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Tunes will travel as festivals hit the road in a bid to expand
NIDHI GUPTA  9th Sep 2012

Bacardi NH7 Weekender 2011

ome October and the National Capital Region (we cannot get away with saying Delhi this time) is going to play host to some of the biggest music carnivals — complete with stilt-walkers, crazy costumes, clowns, art spaces, gourmet food venues and quirky bazaars — that the country has seen emerge out of a flourishing indie scene. For all kinds of music fans, it is no small matter that both Sunburn, the EDM festival from Goa, and Bacardi NH7 Weekender from Pune, are making their debut in the northern country in less than a month.

Though they started in the relatively cosmopolitan climes of Western India, both these institutions are now travelling across the country. Earlier this summer, Sunburn took Mumbai by storm too. They have announced a Sri Lanka edition for this winter. Bacardi NH7 Weekender will be doing a gig in Bangalore in December too. "We have always wanted the music festival to be a serious multiple city experience," says Vijay Nair, CEO of Only Much Louder, the organisers of the Weekender festival.

Last year, at Sunburn, the crowd was hardly from Goa, as such, says Ninad Shah, who heads marketing at Sunburn. About 25—30% of their 80% Indian audience was travelling down from different cities. "The idea of launching a festival in Mumbai and now Delhi is simply to take the Sunburn experience, in a smaller but impactful way, to our fans in their very own city," he explains.

"Delhi just made sense because the biggest talent in every genre of indie music — be it Parikrama or B.L.O.T. — are based in the Capital. Also the number of people interested in music are higher here than anywhere else," adds Nair. Shailendra Singh, inceptor of Sunburn, echoes this thought: "Even though Mumbai is known to be the entertainment capital of the country, I strongly believe that Delhi is the party capital of India and Sunburn Delhi will prove just that."Image 2nd

NH7 saw some rather hostile response to their announcement of heading to Delhi. "Initially, we didn't say that this was to be a three-city festival — so people assumed that we were moving to Delhi. These are people from Mumbai and Pune, so the animosity to Delhi is understandable. We just teased them a bit longer. Now they are laughing at themselves on micro-blogging sites," chuckles Nair. They do have a hardcore fan following in the two cities, but then, Delhi's been waiting for something like this to happen for a while now.

The setup for the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Delhi is identical to Pune's — in addition to their usual six stages, they will be introducing two new arenas: the Fully Fantastic Indie Stage, which is dedicated to rising bands and old favourites and a Bacardi Breezer area where DJs will spin for your dancing pleasure. Nair promises that the line-up, which will be announced next week, will be entirely fresh. "Personally, I think the programme for Delhi is the best we've ever curated," he says. Sunburn, meanwhile, will be a less lavish affair, with two stages and 20 international DJs spinning out some inventive tracks.

Both organising committees have zeroed in on Noida as the site to get the party going. "I travelled around looking for a good venue last year and the moment I set eyes on the Buddha Circuit in Greater Noida, I knew this was it," says Nair. Meanwhile, Sunburn will be setting up their tents at the Golf Course in Noida. "Delhi would be the ideal place to have this, but there are many restrictions that don't allow such large scale outdoor events. Noida is away from the crowd, the venue is easily accessible, traffic can be managed well," he points out.

Despite the buzz they're creating, Nair warns that the festival is not for casual dippers. "This festival was never intended to be the biggest bash ever. In our first year here, we want to make sure that we get right kind of crowd to come in. So if you're one of those who wake up with a song in your head, this is the place for you to be!" he says.

Heads up, headbangers!

Sunburn Festival

Date: 7 October, 2012

Time: 3 pm - 10 pm

Venue: Unitech Golf Course and Country Club, Noida


Bacardi NH7 Weekender Festival

Date: 13th & 14th October, 2012

Time: All day long

Venue: Ground D, Buddha International Circuit, Noida

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