Rock and recycle at Bengaluru music festival
With larger-than-life installations of a dung beetle, a dragonfly, an owl, and even a 30ft praying mantis, it looks like there is going to be as much buzz about the upcycled artworks as there will be about the stellar line-up of bands and artists at the second edition of Bengaluru’s home-grown, eco-conscious music festival, Echoes of Earth.
The two-day festival, being held over the weekend, attracted about 6,000 visitors at its launch event last November. Festival director Roshan Netalkar hopes to see double the number this time around. “After having spent two decades in the industry (Netalkar runs the event management company Swordfish Events & Entertainment), we have been exposed to a diverse range of music which we wanted to bring to Bengaluru. But we also wanted it to stand for more than just the music,” says Netalkar.
Consequently, a major part of the festival is produced using upcycled and recycled concepts. For instance, the stages are built and decorated with old drainage pipes, recycled saris and cloth, junkyard scrap and other discarded material. The production team spent six months sourcing scrap from junkyards, coordinating with artists and designers, and curating workshops and stalls that would not only impart musical skills but also knowledge about composting and recycling. There will be stalls selling showpieces created from upcycled e-waste, jewellery made of preserved moss, wooden eyewear, etc.
Of course, this is only one half of the picture. Netalkar, who has tied up with various artist management agencies across Europe as well as one in Mumbai, has an eclectic line-up of over 40 musicians and deejays, ranging from American DJ Emancipator and London-based beatboxing flute player Nathan “Flutebox” Lee to UK glass harp artist Loup Barrow. The latter will also conduct a workshop demonstrating his technique, which involves running moistened fingers over a collection of wine glasses filled with varying quantities of water.
Making a repeat appearance at the festival is percussionist Montry Manuel’s musical project Thaalavattam, known for fashioning musical instruments out of scrap. Aptly enough, the Bengaluru-based act is the festival mascot. Netalkar says it will be curating a special set for the festival by collaborating with traditional musicians from Kerala.
The other repeat performer will be the UK-based electro pop artist Youngr. Several rising indie stars, such as metal sitar player Rishabh Seen and folk-pop fusion artist Prateek Kuhad, will also take the stage.
What is also music to the ears is that Netalkar says they will run one of their four stages on solar power. “Our goal is to run the entire festival on bio-generators,” he adds. Till they can do that, the organizers have tied up with the NGO Reforest India to plant a sapling for each ticket sold.
Echoes of Earth will be held from 18-19 November, 3-10:30pm, at Embassy International Riding School, next to Stone Hill International School, Tarunhunse Village. Tickets, Rs1,062, Rs1,652, Rs2,360,Rs3,000, Rs3,540 and Rs5,000, available on In.bookmyshow.com.