last Saturday, The Courtyard of Phoenix MarketCity was packed with nearly 900 people trying to catch a glimpse of the Vengaboys doing what they do best. Thanks to a more than spacious courtyard, the mall in Velachery has been attracting similar crowds with performances by Euphoria, Raghu Dixit and more recently, Avial. And it’s not just the musically inclined who are braving traffic over the long haul. Laugh Ok Plz, the stand up comedy festival that took place this February, sold over 1,500 tickets over three days. And in a quick chat with the mall’s centre director, Noel Vessaoker, we learn that there’s plenty more to come.
    Besides two main events every month (like the tribute bands they have brought to the city), the mall also does smaller ones. “These are mandatory events that we do at the atrium on Fridays,” Vessaoker explains, recalling the performances by city-based artistes like Blues Conscience, The Bluebirds and Nadisha Thomas, all of which were not ticketed. “Around 85 per cent of our events are free,” he says, adding that we can expect theatre next. Mumbai-based theatre group, Four Play, are expected to put up a show this month, while the management is also in talks with artistes like Lucky Ali and Shreya Goshal.
    These events, we’re informed, not only add a 15-20 per cent increase in footfalls, but also increase F&B sales on performance days. “We are also seeing a large number of expats turning up for these events,” says Vessaoker, adding that the mall is also exploring the possibility of bringing down Korean and French bands to perform. That said, there’s also plenty of new restaurants to look forward to at the mall. Starting with Dunkin’ Donuts who might be raising the curtain soon. Details: 30083008

    — Ryan Peppin

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