#terminaljam: is it (un)cool to perform at airports and in planes?

A Bangalore-based live band called Swarathma has recently launched themselves into a series called #terminaljam, which, as per their Facebook page,

is a brand new series of jams streamed live, from Airports, Railway Stations and other places of National Interest.

What is the inspiration to go after all sorts of public places is beyond me, except, perhaps that they wanted to get eyeballs. But that is my assumption about their motive.

They announced their first gig on March 24 on their Facebook page,

If you’re flying out of Mumbai tomorrow morning catch our #TerminalJam at Mumbai Domestic Airport (T1). This is going live on Facebook. Tune in. Share our boarding pass!(Design: Shreevyas)

Posted by Swarathma on Thursday, March 24, 2016

Clearly, this had no backing of the airport operator or any sort of security clearance to make this performance happen, so all they were doing was to break into a random gig at the Mumbai airport on their way to another city from Bangalore. And sure enough, the video surfaced on Facebook a while later.

#TerminalJam at Mumbai Airport gets busted by the friendly security forces. While waiting for our flight to Indore.

Posted by Swarathma on Thursday, March 24, 2016

As you can see, the security establishment came forth a bit late to the act, and asked them to stop their jamming on the airport. He was nice and cool while he chatted with them, and they stopped right there, for the moment.

But, that was not the end of it. A little later, they popped their instruments open on a darn plane which was waiting to push back and started jamming. The engine hum can be heard behind. So, ideally, this guy should have been seated with his seat belt fastened, but that was not the case here.

Swarathma – Pyaasi (Live on Indigo)As we waited for our IndiGo flight to Indore to push-back, Vasu got his guitar out and played Pyaasi to a surprised and delighted audience. #TerminalJam is our series of random musical escapades to make the world a more joyful place.No airline staff were harmed in the making of this video.

Posted by Swarathma on Saturday, March 26, 2016

If you scroll through the comments, it looks like the airline did not take any action as well, or perhaps the incident went unreported.

Either ways, while they state that

#TerminalJam‬ is our series of random musical escapades to make the world a more joyful place.

I disagree.

The notion to perform in subways and metro train stations is a worldwide phenomenon. I see enough people jamming at Central Park or at the Times Square/Broadway subway station in New York and enough acts on the sidewalks of Paris. So yes, those are open spaces where people have the freedom to stay and watch, or walk away from the scene of the performance. No one gets disturbed.

To perform inside the security hold area of an airport is not the same thing. People are constrained and they cannot walk away. So what could be this guy’s joy could be another guys’ headache. I’d file that away under public nuisance.

On the other hand, what they did on a plane would somehow have the crew hand in glove with them, because for 3 minutes the aisles were clear and their artist could move around the plane singing a song.

When I buy an airplane ticket, I don’t get a ticket for a performance along, so it is not welcome in my book. People are saying their goodbyes on their phones to their loved ones, or perhaps trying to get that one final business decision communicated, or doing stuff in their personal space on the airplane. With this, one converted the assumed private space into a public space, and one had no way to stop them, unless of course, all the people on this plane agreed to listen to their song.

Next, it was not a cool thing to do from a security perspective. In case they would have done this in the US of A, they would have been deplaned, also perhaps with the airport police swinging into action. Here, I seriously don’t know how the airline approved of this, especially with the danger of running into DGCA at some point of time on this.

Sure as hell, I did not sign up for this kind of inflight entertainment. Do you?

Do you support live concerts in airports and airplanes?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. To perform on the NY subway or any subway in the US you need to get permission. Most US cities transport authorities that manage the subways charge a license fee. The act is given an alloted time at an assigned station. There is a waiting list to perform at certain stations and times such during rush hour at the Harvard Square T stop in Cambridge/Boston or Broadway station in NYC…

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