A summary of the Weekender, Bengaluru that came with its share of highs and lows.
1) Top Management
With previous Weekender editions and A Summer’s Day this year, credit goes to OML for a fantastic amount of thought they put into organizing, promoting and publicizing an event of this magnitude. Signboards leading up to the festival a couple of miles away from the venue, to the detailed schedule, venue map and information about stages inside the festival guide at the ticket counters made it easy for people. Every band started on time, and any minor changes in scheduling were communicated through PMs and continuously through their live blogs. An early morning update on their blog on Day 2 informed ticket holders about clear skies at the venue and ongoing sound-checks, lest anyone should have second thoughts about going back again.
2) High on Electronica
There have been some fabulous new artists discovered at the Weekender as well, like Nischay Parikh this year, but this as well as previous Weekenders have featured a lot of repeat acts, some of which are OML’s own artists. Also, newer discoveries are more skewed towards the electronic genres. I would never mind seeing a Raghu Dixit or a Dualist Inquiry or even a Shaii’r n Func repeatedly, but I’d love to walk back from a festival of this scale with a bunch of new sounds. And an equal, if not more bias towards genres other than electronica.
3) No show by the Red Bull Tour Bus
There was little exciting about seeing a band perched up on a tour bus. Apart from having an open top, which allowed the rain to damage some of the equipment after only the bus’s debut song in the city and causing it to be non functional through most of the first day, bands had very little space for movement up on top. And you don’t enjoy a Vasu Dixit as much when he’s only been given about five feet on stage to move about. Also, bands like Black Letters and The F16s missed out on their tour bus gig on Day 1 because of the rains, something their fast growing fan base didn’t appreciate.
4) Weekender Spirit
There might be better music around but the atmosphere around an NH7 Weekender is hard to find at other festivals. Light, portable bean bags became head covers during the rain, artists freewheeled on the Bacardi bicycle promoting gigs or having a jolly time, school kids with painted faces knew names of indie bands and musicians and it was perfectly okay to sit alone on the grass at a distance from the stage quietly enjoying the act.
Written by Vishal Shah. Photographs by Harsimran JS Basra