“Bangalore has a large number of Blues bands, some of which have been around for more than 30 years," says Guru Somayaji, programmer and producer at CounterCulture, a resto-bar and live events venue in the city.

Ministry of Blues

“Last year, we had a week of movie screenings and a grand finale with several performances at CounterCulture," says Somayaji. He adds, “This year is going to bigger because we realized that Bangalore itself has so much of Blues in its veins that it needed to be heard."

More than 80% of the line-up at this year’s festival comprises Bangalore-based acts. Even the theme of this year’s festival, “Blues Around Bean Town", alludes to the origins of the name of the city.

The festival will be spread across the city, with events being organized at venues such as B Flat Bar in Indiranagar, The Egg Factory on St Mark’s Road and Rewind in Kammanahalli, so a large number of people will have access to the music.

“ We have tried our best to make sure that we are distributed geographically and even have a few events at spaces like The Egg Factory that are not really where performances take place," says Somayaji.

Films on Blues music will also be screened at various locations across the city during the festival.

As a tribute to the time when Blues music was a rage, interactive LP sessions will be organized at different locations, to focus on the texture and vibe of the sound. The organizing team will have a small collection of LPs and will invite people to bring their own LPs.

There will also be busking, with musicians giving spontaneous, unrehearsed performances. “Through this we hope to make Blues part of the city’s subculture," says Somayaji.

The festival will conclude with performances by Soulmate, Ministry of Blues, Chronic Blues Circus, Windoze, By 2 Blues and Shane Ballantyne Jr, among others.

Entry to most performances and shows is free. Entry for the finale at CounterCulture, No. 2D2, 4th Cross, Dyavasandra Industrial Area, Whitefield Road, Bangalore, on 12 May is 500. For the schedule, visithttp://counterculture.co.in/?p=1353

pavitra.j@livemint.com

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