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Posted On: 14 June 2009 12:30 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Teen ‘hangout’ in the offing

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari
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Teenagers in Qatar were pleased to find out about a new “hangout” spot to be opened later this year when they attended a live music launch event at the Marriott Hotel yesterday, where local bands performed to celebrate the impending opening of “The Place To Be.” The new venue was announced at the gig, featuring 10 Doha-based bands ranging from student groups to adult and professional outfits. Gulf Times spoke to Jeff Stephenson, Len Monte and Glen Henderson, three of the club’s managing partners, who described what the facility will offer the teen population of Qatar. “The basic idea is to provide venue for teens to go, hang out and have fun,” said Stephenson, adding “and it will keep them off the streets and prevent them from loitering in the shopping malls.” “There is so little for them to do here, and so few places for them to go – this will be their own place, totally dedicated to teenagers,” he said, explaining that ‘The Place to Be’ (TP2B) will have a strict policy to ensure that only children aged 13-19 are allowed entry. “There will be special family events which parents will be able to attend every so often, but these will definitely happen on a one-off basis,” he added. The location for the club is yet to be decided as the partners are currently considering two possibilities, but they explained that the warehouse-like setup will include a recording studio, state-of-the-art sound equipment, games rooms, free wireless internet access and they also said that one of the leading music chains in the US want to open a store within the club. “We are offering a top-quality service where we can provide teens with everything they need in one place that is safe and secure,” claimed Monte, who explained that the club will be open until 2am on Thursday and Friday nights, and until 8pm on Saturdays.And the managing partners were keen to emphasise that although music is not the only aspect of what TP2B will bring to teens, it will be a significant part of the club’s offering. Henderson, a well-known member of the live music scene in Qatar and a professional musician for some 25 years, explained that the club will offer a wonderful opportunity for local musicians, both young and old. “There will be a student house band who will perform weekly, and we will have regular ‘de-throne the house band’ competitions,” he said, adding “despite all the talent here, there are so few venues for them to play – that’s why TP2B offers such a great opportunity.” And the managing partners certainly have big plans for their new venture. “We will be bringing in the bands and artists that the teens idolise in the local music scene,” said Monte, adding “and eventually we will be bringing in international big-name acts to perform at TP2B” The club is 100% alcohol-free, and entrants will be required to sign a strict code of conduct policy before entering TP2B. And if yesterday’s launch event is anything to go by, TP2B promises to be a fun-filled venue where the variety of musical talent present in Doha will have an enthusiastic and appreciative audience to play to on a regular basis.