Bringing back the indie beat

This indie music community hosted a multi-cultural festival that was a mélange of exciting musical performances as well as an exhibition by visual artists from across India

Published: 11th April 2022 08:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th April 2022 11:48 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

The open courtyard of Auro Kitchen & Bar at Hauz Khas was abuzz with excited chatter and upbeat music as visitors enjoyed and browsed through a number of stalls set up at the venue for ‘Space Day’ on Sunday evening.  This one-of-a-kind multi-genre music festival was organised by Space Session, an indie music community with members in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai.

A diverse cultural medley 
Founded by Anand Vihar-resident Ankit Kathuria, Space Session was formed to provide a platform to indie musicians and help them get the limelight they deserve. While the Space Session gigs started as intimate gatherings—mostly at houses, bookstores, or backpackers’ hostels—this event at Auro was a celebration of the four-year anniversary of the community. “Nowadays, music has become very straight forward. You either see electronic gigs or commercial music at places. However, there is so much more to it; so many different genres to explore. The idea behind this festival was to mix various cultures and bring a crowd of music lovers, so that there is something for everyone,” added Kathuria.

Space Day featured a mélange of musical artists from all around the country who performed post 6pm. Of the 12 artists was Samar Mehdi, a singer-songwriter from Bhopal, Chandigarh-based singer-songwriter Alisha Batth, Straight Outta Srinagar, a rap duo formed by Tufail Nazir and Syed Arsalan from Srinagar, and other Delhi-based indie musicians.

They also organised a Space Bazaar in collaboration with A Nite Errant, a travelling art community founded by Nayana Keswani, with 40 artists who displayed their works at the festival. “I feel music and art are one and the same. The Bazaar is not just about selling your products; artists also display their works. It’s a space where you can satisfy your curiosity and be part of the artistic world,” Keswani said.

Bringing the art community together 
When we attended the pop-up at 4:30pm, we saw an array of artists working across various art genres. There was Ghaziabad-based clothing brand Bigtoke Clothing, handpoked tattoo artist Saksh  (@atgotyourtongue_) as well as artisanal soap venture Snaan Therapy from Vasant Kunj.

Ruth Chawngthu, a masters student of design from Ambedkar University Delhi had her range of zines and cyanotype prints on display at the pop-up. “The zines are mostly about my personal experiences, the people I interact with, issues of marginalisation, etc.” Similarly, Muskan Soni from East Delhi was showcasing a range of handcrafted polymer clay accessories. “It began as a lockdown project for me but I realised that I had an eye for this art. Polymer clay is an interesting medium. It becomes soft after baking. That makes it long lasting, which is very important for accessories.”

Apart from hosting such unique stalls, the event also brought a number of art enthusiasts together. Defence Colony-resident Shaurya Bali who attended the festival, shared, “I wish more things like this keeps happening. It supports independent work.” Taking this thought forward, Sahil Veer Singh, a student of College of Arts, Mandi House, concluded, “People have told me that there is no future in art. So being a part of festivals that supports art, gives me hope.”


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