The second edition of Echoes of Earth in Bengaluru was a unique, eco-friendly event, laden with good vibes, eclectic music, and ingenious installations.
After a triumphant debut last year, India’s first ecologically-crafted music festival, Echoes of Earth, made its return to Bengaluru, Karnataka for another memorable weekend this year. The festival featured 4 stages that showcased diverse musical acts. The most intimate stage was the Big Tree Stage where people usually chose to sit on the floor and tune into Mia’s soulful vocals that were accompanied by her strumming an acoustic guitar or Thaalavattam’s intense, trippy tribal music. The Spider Stage looked like something straight out of a Burning Man camp where some of India’s top underground DJs like Arjun Vagale, Praveen Achary, and Blot! mixed records inside a gigantic metallic spider-like structure which overlooked a unique dance floor which was surrounded by tall trees. The Italian trio, Agents of Time, played a complex live set to close out the festival with their baffling array of synths, sequencers, and other gear.
The Channapatna Toy Town stage showcased talented live bands like Youngr from the UK who is basically a one-man machine and Prateek Kuhad who swooned the crowd with his hearty voice. The Dragonfly stage was the largest at the festival, where acts Emancipator, Komorebi, and Sid Vashi played. Emancipator’s dreamy performance with them playing melodic tunes on the violin was a delight at dusk. The day they played at Echoes of Earth was also the day they released their new LP, Baralku. The energy at the festival peaked during Hilight Tribe’s explosive performance as a frenzied crowd jumped and danced relentlessly. The humble French musicians have always been amazing but they’ve recently garnered the attention of even the massive commercial electronic music domain after their collaboration with Armin van Buuren and Vini Vici. Their track, Great Spirit has been destroying dancefloors worldwide and they chose to play that as their last record to close out the first day of the festival.
Echoes of Earth took place at The Embassy International Riding School, which was a short distance away from the city. However, upon reaching the beautiful, forest like venue the pollution and noise of the city of Bangalore will feel like a distant dream. The weather could not have been better. If Echoes had allowed people to camp, then that would have added a whole new exciting dimension to the festival experience. The sprawling 150-acre venue would have made a spectacular campsite. The 10 pm deadline really seemed to dampen the festival experience with security guards cacophonously commanding people to leave.
Echoes of Earth’s emphasis on being eco-friendly was consistently evident throughout the festival experience, right from the box office where they had built the structure to maneuver around an ant-hill to make sure it remained unaffected by the thousands of people who would be at the festival. The festival did not use any disposable plastics that had the potential to harm the environment. Drinks were served in biodegradable cups. Upon entering the gates, the fragrance of eucalyptus trees engulfed the atmosphere and people were greeted by a massive animatronic owl made out of dried leaves. The lush-green, gigantic venue had plenty of spots with mattresses and hammocks for people to decompress and soak in nature’s abundant beauty. The marketplace at Echoes of Earth only opened its doors to companies like Do Bandar, who make cosmetics from natural materials, and Wastecraft who make a positive effect on the environment by selling ingenious home decor made from recycled materials.
Echoes of Earth even had a number of thoughtful workshops including Hatha yoga, Digeridoo making (Hilight Tribe fans would have loved this workshop), and even one where people could learn how to make traditional Chatnapatna wooden toys. There was a wide variety of inexpensive but delicious food to choose from. The Thickshake Factory’s delectable Belgian chocolate milkshakes deserve a special shoutout. Echoes of Earth provided a unique experience for fans to sit down and have brunch and sip on champagne with artists who were performing at the festival. However, one would need to purchase an additional ticket if they wanted to choose to have a lavish meal with artists.
On the whole, Echoes of Earth seemed like a very well thought out and wholesome festival experience with no major issues. We’re living in a world that is on the verge of losing its beauty because of the way it is being damaged and exploited. We’re seeing the devastating effect of pollution and climate change in our very own capital city of Dehli and we still have world leaders who believe climate change and global warming is a farce. The situation is dire and awareness and immediate action is the only way to save us from the horrible fate that awaits our dear planet. It’s safe to say that we need many more wonderful festivals like Echoes of Earth which stand for a noble cause while providing an engaging artistic and musical experience at an economical price.