The journey to the Storm Festival, which was held in a small village in Coorg, turned out to be a mini adventure in itself. Scenic surroundings lined the seven-hour long road trip from Bangalore, not to mention the coffee plantations and eventual smooth ascent to the hills. While you may think that not too many people would make what seems like a rather strenuous journey, you only had to enter the venue to dispel all doubts. Spread over two acres, the venue housed over 650 tents and over 2,500 attendees.
The performance arena comprised two stages. The first day featured bands Parvaaz, Ankur & The Ghalat Family, Soulmate and Leslie Lewis. In his signature style accompanied by heavy audience-interaction, the final act by Raghu Dixit Project couldn’t have been better.
The camping site was one of the main highlights of the fest. Public utilities weren’t bad and the food stalls provided ample variety to the crowd. “Most festivals take seven to eight years to pick up, but this one has been successful in its first year itself,” says Jishnu Dasgupta, Swarathma’s bassist.
Kushal Arora, who won an entry to the festival through MTV Gatecrash, an initiative to provide a privileged access to the youth, says, “For me, it was a lifetime experience to camp with the so many musicians and aficionados. It was amazing to watch some of the best bands perform amidst the exotic locales of Coorg.”
On day two, Swarathma combined great music with equally enchanting showmanship. Folk fusion giants Indian Ocean brought the festival to a goose bump-inducing end with their rendition of Bandeh and Kandisa. Stage two, meanwhile, featured some mind-blowing sets by Vachan Chinnappa (VJ Nikhil Chinapa’s cousin) and Sanjay Dutta. British DJ Judge Jules’s finale act saw over a thousand hands in the air. While the two stages gave the audiences variety, the lack of soundproofing didn’t allow some bands to play soft numbers. “We couldn’t perform our mellow number Pyaasi because of that, but then, it’s alright because fests are like this.”