What all would you do to attend India’s happiest music festival, the Bacardi NH7 Weekender? We got talking to some people who would clearly do a LOT.

Music festivals take a whole lot of prepping. The tickets must not only be brought, but saved for. You’re in desperate search for a travel partner; carpoolers who do not pull out the shady card, and you’re calling that one friend you once partied with, hoping he knows someone you can crash with. And if you’re a working professional, may the universe conspire to get you that weekday off of work.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender, on the other hand, has seen an increasingly growing influx of fans, year after year, managing a steady growth of popularity among music fans across the country. From teenagers to college graduates, working professionals, and even families, Weekender, held at Pune that brings in fans from around Maharashtra, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, and now Shillong, sees quite the attendance even on those otherwise diligent Fridays and Saturdays.

We got talking to several ardent Weekender Fans from all over, who shared some of their quirky excuses, peculiar hardships and passionate pleas that got them to their favourite festival.

1. This guy who gave up loyalties!

Things I’ve done for a 3 day pune weekender pass: Once went to a Liverpool match as one of them dippers and in their colours, fake-supporting them to kingdom come.

I felt like Cersei Lannister on her walk of shame. I’m a United fan and I did this only for Weekender, forgive me Manchester, you are my only love. But nothing is more precious than going to Weekender.

Harsh Garbyal, Delhi

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2. How far would you go to tell a lie?

Borrowed money from home, when I was really broke. The reason I gave my mom? My friend is pregnant and cannot tell her parents.

Spoorthi Reddy, Hyderabad.

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3. Would you go as far as creating an inter-web of lies?

What I did so I could attend the 2014 Weekender? Oh, nothing spectacular!

Boss was told I’m admitted in the hospital for gastroenteritis, family was told I was home all weekend working, friends were told I was away at family’s.

So, who did you go with?

The girlfriend.

Anonymous, Mumbai

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4. Sure, you would gulp a drink for a free Weekender pass. But would you an entire bottle?

This will be my first ever Weekender and I got the pass because my friend challenged me to finish an entire Bacardi bucket at the festival. I finished two.

He works for Bacardi Sales.

Swapnil Kale, Mumbai


5. Would you even antagonise a friend?

My first weekender was when Imogen Heap performed. I have been a big fan of hers and followed her career since she was part of Frou Frou. Unfortunately, on the same dates as Weekender was my close friend’s wedding. So, I obviously had to make the right choice. I chose Weekender. I got my ass kicked for missing the wedding, but it was worth it!

Abhishek Desai, Mumbai

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6. Would you jump on to any random wave of opportunity to make Weekender happen?

So in 2011, a couple of my friends had just shifted to Pune to attend engineering college and they were sharing an apartment. That was just the second edition, so the publicity wasn’t as widespread. I had heard about the festival not too long before it and decided that I wanted to go. I called up one of the guys living together in pune and asked him if I could bunk with them. He said he had exams so he wasn’t too sure. Eventually he said no. So i dropped the idea.

It was a 3 day festival event then, so the first day went, second day went and then late Saturday night, the other guy who lived with him called me to ask the score of the Arsenal game that day. They hadn’t yet set up internet at their house, so he was out in the cold. I told him the score and we just generally began chatting. I told him that I was supposed to come to pune and bunk with them and that it got cancelled. He then said he was there and free, doing nothing. I’d just assumed his roommate would have spoken to him and asked him but he hadn’t.

So, that’s it. I just packed my bags on Sunday morning and I was at the festival by afternoon. Caught just one day of the edition but haven’t missed a single year since.

– Aftab Khan, Mumbai

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7. Any harmless lie?

So my friend is a student at Symbiosis Pune as well as a resident at their hostel. That weekend, during Weekender, the hostel was pretty much full (along with every other hotel near the festival venue) and they weren’t renting out any dorm rooms. We lied to the college administration saying that we were her family from Gujarat and hadn’t seen her in years. Believe it or not, it worked.

-Margi Ruparelia, Mumbai

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8. Like preempting sickness, perhaps –

Every Weekender, I send feelers to my boss, lay down a groundwork for the upcoming weekend, by pretending that I might fall sick. I drop statements like, “I think I’m going to fall sick soon. Don’t feel very good lately.” And then, I head off to Weekender, and no one suspects a thing.

With my parents? I just tell them I’m off to Pune on work. Everyone’s happy.

– Jaime Lobo

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9. Or would you hitchhike your way to all the Weekenders of the year? 

I love The Vaccines. I cannot put into words how much I really love The Vaccines. And I’m also a freelance photographer. Which means two things – I’m not in dearth of holidays and I rarely have money. So while I didn’t have to go to a boss for leaves, I also didn’t have enough money at that moment to make Pune happen ( I live in Mumbai). So, a month before Weekender was due, I called up every major news outlet I knew, hoping they’d let me cover Weekender for them, until one national daily, actually let me. And not just Pune, they wanted me to cover Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata as well. Sure, they paid for my travel tickets, as opposed to flight. But I managed to watch The Vaccines thrice, while traveling to four cities.

No pay, of course.

– Vaibhav, Mumbai

10. Some of us have some pretty wild wishes too!

I have this outrageous and completely improbable dream of actually performing with Megadeth on stage. Not only that, the dream depends heavily on the fact that I’m flown into festival, land right next to the Bacardi Arena and then quickly whisked off to the main stage where Megadeth patiently waits for my arrival

I’ve recently decided that this dream will turn into a reality, by hook or crook. I’ll make sure it happens!

– Kedar Jaidev, Mumbai

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(All Images Via : giphy.com)

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