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Fest is best

We now have pub gigs and concerts, but the on-campus experience is unparalleled, writes Malvika Nanda.

music Updated: Sep 27, 2008 15:32 IST
Malvika Nanda

If any of us haven’t already chosen our musical identities by high school, the college years for sure cement them. And it all begins at this time of the year, when the wind is getting cooler and top festivals have already begun. Before the onslaught of online music, fests were the places to widen one’s musical horizons.

In fact, for most upcoming bands, fests were almost like a make-or-break situation as well as debut spots. AIIMS’ Pulse kickstarts the Delhi leg of festivals and IIT’s Rendezvous takes things further. The best moments of these festivals are those all-nighters. Pulse’s nightlong request sessions under the open skies had a great following.

This one took place at a hostel block park, where a DJ played several of those ‘Oh, that’s my song’ numbers for students from all over the country. Then of course, the Blitzkrieg prelims (preliminary round) that would begin late evening and go on till wee hours of the mornings. Just about everyone wanted to find a way to get here and things haven’t changed.

Whether they knew the competing bands or not, students tried every trick in the book to gain entry. The organisers would remain tight-lipped about the time, exact venue etc to avoid a flood of gatecrashers. The other big thing about Blitzkrieg for most was sneaking in cigarettes and actually smoking them inside, dodging the eyes of watchful IIT profs. Those who got caught walked out like someone who has just won an award.

This year, too, the rock competition received 70-plus entries. Being at this show is a big deal not just for students, but also for some of the best bands of the country. Of course, performing in one of the most beautiful open-air theatres with over 5,000 students in the audience is quite something. BITS Pilani is the next coveted festival, which is also famous for its nightlong DJ sessions and concerts.

I missed most of these festivals as a student but made up for the loss as a campus reporter later. For those who are still contemplating whether or not you should be a part of these fest teams, my advice would be: go for it without a second thought. Now, of course, we all have the luxury of regular pub gigs and concerts, but the on-campus experience is unparalleled.