the wonderful world of veena.

07 November 2012

30 before 30: NH7 Weekender.

  1. Go bungee jumping.
  2. Go sky-diving.
  3. Spend one week on my own in solitude [preferably in Honey Valley], cut off from the world and from all of my electronic gadgets.
  4. Do a wine tour [preferably in California, but due to logistical constraints, improvisations may have to be made].
  5. Complete my Master of Public Service degree.
  6. Run a half marathon.
  7. Explore a new part of India.
  8. Be vegetarian for one month.
  9. Go skinny-dipping.
  10. Learn to scuba dive.
  11. Learn one Indian language properly [it's about time, wouldn't you think?].
  12. See the Grand Canyon [I smell a US road trip in my future].
  13. Get a professional massage.
  14. Try 2 foods I've never tried before.
  15. Take a photography class.
  16. See the sun rise over the Himalayas.
  17. Attend NH7 Weekender in Pune.
  18. Take an online class because it interests me.
Bacardi NH7 Weekender Pune has built itself a reputation of being the best music festival in India, so when Shonali and I found out the dates for this year's festival, we were determined to attend. We sorted tickets and a place to stay, convinced Nithya to join us [a piece of cake once Bombay Bicycle Club was added to the lineup], booked our tickets, and set out Friday afternoon for Pune.

I had a great time, but I have slightly mixed feelings about the festival itself. The venue was really cool, and I saw some awesome musical acts - Big Scary, Slow Down Clown, The Koniac Net, Buraka, Manganiyar Seduction led by Roysten Abel, Delhi Sultanate, Jinja Safari, and the aforementioned BBC - but the vibe from the crowd was a bit of a letdown. Because the ticket prices increased this year, it automatically filtered out the crowd, and I got the feeling that most of the people weren't there for the music but rather to see and be seen. Because of the reputation that NH7 has now, it seemed like a lot of people were there to be able to say they were there. Now, that is entirely my opinion, and I could be completely off base, but that's the feeling that I got.

One of the things that I really liked, though, was how they cordoned off the bar area. The drinking age in Maharashtra is 25 and is pretty strictly enforced, so this year the organizers had two bars where people over 25 could drink, but they had to stay within the barricade while they were consuming their drinks. While this meant that if you wanted a drink you would miss out on being near a stage, it kept the venue really clean and calm. There were no bottles or cans or glasses thrown all over the place, and over the two days that I attended, I only saw one super drunk person stumbling around. It made the focus the music rather than getting drunk, which I thought was a good move. Even though I am over 25 and had the much-desired white bracelet that allowed me access to the bars, I didn't once set foot in there, choosing instead to roam the stages.

Being proper Bangaloreans, we also found our own shady bar just near the venue and made friends with the servers there. After the festival finished on Saturday night, we hung out there and let the crowds disperse before leaving ourselves and hanging out in Aswin and Mahendra's room. On Sunday, after sending Nit back to Bangalore, Shon and I explored the mall nearby and found a brewery, and we planted ourselves there and let the boys find us as they left the festival. We were exhausted when we reached there, but then the dj started playing a ton of old-school songs that got us super pumped up, and we were entertaining the entire place with our antics. At one point, when Cocaine came on, Shon, Mahendra, and Rajat were dancing out on the terrace while Aswin, Manish, and I had our own air band going on inside. It's pretty safe to say that we're the most entertainment that place has ever seen, and we will also probably never be allowed in there again. But it was definitely a fun way to wrap up the experience.

Overall I had a great time with my Bangalore peeps who were in attendance, and if I am in India when the time for NH7 rolls around next year, I will definitely be back.

[excited about being at the festival]

[the lake and bridges in the middle of the venue]

[watching Big Scary perform]

[Shon made friends and stole an Afro]

[waiting patiently for Manganiyar Seduction]

[we met Guy Fawkes]

[opening of Manganiyar]

[the big finale. believe me when I say it was awesome]

[enjoying some time at Shisha Cafe before the last day of the festival]

[it is indeed]

[with Rajat, Aswin, and Shonali]

[just look at those people breaking the rules]

[Delhi Sultanate. fantastic]

[this guy was just walking around the festival with a film crew following him around]

[because it's not really an event until we have an awkward photo shoot]

[Sunday sunset]

[deep in conversation]

[sunset over the Dewarists and Jack Jones stages]

[the crowd for Vir Das' Alien Chutney]

[we even had street artists]

[one project was meeting random people and taking pictures with them]

[more street art]

[Jinja Safari performing. great act]

[another project was this. you had to be there]

[Mahendra and Shon]

[Bombay Bicycle Club]

[Ed kept cracking himself up while they were performing]

[Jack. the quintessential Britisher]

[on our way out on Sunday night]

[freshly landed in Pune and this is what we saw when we reached Audrey and Peter's house]

[The Koniac Net performing on Saturday night]
[enjoying a relaxed lunch on Monday before heading back to Bangalore]

And there you have our NH7 adventure.
woo pig.

1 comment:

  1. For the crazy passionate ones for whom life is one big adventure ..Stray Dog