Last year may have been a big disappointment for metal-heads in the city, but organiser of I-rock, Farhad Wadia is convinced that its 26th edition, slated to take place on November 26 and 27, will be a double whammy. “This year, we have two shows across five cities, and a two-day finale,” says an excited Wadia, adding, “What makes it more special is that it’s the first time I-rock will be aired live on two national music channels— MTV and VH1.”
While the location (Chitrakoot Grounds) and the entry (free) remain the same, unlike last year, the festival’s popular competition section is back. “For now, we are calling for entries till November 1 from bands across the country,” he says. The preview shows that start on November 7, will feature performances by 25 acts from Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Kolkata. “In the end, five acts will be selected to play. Also, our sponsors have started a wildcard spot that’ll allow a band to win the slot straight to the national finals,” he adds.
Expecting a turnout of 10-15,000 people this year, Wadia remains unaffected by his festival dates coinciding with another big music event, Bacardi NH7 Weekender, which starts on November 18. “It’s not a competitor at all. Weekender is mostly an indie, electronica event, with rock as an afterthought, while I-rock is a rock/metal fest.
You can’t compare the longest running rock festival with something that’s barely two years old,” he insists. Ask him why he chose Bollywood’s chocolate boy, Imran Khan to be the posterboy of the rock festival and Wadia says, “Imran is a massive rock freak. He has great taste in music and is friends with a lot of rock outfits in the city. We needed a celebrity like him to bring the spotlight to the Indian rock scene.”