The Sherp was at Bacardi NH7 Weekender Kolkata and came back all heady with a steady Weekender hangover from what was, an incredible weekend.
At around 10:30 pm on Sunday night as we were finding our way to the exit gates, all we could see around were emotions with faces on them, from hysteria to trance to pure joy and that in a sentence was the 2015 edition of Bacardi NH7 Weekender Kolkata.
The two day party saw some stellar acts by bands covering a wide range of genres from Metal to Alternative, Folk to EDM. Spread across 5 stages and 37 acts, there was music that catered to every taste and the City of Joy lapped it up with overwhelming zeal.
The Sherp highlights what it felt about the brilliant edition!
Once upon on a time in a venue, far, far away…
There were a lot of complaints when it came to the choice of Aquatica as the venue for this year’s NH7. Rajarhat is at a far flung corner of the city and to add to further woes, transportation to and from the spot was nightmarish to say the least. Although once in, it offered a pretty decent amount of space for 5 stages to operate while minimising the sound bleeding from one stage to the next.
Those famous Weekender vibes.
The music loving Kolkatans were in a mood to party and that they did. Where Day one saw a crowd of more than 8000 by the evening , on Day two all hell broke loose. The audience consisted of an eclectic blend of college goers, old people, locals and people who flew down from neighbouring countries just to catch the show.
A star gathering!
37 acts across five stages covered a whole plethora of genres. Megadeth and The Wailers being the biggest names, the two-day festival saw some inspired performances by Baiju Dharmajan Syndicate, Kailasa, Nucleya, Shaa’ir + Funk , Papon , Zygnema and a host of other musicians. Frankly there was too much to soak in and too little time for it all. With the music being that good, we decided to pick the ten acts that left us totally impressed.
When, not music..
There was a whole lot of stuff going on to keep one enthralled and the first one to catch my attention was the Straydog Jamroom in the centre lawn. Get in, pick an instrument and start playing, and that’s what budding musicians did to loud cheers.
There were miniature race car arenas to DIY tee shirt counters to makeover salons but what really caught people’s attention were the drones flying around. Every once in a while they’d put up a show where they’d make the quadcopters do crazy flips to a much amused audience.
The NH7 merchandise counters had band tee shirts, badges, masks and capes on sale and these stalls were buzzing with activity. Everyone wanted to get a hold of their favourite band t-shirt before they got sold out.
Saavn was a stall which featured artists for a meet and greet and had a podcast going on. So while we moved around from one stage to another we figured we’d might as well stick around for a few selfies with our favourite artists.
Barbecues, Burgers and Booze
There was a whole lot to choose from when it came to food, from barbecues to burgers to Chinese to shawarma rolls, no one went hungry although prices were on the steeper side.
The alcohol like every year continues to miss what everybody wants at a music festival : BEER. Bacardi made sure one got drunk but the choices were limited. There were counters adjacent to each stage so one needn’t miss any music while getting a mug. Flair bartending kept people entertained every once in a while. Worth mentioning was the Live Life in Colour counter next to the centre stage for its sheer visual appeal, lit with LED tubes, it had to be the ‘trippiest’ corner in the entire arena.
Well managed and comfortable
Security was top notch as individual checking came with CIA like efficiency. As a result the amount of marijuana confiscated could get the whole city stoned. With an on-call ambulance at hand, security personnel lurking around in every corner and not quadcopters, this box was checked.
Five stages in all, one would say the Bacardi Arena and The Dewarists were the best on the face of it. After speaking to a few of the artists, sound engineers and photographers, all seemed to concur with the above. The Moto spotlight was one of the smaller stages but many found the lighting in there the most appealing. The overall production was a big YAY.
Words : Sarathi Bhattacharya
All Images unless mentioned otherwise : Aneesh Ghosh