By: Ghazal Mostafa
Walking around the city of Tehran, you must have heard of “Khaneh Doust” and its magical nights. In this article Trends managing editor, Ghazal Mostafa, sat down for a talk with Hamid Khosrowbeigi one of the creative minds behind this house.
Hamid Khosrowbeigi is a music producer who organized TemFest, the first electronic music festival in Tehran. He produces bands and music artists such as Dang Show, Ashvan and Balzan, has collaborated with Damahi band, and programmed operas in Vahdat Hall. A classical singer and musician himself, he has had several performances in Vahdat Hall as an artist and later as a manager and producer. He used to offer consulting services to venues such as cafés, malls, and restaurants about ambient music. He would choose musical artists to put together bands, or recommend existing bands tailored to the space and mood of the venue.
Khaneh Doust cofounder, Ali Mojahed, also the creator of Gheymeh.com, has has done some culinary investigation and recreated all the varieties of gheimeh stew to serve in the four branches of his restaurant. He has experience in theatre production and public relations, and created Peyk Art, an art news platform.
The idea to start Khaneh Doust grew out of the old friends’ previous artistic and cultural collaborations in 2021. Later, when Hamid had fewer concert projects, Ali brought up the idea of a joint project, and they decided to start the house. The house is located on a street named after Abbas Kia Rostami, whom Hamid knows in person and looks up to. Therefore, when they were thinking of a name that would be representative of the novel concept of the house, they brainstormed around the names of Kiarostami’s movies, and came across “Where is the Friend’s House?”, which sounded perfect. They came up with Khaneh Doust, which translates to Friend’s Home.
“We didn’t break new ground by creating Khaneh doust,” said Hamid Khosrowbeigi. “We are a new generation of artistic managers drawing inspiration from others before us who converted older buildings for artistic purposes. We followed in the footsteps of people like Sajad Afsharian who founded UpArtMaan and Homayoun Ghanizadeh with Godo Gole Yas Café”
Each section in Khaneh Doust represents a different concept. The three culinary sections are Gheyme. com, Gambi Restaurant, which serves American food, and Mugs Café.
The Khaneh Doust audience come here for warm and friendly performances. Previous performers include Khaloo Khedr, who got such positive response that the show was repeated several times. Morty Azizzadeh, Sirya Ensemble and Hadi Hadadi were some of the other popular performers.
One creative idea in the design of the house is the inground pool in Khaneh Doust that they were initially planning to fill in but decided to refurbish and turn it into an inground stage.
The sections of the house include Adaptor records, an electronic music community where guests can shop for vintage music records and DJ equipment. Croquis Studio concept store exhibits Iranian artists’ works and Baneh, a musical instrument store, mainly focusing on fusion music, organizes most of the musical performances in the house. Artists can rehearse and record in the state-of-the-art music rehearsal studio. Khaneh Doust also houses an independent content production studio, where musicians can rehearse and record. Madreseh Doust (Doust School) holds thematic workshops of cinema, theatre, and music. The other section about to open soon is the rooftop café cinema, where guests can enjoy a cup of coffee at screenings of selected movies.
Khaneh Doust is currently preparing to establish other houses in Gilan, Mazandaran, Qeshm, Bushehr and other cities. These houses, which are designed based on the specific needs of each city, are artistic and cultural bases that can thrive and collectively reflect and foster Iran’s musical and artistic identity. They can preserve the traditions of Iranian folk song and create an interest for younger generations. The response to folk performances like Bushehri, Bandar Abbasi, Khorasani and Azeri music at Khaneh Doust has been stunning. This is because Khaneh Doust introduced the missing element, the warmth and intimacy of the venue and performances. Khaneh Doust will continue to host an array of artistic events.