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Ahmedabad’s First Music Festival, Fangirl Indiefest, Kicks Off Today

The two-day event will feature a host of popular bands such as The F16s, Skrat, Zokova and Aswekeepsearching

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Apr 01, 2017
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Aswekeepsearching at the Vadodara pre-gig of the Fangirl Indiefest. Photo: Courtesy of Fangirl.in

Aswekeepsearching at the Vadodara pre-gig of the Fangirl Indiefest. Photo: Himani Malhotra

On the eve of Ahmedabad’s first-ever multi-day indie music festival, the Fangirl Indiefest, founder Meet Bhatt is still a bit cynical about crowds. When we ask about how the city managed to draw up to 10,000 people for a show featuring the likes of desi bass king Nucleya earlier this month, Bhatt simply chalks it down to FOMO, the fear of missing out. He adds, “I really wouldn’t say its live music that’s getting popular.”

But Bhatt is one to talk because he’s among those working towards making live music popular, to get audiences tuned into India’s alternative circuit and encourage local talent. Fangirl – a webzine started by Bhatt and his friends in 2016 – is adding to the calendar of live shows in Gujarat, hosting acts from across the country a few months after Into the Void’s inaugural Rann of Kutch edition.

Fangirl Indiefest 2017 – held on April 1st and 2nd – features the likes of New Delhi post-rock bands Zokova and Ioish, experimental rockers The Circus, Bengaluru psych rockers Parvaaz, electro-rock duo FuzzCulture, Mumbai singer-songwriters Mali and Tejas and Chennai bands such as The F16s, Skrat and electro act Sapta. Adding to that are emerging artists such as psychedelic rock act MILK from Mumbai, indie band Lawntuba and Gujarat’s independent artists such as Vadodara prog act Tailored Haven, Ahmedabad rockers Apostrophe, topped off by post-rock flagbearers Aswekeepsearching.

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Bhatt gauged interest and got more than positive responses from Ahmedabad with a pre-gig featuring New Delhi singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad. “Around 550-plus people turned up with five days of promotion. It was definitely mostly Prateek’s pull – him not having done an independent gig in the city before this. The tickets were priced at 200 bucks and 100 bucks for students. So both factors worked there,” Bhatt says, adding that he scoured farmhouses, junkyards and more just to find venues for pre-gigs.

Bhatt – along Hiren Kangad and Chirag Kandia, his college friend co-founders of the festival – says that plans after the inaugural edition may include starting a venue. But there’s a lot more at work. He adds, “There are many ways this could go. We want to take some time off and think of ways of making this viable in the long run. We want to do this smarter, while not compromising one bit on what we set out to do. Of course we’ll start working on the next edition soon, but there might be other smaller plans while that happens.”

Fangirl Indiefest 2017 takes place on April 1st and 2nd at Gulmohar Greens, Ahmedabad. Tickets: Rs 600 (season pass) and Rs 300 (day pass) available here. More event details here.

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