The second edition of BMP went down in Delhi this time and it was ALL Bollywood at its best!
Situated in the heart of Delhi, JLN Stadium was host to a blazing event, boasting of a stellar line-up and a happening audience. A Delhi Music festival is just like a Punjabi wedding. Drunk crowd with happy hearts, pretty faces with loud mouths and ever smiling happy bartenders. Bollywood Music Project 2017, held in the capital, was nothing short of a big fat Punjabi wedding. 3 Stages, 60 Artists, over 300 musicians, insufferable Delhi weather, jubilant crowd and that one thing which resonates with all Indians worldwide on some level- love for Bollywood!
You can replicate the DJ Mag top 5 on your rosters; call out the biggest rockstars on this planet; but nothing comes close to the kind of connection Bollywood has with us Indians. BMP Delhi was a huge success in bringing out an active crowd in the scorching Delhi heat, serving the much needed Bollywood Tadka, with a pinch of Punjabi, folklore and diverse artists. BMP Delhi 2017 was a 2-day event which beyond its line-up, had quite a few things to offer, from hookah parlours to food stalls, art Installations to selfie points, and much more. Let’s dive into the pretty little details of BMP Delhi to give you a better picture.
Location And Layout
Held on the pavements of JLN Stadium, situated near central Delhi, BMP Delhi was quite an accessible event via Metros and cabs. Being in the heart of Delhi, it was quite easy for even the working class to attend the event on a Saturday afternoon, unlike the outstation Gurgaon venues which have proven to be a nightmare for event organizers.
Walking into the festival area, beyond the greeting BMP installation, was Stage 3, which kicked off the proceedings on both days under the blazing sun. This ensured that even though Stage 3 didn’t have the biggest names on the line-up, it received a decent audience rather than the crowd directly lining up for the main stages which were in the other half of the festival area, with a huge food stall arena separating them in between.
Just like every music festival, one could hear conflicting sounds between 2 stages. However, it wasn’t an issue when you were facing your favourite artist near his stage. Decent stage decor, crystal clear sound, even for loud rapping, ensured that the production quality was easy on the eyes and ears. Art Installations lit up the arena in the evening while having raised platforms for handicapped people near each and every stage, lit up our hearts.
Hygienic washrooms, clear signs leading to emergency exits, hassle free entries from parking lots to the box office, first aid stalls near every stage and a streamlined pathway designed for the festival area ensured a complete experience for the consumer.
Artists And Music
The festival was kicked off by newcomers Gaurav Dutta, Goldie Sohel and Charu Semwal on Stage 3 around 2 pm. We walked in midway to witness Charu Semwal pulling off Alisha Chinai’s cult hit “Made In India” in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd and we knew we were at the Bollywood festival. Kudos to the performers of Stage 3 who had as little as 20 minutes of performing time allotted to them and a quick changeover of fewer than 10 minutes ensured that they could pack in around 7-8 acts before the big names took over the other 2 stages. It was quite enlightening to see Faridkot grow over the years and beyond their fame of “Laila”. Ashish Chhabra, Akasa Singh and Harish Goyal along with Suchismita Das who sang “Samjhawan”, brought out a fitting end to Day 1 on Stage 3.
Meanwhile on Stage 2, Asees Kaur & Pawni Pandey, latter being of “Laila Main Laila” fame, set it up perfectly for DIVINE with their flawless melodies. DIVINE didn’t have much of a crowd to begin with but that did not affect the energy levels of his act. Performing his latest single “Farak” in front of an alien audience and getting them to sing along with him, speaks volumes of his talent.
Zubeen Garg followed up by making us nostalgic by giving his voice to “Jane Kya Hoga Rama Re” from Kaante and a few more yesteryear hits before Kalpana Patowary mixed things up with an Assamese track to be followed by a “Phillauri Bina Chutney” item number to everyone’s surprise. Raftaar teaming up with Manj Musik & Nindy Kaur for Dangal’s “Dhakad” has to be the highlight of Stage 2 for Day 1, even surpassing DIVINE and Zubeen Garg’s “Ek Main Aur Ek Tu” collab.
Stage 1 was on fire right from the start when Yashita Sharma mashed “Choli Ke Peeche” and Bruno Mar’s “Uptown Funk” together. It might sound odd at first but trust us, it didn’t when she pulled it off live. Sachin Jigar performed a rock version on “Babaji Ki Booti” to get the crowd ‘high’ on their act before breaking into their soulful “Jeena Jeena” from the movie Badlapur. Rekha Bhardwaj as usual was a treat to watch as she performed her crowd favourite “Genda Phool” to throw the Delhites into a frenzy.
