Another year has gone by and with everything else, so has another episode of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender’s leg in Bangalore.
Having originated in the city in 2012, the NH7 Weekender has grown and maintained its status of being the happiest festival in the country. Showcasing some of the best home-bred and international talent, the festival spanning across two days has always left the fans content and satisfied with the vibrant artist line-up as well as everything else associated with the music festival – food, merchandise, the bazaar and most importantly, shiny happy people.
This year, the Weekender was held at the Embassy Riding School grounds in North Bangalore and with the usual five stage setup, the festival saw a welcome change in sponsors with Grey Goose and Motorola getting the spotlight.
While the decorations around the festival grounds were not as elaborate as the previous years, the ambiance of a happy festival lingered in the air and a celebrity artist line-up of A.R. Rahman, Mark Ronson, Mogwai and Vir Das’ Alien Chutney made sure the crowd was hooked on more to the music than the usual tones of colorful fabric floating in the winter breeze.
With the festival spanning two days in the city, there was a noticeable change in the kind of audience that visited on each of those days with a large chunk of A.R. Rahman fans hopping and jumping around on Day 1 and a good mix of multi-genre loving people swooping in on Day 2.
With every music festival, success has got more to do with the number of tickets sold and a major player in the equation is the weather. Thankfully, the Weekender was blessed with an overcast weather this season and while Chennai is undergoing a great deal of trauma and chaos, Bangalore was spared the spartan rain just a few days before the festival kicked-off. Apart from providing the perfect festival weather, the dark, colorful clouds lingering around the grounds made for some dramatic photographs!
Moving over to the performances, there were a great deal of pleasant surprises in terms of the line-up with bands like The Clameens and The Map Room taking the audience by surprise and dishing out some amazing Indie music. Electronic acts like Flying Lotus and SBTRKT developed a mad light and sound show and had a huge number of people going crazy during their set!
With A.R. Rahman being the main act, there was undoubtedly a great fan presence, the likes of which I have never experience before. A huge number of women who were screaming and singing along filled up the front rows of the main stage and after a performance of more than an hour, (most) people went home satisfied.
(At least they were until they reached the parking lot, only to be reminded that the traffic woes of the city had caught up all the way into a remote section of North Bangalore.)
After a Saturday well spent and a great deal of new and highly deserving acts photographed and documented, it was extremely difficult to predict what Day 2 would bring…