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Beneath the stars

The nightlong Fireflies music festival in Bengaluru today will see acts like Something Relevant and Swarathma take the stage.

music Updated: Feb 19, 2011 14:15 IST
Nikhil Hemrajani

Music concerts and a general feeling of brotherhood usually go hand in hand. More so with those concerts that propagate the message of peace and oneness with Earth.

Bengaluru’s Fireflies music festival that will take place today from 7 pm to 7 am tomorrow seems to have hit the nail on the head. In its ninth year now, the all-night music event is based on organic roots — it’s an offshoot of Fireflies, an NGO that promotes self-growth and environmental action, all centred in an ashram outside the city.

Organised by 21-year-old Akshath Jitendranath and Ananda Siddhartha (22), the music festival has got spectacular support only by word of mouth and email. “We only had a motley gathering of 450-500 people when it started nine years ago,” says Jitendranath. “Our dreams were modest and designs were small. We’ve never had an extensive promotional campaign but still 5,000 people attended the concert last year. It’s the spirit of bonhomie that draws people to it. They come with their sleeping bags and camp out all night, till the concert draws to a close after dawn.”

Located 30km outside Bengaluru at the Fireflies Intercultural Centre, the festival will take place in an open-air amphitheatre under a banyan tree. “It’s a visual treat as you’re under starlight, and the 12 bands performing here, promise to make it an audio treat too,” says Jitendranath.

The festival features Mumbai acts such as Something Relevant and Filter Coffee as well as Bengaluru bands like The Bicycle Days, Thermal And A Quarter and Swarathma. “This year we’ve only printed 3,000 tickets and most of them have already been sold. Tickets are still available for Rs 500 at the venue. Since there are no sponsors, money goes into artistes’ fees and funds some of Fireflies’s other initiatives,” adds Jitendranath.