BUDXMUMBAI proved a Mecca for underground artists, enthusiasts, and industry professionals, to connect, collaborate, and enjoy their shared passion for the budding music scene, at Mehboob Studios, on 23-24th March.

Presented by Budweiser Experiences and Vice alongwith Vice’s creative arm – VIRTUE, BUDX is a 360° experiential platform focused on the development and collaboration of artists within four vastly expanding sub-cultural sounds currently shaping India’s music landscape – Techno / EDM, Bass, Hip-Hop and Underground.

The festival launched its second edition, its first ever in Mumbai, this past weekend on March 23-24th, at the iconic Mehboob Studios, and proved a booming success throughout.

The festival cum conference was an iconic platform to bring together talents and enthusiasts from India and across the world, to share their knowledge, experiences, and inspirations, leading to some stellar collaborations, the likes of which have never been seen, over the weekend. The 2-day festival had the who’s who of the industry taking part in interesting panel discussions, masterclasses, and live performances, that had enthusiastic audiences to support them as well.

Kartikeya Sharma, Vice President Marketing South Asia, AB InBev

Talking about the BUDX event, and the Budweiser, VICE and VIRTUE partnership, Kartikeya Sharma, Vice President Marketing South Asia, AB InBev said, VICE has been a long-standing partner of ABInBev, both in India and overseas, which adds a great deal of promise and excitement to our flagship project, BUDX, executed in partnership with their creative agency, VIRTUE. The BUDX vision is to nurture and shape music culture in India, by providing emerging artists the opportunity to collaborate with and be mentored by some of the biggest names in music worldwide. We believe that BUDX 2019 has taken Budweiser’s long standing journey in music to the next level, and we will have truly co-created the future of music with India’s emerging artist communities.”

Aaron Pearce, Managing Director at VIRTUE

VIRTUE Managing Director Aaron Pearce said, “AB InBev and VICE have a long history of working together globally, so we’re rapt to be partnered with Budweiser India for the BudX platform, helping create an event and content of such scale and ambition alongside a brand dedicated to pushing boundaries and making a real and lasting contribution. We believe that the majority of the dominant youth culture trends will come out of the region in the next few years, and that it will profoundly affect the world–this weekend’s festival and all that surrounds it is a great representation of the type of projects and platforms that can play a part in this, driving community and culture, and VIRTUE and VICE want to continue to be part of that movement.”

Day 1 had panels addressing insightful topics such as ‘The Challenges of the 21st Century DJ’ by Arjun Vagale and Zainub Rao; ‘Equalising Music Spaces In India And Beyond’ by Tom Birtwistle (British Council), Pooja Bangad (The EQ Way) and Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson (Discwoman); ‘The Age Of Music Discovery And Saturation’ by Terry Weerasinghe (Beatport), Mohammed Abood (Boxout.FM) and Akshat Harbola (Spotify India), while also having a special masterclass – Beats Per Minute with Sez On The Beat, who did a live demonstration discussing his creative process and inspirations while making music.

Day 2 had industry and artist relevant discussions such as, ‘Discwoman: How To Set Up An Inclusive Artist Agency?’ by Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson and Christine Mccharen-tran; dialogs such as ‘Building A Creative Ecosystem, Future Marketing and Responsible Clubbing’ by Kunal Lodhia (Magnetic Fields Festival), Adelaide Lawson (Born N Bread), Divya Ravichandran (Skrap) moderated by Ruhi Batra (Wild City); ‘Self-Care vs Self Destruction – The Viscous Cycle of Being A Creative’ by Sahej Bakshi (Dualist Inquiry), Bao-tran tran (mobilegirl), Vehroin Ibrahim (True School of Music) moderated by Kripir Malviya (TATVA), and ‘From The Gully to Where?: The Genres of Hip-Hop in India’ by Dharmesh Parmar (MC Tod Fod), MO Joshi (Azadi Records), Deepa Unnikrishnana (DEE MC), moderated by Bhanuj Kappal.

Photo Credits: The Clique Photography

The entire event was sprawled between two warehouses, and the open courtyard area, which was a great live interaction point, with the food court, flea markets, HUFWEISER collaborated skateboarding rink, bar corners, and art installations. Apart from the engaging panel discussions, the performances were a solid crowd-puller.

The 2-day festival had its fair share of celebrity folk flocking to Mehboob, while significant local cultural figures also having great appreciation for the event’s scope, energy, and progressive intent. Among the A-listers, the Sherp was also able to spot Sonam Kapoor enjoying the vibe of the festival, and was seen coming out in great support of Bolly Hip-Hop duo, MADSTARBASE.

Mohammed Abood (DJ MoCity), Founder of Boxout.FM said, The vibe was crazy, people from all over the world were tagging artists saying, “This is happening in India!” It didn’t matter whether it was the big stage or the small stage or the quad area, or a foreign artist or an Indian artist, the crowd just wanted to have a good time, and I think that’s what BUDXMUMBAI is about.”

The BUDXDISTRICT and BUDXWAREHOUSE, were the hubs for the most exciting acts like Lifafa, Spacejams, Jamie Tiller, Detroit In Effect, DJ Ishani, Madstarbase, Seedhe Maut X Sez on the Beat and Foreign Beggars, Sub Focus, OX7GEN, _RHL, Aamish, DJ Mocity, Dreamstates, Vilify, and Tsunami Soup Collective. 

Day 1’s highlight were the infamous Boiler Room sets, while Day 2 was taken over by the hot, local sensation, DIVINE and Gully Gang, who had the crowds ecstatically pumped and in awe of BUDXMUMBAI.

Photo Credits: The Clique Photography

Commenting on the overall success of the festival, Kartikeya Sharma, Vice President Marketing-South Asia, AB InBev, opined, “At Budweiser, we strive hard to provide emerging and local artists with the right platform and direction that they seek. With collaborative efforts, we are certain that the brand is on the path to open gateways for the emerging music culture and artists. The overwhelming response BUDX received over the past two days stands testament of the sheer scope of the understated music industry of India. We are excited to be the energizers of such momentous events and look forward to the forthcoming edition of BUDX.”

The Sherp’s take on BUDXMUMBAI was that of complete amazement and respect for the platform that has been created by Budweiser Experiences in collaboration with Vice and other leading industry professionals that have come together to execute the progressive ideology.

The event was a banger from start to finish. Intricate nuances such as an LED mirror wall, reusable cups, segregated waste disposal, forward thinking ideas, were all proof of the event not just being a festival to celebrate the genres of music but to also create a significant platform that buds change.

Partnered with platforms such as MIXX and SKRAP, BUDX also addressed important socio-environmental issues, with the aim to improve them. MIXX is a platform that challenges the norm and generates awareness around gender neutrality, inclusiveness and LGBTQ culture. Leading environmental solutions firm SKRAP ensured the event was in line with Budweiser’s long-standing goal of environmental create an event centered on sustainability and responsibility.

Repping its 2nd edition and the first one in Mumbai, BUDX holds great promise for the future of underground, and non-mainstream music in India. It’s focus on inclusiveness, collaboration, freedom, and sustainability, make it a game-changer in the industry and we are excited to see what the event holds in store for the future!