Five days of work, traffic, noise, short tempered bosses and shorter deadlines. And then the weekend comes, just in time. For some of us, Saturdays and Sundays call for calm afternoon naps.
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But the rest of us are happy to chill out with movies, malls, hikes, plays, exhibitions, shows and the odd candle making workshop. So how do you know when these events happen? Many options exist both offline and online. I’ve attempted to compile a list of websites as well as city newspapers that lists events.
The first one is AskLaila. It is a comprehensive site I came across for events. The events are clearly categorised according to visitors taste. Category names like "Festivals, Fairs", "Nightlife, Parties", "Theater, Dance, Drama" are clear and enable visitors to quickly find his or her choice of event. This can further be refined based on event date and timings. A small calendar lets us choose the date. The "Coming Weekend" options allows us to select the events over the immediate weekend.
Citizen Matters provides one of the most comprehensive events section (Google lists us right up there at #2 for ‘Bangalore events’).
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The "Food and Wine" section is quite impressive and provided me with leads to some restaurants and cuisines I had never heard of. I must try the "Muffins & Donuts of the Month" event. The winning feature of AskLaila is the sms option which allows you to sms your friend any event details right then and there. The system is not without glitches, some smses are incomplete without contact or venue details.
Then I stumbled upon Explocity. The events section of Explocity is well stocked but poorly organised. The site is designed to just check out the day’s events. I was unable to view the coming weekend’s events in a single click. The categories are also not as detailed as AskLaila’s. The events are not unique and are found at other sites. From the look and feel of the site, you assume the nightlife and musical events section of explocity will be well stocked, but there was nothing special and it was disappointing to see a city guide not cover all events that are happening in the city.
The most browser friendly and easy on the eye was Yahoo Local which is in beta (an incomplete product, still being worked upon). It also had the most unusual events. Alcoholics Anonymous Meets and Tarot Card Reading seem to set the mood for this site. However, there weren’t any food or dance festivals or other shows present. Lack of categories and date selection severely limit the potential of this site, buts it’s the place to visit for wacky events.
From the easy on the eye to Sulekha’s ad filled site, famous for its classifieds, photo sharing and vacation planning sections, the events site here is a simply a long list of unrelated events. Disorganised at first look, but they do have categories and date selections which are not intuitive at all. This site is workshop heavy with most events listed involving creative writing, dance and other workshops. The next time you want to learn something, this is the site to go to.
A good find was Buzzintown which has a nifty clean interface which is easy to use. The site covers all kinds of events and its overall selection was second only to AskLaila. But while most sites covered the common events, this site had a couple of events such as the story sessions and some musical events that were missing at other sites. An excellent resource for an event hungry Bangalorean.
Then there is Burrp another good site with a clean interface, its collection of categories which are finely refined and cover fewer but specific events. The categories include "Art", "Fashion", "Dance" and "Theatre". This use of smaller groups makes it easier for people with specific tastes to quickly refer to events happening. Another advantage for the tech savvy crowd is that each category has anReally Simple Syndication (RSS) feed enabling instant notifications when this site adds events.
I then decided to check out newspapers. The Hindu‘s event section is titled "Bangalore Today". It has the most comprehensive religious activities and lecture section. Also professional associations like Charted Accountants Associations also seem to prefer to notify their meets in The Hindu only. An events section which oozes a serious attitude.
A very disappointing section is The Times of India’s (ToI) "Events" section which appears in Bangalore Times, positioning itself as a young and happening supplement, it’s disappointing that the nightclub and party events mentioned in the ToI are covered by Buzzintown and asklaila adequately. But ToI seems to index book readings and musical events in detail.
Overall the newspapers lag behind the online event organisers in collecting information about events. The only exception being The Hindu’s unmatched collection of religious/spiritual and association related events.
Go to AskLaila to check any general event out, to Yahoo local for an unusual weekend and to Sulekha to start a hobby.⊕
This compilation is based on personal observations over a week in September 2009. Since events listings information is dynamic, and websites constantly changing, the content quality and presentation of the sites may be different when you visit them.