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The Heavy Burden of Being NH7 Weekender: Where Ask and Supply Hardly Meet

Why the long-working music festival, scheduled for November 25th to 27th in Pune, is consistently hit with criticism in phrases of their lineup





Australian singer-composer and multi-instrumentalist Cut Murphy fka Chet Faker at his India debut at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune in 2019. Photo: Vikram Chandrashekhar

The 13th version of Bacardi NH7 Weekender would possibly presumably presumably furthermore lawful deliver unfortunate for the Pune music festival.

Now not completely have they gathered the sources to host it a 2nd time within the similar year – the 12th version that includes fully Indian and Indian-foundation artists changed into as soon as held in March – but they’re also up in opposition to the resurgent chop of music gala’s fancy Lollapalooza and massive-value tours bringing around international artists fancy Russ.

Compounding right here is the never-ending float of rumors and guessing games for Weekender headliners. While this discover is built upon the stellar previous lineups which have satiated followers – in explicit, programming artists equivalent to Opeth, Steven Wilson and Steve Vai, among others – it’s protected to advise that the festival hasn’t if truth be told been ready to satisfy the mountain of expectations they’ve fostered.

How else attain you stamp #AtLeastTool – which started out as a if truth be told colossal exclaim for Weekender to bring down American prog favorites Design? They exclaim a excessive price and arrive with large stage production demands that will construct them a no longer attainable reserving for any Indian promoter, mighty less a festival that’s been working for a decade.

As a result of the improbable trollers who’re raring to comment on every artist announcement that isn’t Design, the hashtag grew to turn out to be a formulation to rile up anybody who changed into as soon as sad with lineups. This time around, rumors floated that French metallic band Gojira would be on the invoice for Bacardi NH7 Weekender, causing followers to relentlessly hound the festival to flip rumor into actuality. As it appears, Gojira is no longer probably to play Weekender, on the least going by their first section lineup announcement.

Which artists are basically making it to the 13th version of Bacardi NH7 Weekender then? American folks/indie act The Lumineers (who had been on the invoice for the digital festival version in 2020), Swedish jazz-fusion derive together-starters Dirty Loops and Boston’s Berklee Indian Ensemble are touted as headliners to this level, alongside Indian fair acts equivalent to Parekh & Singh, Bloodywood, Gutslit, The F16s, Tejas, Kamakshi Khanna, Hanumankind, Easy Wanderlings, Yashraj and more.

The comments on Instagram and the laugh reacts on Facebook posts by the festival came in rather a lot because the announcements rolled out. While there’s shrimp doubt that Bacardi NH7 Weekender is having a fancy time residing up to their previous lineups, these submit reactions exclaim us lawful how rapidly, harshly and in overall idiotically, we bounce on the bandwagon to hotfoot apart the festival’s work.

Among the most glaring whipping posts yearly – and right here’s a elevated self-discipline with how music festival custom globally is rather a lot of from India – is how folks are mad about being asked to gain a festival value with out the lineup being out. Now that a partial lineup is out, folks are smugly declaring how overjoyed they are with themselves about no longer having offered a Weekender value sooner, or how they’ll be overjoyed to promote theirs now that the lineup doesn’t meet their expectation. Gala’s all over the world promote tickets (and in overall, those which had been around 10 years fancy Weekender have offered out tickets) even sooner than artists are presented. Only Magnetic Fields Festival have succeeded at cracking this custom, probably because they exist in a niche space and follow their guns in phrases of experiences.

On the rather a lot of hand, for Bacardi NH7 Weekender, right here is serene a gamble to promote tickets with out the lineup after which have followers pissed off and promote their tickets when the headliners don’t meet expectations. With every coming version, there’s serene a large gamble they won’t promote as mighty as they have to.

The rather a lot of troubling pickle changed into as soon as how artist announcements had been conflated into pointless simplification – Parekh & Singh haven’t played Weekender or in Pune since 2016, but bringing them down sounds fancy a evening at native venue Swig? Absolute self assurance there are repeats within the “kinds” of Indian indie that acts Parekh & Singh are very easily classified into, but they’re a rock-solid different to be on the Weekender lineup.

The rather a lot of shaggy dog memoir that floated around within the comments changed into as soon as how Weekender is lifting unknown artists up and giving them a large stage and that right here is by hook or by crook conveyed in a mocking, sarcastic tone. It’s if truth be told considered one of many most straightforward issues in regards to the festival, the keep artists derive a large stage and we construct unusual discoveries. Highly beneficial on the invoice are the likes of rapper/singer and producer duo adL x Dappest, submit-rock act VelvetMeetsATimeTraveller, hip-hop group Wild Wild Girls folks and singer-songwriter Utsavi Jha.

While there are more acts to be presented, metallic followers have the likes of Gutslit, Pacifist, Kraken and Bloodywood on the invoice. While Bloodywood are plotting out an India festival speed so there’s a reputable criticism of Weekender lawful programming a protected bet, we’re hoping it builds up to a bigger international metallic act who can lead the vogue. Even supposing it doesn’t, Bacardi NH7 Weekender’s lineup serene walks a tightrope between legacy and steady names. It’s a letdown in many concepts but if truth be told no longer in all concepts, because the Web would possibly presumably presumably furthermore have you watched.

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