By the time Vishal & Shekhar took the main stage, the other two stages were done with their acts, channeling all the crowd towards their act and the duo lived up to their reputation. Wearing matching illuminating hand bands which were distributed amongst the crowd, Vishal got everyone dancing to his tunes of “Chammak Challo”, “Balam Pichkari” while Shekhar stuck to his Om Shanti Om hits. The duo hit it out of the park while closing on “Jag Ghoomeya” and “Pyar humein kis mod pe le aaya”, by getting the crowd to sing along with them.
Second and final day being a Sunday meant the crowd came in a little earlier in the afternoon, beating the heat. The show flow was such that even when an act was changing over at one stage, there was music playing on the other 2 stages. This ensured that the crowd always had a good time and even though it meant flocking from one stage to the other, the masses happily flocked along. Young acts like Lagori, Vipin Aneja, Meenal Jain and Bhaven Dhanak kept the crowd busy on Stage 3 under the sun while Darshan Raval & Shirley Setia entertained them with some old classics like “Kya Hua Tera Wada” and “Humma Humma”. Speaking of classics, Hariharan, the legend himself dropped in for a cameo on Stage 2.
The most anticipated act of the evening had to be BADSHAH but it was Jassie Gill, Babbal Rai & Harrdy Sandhu who started the real party with their continuous long mashups and songs like “Tera Bapu Laden Ta Nahi“. Mame Khan was as soulful as ever with his “Padharo Mhare Des” and other folklore. He also joined Amit Trivedi later on for closing the festival stage. Trivedi stuck to his roots with hits like “Iktara” and “Mhanjha”, before calling up Vishal Dadlani to join him up for “Gulaabo” before ending it on “Ishaqzaade”. You have to give credit to Amit Trivedi for making Delhites do garba to “Shubhaarambh” though!
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So glad I stayed back to watch @ameet_trivedi close out day 2 of @bmp_online #BMPDelhi ! Got to jump on and sing #Gulabo with its creator, alongside his literally mindbending band, and all the vocalists who sang with him. Arun, Jonita, Yashita, Divya, Warren, Jai, Adi, Rhythm, ID, Beven, Arshad, and everyone I'm missing….you guys were unbelievable tonight!
Even though he didn’t close the festival, Badshaah in many ways was the unofficial headliner of the festival. You have to watch him live to experience the kind of damage he can do to you. He’s a crowd pleaser and the energy levels on his act just keep on rising. He brought along Raftaar for “Kar Gayi Chull”, Aastha Gill for their new track “Nain” and many more acts. At a point we all lost count with the number of people joining him on stage. Be it his “DJ Waley Babu” or Nucleya’s “Let’s Nacho” or his latest remix of cult hit “Hamma Hamma”, Badshaah has some serious swag and boy, he doesn’t hold it back!
Food And Booze Scene
Torched up Delhi weather meant that the beverages and bar counters had to be at their best, from servicing to stocking up. After a minor hiccup in deciding the pricing of water bottles in the arena on the pilot day, services were spot on hereafter. Although we have to admit we’ve been spoilt for good by having free water at music festivals and even though it was capped quite low for as much as 25 bucks for a big bottle, giving it away for free would have been the wiser call. Seeing a milkshakes counter was a huge sigh of relief even if their pricing gave you a heart attack, ‘200 bucks for a milkshake? I’ll take a beer sir, thank you.’
Speaking of beers, alcohol was quite reasonably priced as one could have a chilled pint of beer for as cheap as Rs.150, hard liquor around 350 odd bucks. Food stalls saw a variety of kebabs and street food chats staying true to the Delhi vibes besides the usual suspects of Dominoes and Burger King. The decorated food trucks looked quite appealing and their French fries mashups were an appetite teaser. The absence of chimneys or any sort of covering near the kebab stalls crowded the food arena with smoke at times, but the tasty spices made us forget all of that.
They even had coupon counters in places but we barely saw anyone use them, guessing some last minute adjustments. Lack of rooftops or any shaded region near the stalls meant that people had to bear the heat while sipping on a cold beverage, which wasn’t a fun experience, 10 points cut from Gryffindor!
Vibe And Crowd
A Delhi music festival means the party starts in the parking lot itself. The hot sunny afternoon didn’t matter to the crowd as they flocked from one stage to the other between changeover times with a chilled beer in their hands, switching over to big pegs of whiskey as the evening progressed.
Even for a Non-Delhite, the weather was tolerable once you got used to it with a few beers, hot but not humid for our liking. Crowd majorly consisted of the happening 18-30 age groups with a few happy surds dancing around to the tunes. Working class marked their presence along the evening time. Out and out, it was a crowd which came more for the music, their favourite artists and less for their Instagram stories.
We would like to give a huge shout out to the event organizers for pulling off a classy event in the boiling heat of Delhi as we look forward to your next edition. Come back soon BMP!
All image courtesy: Bollywood Music Project
Words by Akshay Naravane