Its festival-season in India – or rather music festival season – so you’ll forgive me for falling a bit behind on posting. You see, even in India, music festivals take some recovering from…
Camping festivals like you find all over Europe are still a rarity here and there’s a good chance that Storm Festival is probably the only one in the whole of India. In previous years it was held off in the mountains to the west, but for Storm 2104 it was decided to move it to just outside Bangalore city. And with it being the depths of Winter here – temperatures barely hitting 30C – could there be a better time for a festival?
Open the gates!
Event and location security is taken quiet seriously here in India though – so while locals didn’t blink an eye, I found myself steering well clear of Bo-Bo the attack dog (below). Who needs an army of bouncers when Bo-Bo can sever arteries in seconds?
And then there was the airport-style security on the way in – with proper searches, frisking, sniffer dogs – the lot. I heard from others who had everything from teaspoons to duct-tape confiscated – there was even one guy I hear, who got busted for having Tamil homework with him. I mean, who brings their Tamil homework to a music festival??
Pre-assembled tents the way to go
That’s not to say it wasn’t a relaxed, easy-going festival – on the contrary, it was, and I will say Storm was probably one of the friendliest festivals I’ve yet been to.
Two and half stages (and a campfire) – one for dance and the others for indie music. The dance stage was much as you might expect with a mix of local and international DJs with a variety of genres.
Harder to pin down bands on the other stages though. With a mix of Indian instruments and styles, in Europe many of the bands would end up on ‘world music’ stages. The common factor for local fans though was their being indie bands i.e. non-corporate, non-Bollywood.
You see, it seems a good deal of Indian rock and roll is what is locally called ‘corporate’ – basically company sponsored staff bands or bands that depend on corporate sponsorship to keep going. So Storm is known for going out of their way to support bands earning their own keep.
And the band of the festival? How about two bands – if you get a chance, check out either Anthony Dassan yen Party – a barn-storming Tamil trad band , or Swarathma – local Bangalore folk-rockers – and remember where you heard of them first!
And that’s it – I’m off to check out India’s oldest floral clock – well, seeing as I’ve come this far…