Phase 1 and Embassy Group Join Hands to Create an Entertainment Destination at BLR Airport

Industry Watch | January 20, 2020 | Interview

Phase 1 Experiences Embassy Group Live Nation Bengaluru Airport

Phase 1 Experiences and Embassy Group joined hands to create a never-seen-before, experiential and entertainment destination at the Bengaluru Airport. The world’s leading live entertainment company – Live Nation – will act as a consultant on the development of this project. This entertainment arena will attract audiences and fans from not just across India, but across the South Asia subcontinent and establish Bengaluru’s position as a live concert and entertainment capital globally.

In an exclusive conversation with EVENTFAQS, Oum Pradutt, Founder and Managing Director, Phase 1 Experiences gives an insight about their consortium with and Embassy Group to develop world-class Entertainment Arena at Bengaluru Airport, future plans and more!

How did the consortium between Phase 1 Experiences and Embassy Group come through? Please share the details.

The vision of propelling Bengaluru’s position as one of the greatest entertainment capitals in the world has been extremely close to my heart and the airport presented the ultimate opportunity of bringing this vision to life. We were looking for partners who shared in this passion of empowering Bengaluru. Embassy, who are India’s real-estate moguls with a footprint across the whole gamut of urban infrastructure, were completely in sync with the purpose-driven aspect of the project through their own objective of giving back to Bengaluru.  

We discussed our proposal with Aditya and Jitu Virwani, both of whom I have immense fondness and respect for, and the connect of our common ideologies and energies was instantly palpable. We ran through the details of the project and joined hands to form the consortium within no time.      

Can you share insights on what won you the bid for the Entertainment Arena at Bengaluru Airport?

The airport’s expectation from the consortium was to construct a world-class concert arena. However, we went a mile further and submitted a plan for a fully integrated next-generation entertainment arena, comprising of 5 distinct zones. While the central structure – a supersized dome – will host concerts and mega-events, other ancillary structures for a variety of events were conceptualized and designed by us as part of the proposal. A smaller dome beside the central structure was included to host large-scale corporate events for over 2000 people. An expansive outdoor space was incorporated for open-air events. An exclusive nightclub to be hosted by some of the best-known DJs and artists from party capitals around the world was another exciting addition. Finally, we also imbibed a contemporary pop-up zone, inspired by Boxpark in London, that reimagines an amalgamation of social networking, gastronomy, music, and culture, with curated experiences 365 days a year.

The concept we proposed was unquestionably comprehensive and versatile enabling not only the world’s biggest concerts but also global conventions and conferences, sports leagues and competitions, hackathons, celebrations, festivals and social & milestone events. Moreover, with Phase 1’s long-standing relationships in the industry over the last 24 years, we held the ultimate position to ensure a continuous calendar of events that would ensure a higher ROI for the airport venue.

To sum up, it was the proposal for a multi-zonal entertainment district, as opposed to only a concert arena, along with a carefully considered, cutting-edge design that were the true differentiators to help us win the bid.

What are the roles/responsibilities of each partner, including Live Nation?

Embassy is responsible for venue construction and management. Live Nation will be involved in the venue build, fit-out and mobilization along with the programming of international artists. Phase 1 is the lead operator of the project and will be responsible for the design of the venue and curation of year-round content. Nikhil Chinapa will be the strategy and communications lead and reinvent London’s Boxpark as a unique social experience at the venue.

Tell us about your experience. How do you think the live event industry has shaped up through the years? Comment on how Entertainment Arena at Bengaluru Airport will bring growth in the industry.

I have been in the events and entertainment business industry since 1995 and Phase 1 has serviced many of the biggest brands in the country for the last 24 years. The live experience industry has always had an unrivaled place in the Indian market and online ticketing platforms and data analytics have recently created a sharp growth curve and catalyzed live entertainment in the country. The Indian audience is also willing to pay more for amazing content and great experiences than ever before. Data science and technology are surely solving problems that have seemed to be unsolvable so far.

However, there have been limitations in bringing in international projects to India from the point of view of economics, infrastructure, venues, permissions, and high artist fees. We know that artists touring in Asia bypass India while performing at neighboring countries such as China and Singapore. With Live Nation overlooking the venue build, the arena will be at par with global standards. International promoters will no longer resist the Indian market, and Indian promoters will finally have a venue to seamlessly accommodate both global and large scale Indian acts.

Moreover, with the trending concept of airport cities, people can now fly in for a concert experience, pitstop at an airport hotel and fly back to their own cities overnight. With all this in place, I expect an unprecedented rise in international content coming into the country. 

Above all, the venue will create tremendous employment opportunities for the people of Bengaluru, especially the youth. We’re already seeing a trending ‘gig economy’ powered by digital, where the millennial workforce is increasingly fluid or mobile. Freelancers, independent contractors, and part-time workers are the new norms of the industry. The venue will further boost this form of the economy by providing plenty of project-based temporary jobs.

There is also some progress with policies. Veterans from EEMA have already taken the lead in initiating single-window clearances with a few state governments which will benefit us all and I hope these will be implemented sooner than later to make it more conducive for entrepreneurs to create more such content for India along with generating increased revenue for the states.

What other initiatives are planned through Phase 1 Experiences that will bring about collaborations and opportunities in the larger experiential / events industry?

EEMA is the single largest event body in India since its inception and there is a strong camaraderie between members of the entire industry. Most of my peers from the event industry have been aware of our plans of building a world-class venue from the conception stages, and we intend to continuously engage with EEMA’s platinum members to understand event-marketer requirements and tailor-make the venue to make it more affordable for the entire industry.

Additionally, worldwide events, expos, and congresses can take advantage of our state-of-the-art facilities.

Social events for HNIs is another massive requirement in the country and we will holistically cater to luxury requirements, making it the venue of choice for social events.  

Apart from brands, event agencies, government bodies, and HNIs who will have a fully-integrated, technologically-advanced venue at their disposal, the entire ecosystem of service providers including hotels, ground transportation, sound, lights, AV and other infrastructure service organizations will benefit from the project.

The venue is therefore completely adaptable, serviceable and consumable. It will be a universe of entertainment that incorporates the strength, skill, spirit, and workforce of Bengaluru while truly extending the airport’s vision of being the singular bridge that connects Bengaluru to the rest of the world.

In an exclusive conversation with EVENTFAQS, Oum Pradutt, Founder and Managing Director, Phase 1 Experiences gives an insight about their consortium with and Embassy Group and more!

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