“We were backpacking all over India, and decided to visit Bangalore and attend the music festival,” said Melissa and Mark who were visibly excited at the sight of Martina Topley Bird, an English vocalist and songwriter. Like the 25-year-old couple who were enjoying their semester vacations, there were several people from all over the world including Russia and Israel who decided to attend the festival. Apart from the popular music genres like rock, metal and electronic, some of the favourite acts included Advaita and Indian Ocean. “I have never heard their music before. Indian music is very soulful. It is like a breath of fresh air. I am extremely happy that I decided to come here,” said Sammy who couldn’t stop dancing to Indian Ocean’s Areey Rukh Ja Re Bande.
Spotted in a corner listening to some reggae was Adam, Maria and their children. Coming all the way from San Francisco, the family decided to visit India on holiday. While the kids were busy playing with a few psychedelic toys, their parents told us how they were impressed with the Indian reggae artistes performance. “We love listening to reggae music and quite often attend concerts that include reggae as a part of their act,” said the couple.
Apart from some funky stalls, the festival also saw a great deal of artists showcasing their work to music lovers.
Artist Shilo Shiv Suleiman’s quirky paintings on a mini-truck attracted a lot of attention from curious onlookers.
What did the NH7 festival goers say?: Music lover Shubra R who attended the NH7 Bangalore edition and who has also been to the NH7 2010 and 2011 editions held in Pune and Delhi respectively, said,"This festival truly lived by its tagline-’The Happiest Music Festival in India’. Where else can you experience such amazing range of music, right from rock to reggaoe to electronic, that too under one roof. It was truly worth every penny I spent. Distance was a concern, but the music and the fantastic line-up was worth every pain I took to reach the destination.”
Though there were many who missed the festival because of the long distance (there was shuttle service provided by the organisers) there were people on the other hand who attended the festival from as far as Israel and USA.
“Periphery, Testament, Indian Ocean, Fink, Foreign Beggars, Susheela Raman, Bauchklang... the lineup of the Bangalore edition of NH7 sounds like a dream and the event was so well organised,” said Harsh V who came from Kolkota. There were also some who felt that this music festival did not have the edge of a music festival and did not live up to their expectations. Raj v, a media professional says,”Yes. This might be one of the biggest music festivals in the country, but we have a long way to go before reaching the standards of the international music festivals.
Cab drivers are happy too: Cab driver, Abdullah who had no idea about the music festival asked us,"What do they do in such festivals. Does everyone dance?.” Not so convinced with our reply that people come here from all over the country to see their favourite artistes perform live and enjoy good music, he replied,"They pay so much just to listen to music. Whatever the reason is, I am happy.”
Abdullah claims that the demand for cab services have gone up since the number of concerts and music events being held in the outskirts has spiraled.