Covelong Point Surf, Music & Yoga Festival Kicks Off This Week
The Chennai festival’s fifth edition takes place between August 25th and 27th in Kovalam, featuring sets by rapper Divine, folk rocker Raghu Dixit Project and more
Out of all the things to remain a constant in the gig-parched city of Chennai is a beach festival that started out in 2013 to promote a surfing competition with some music on the side.
The Covelong Point Surf, Music & Yoga festival–held at the Covelong Point Surf School in Kovalam, Chennai–will feature artists such as Bengaluru folk rock act The Raghu Dixit Project, local rockers Skrat, Mumbai-based rapper Divine, fusion act IndoSoul by Karthick Iyer, indie/acoustic artist Mali, reggae band The Fanculos, pop artist Vasuda Sharma jamming with multi-instrumentalist Sankarshan Kini and more.
Produced by Chennai-based record label EarthSync, Covelong Point will have three stages across three days, including an acoustic stage for which they invite applications from bands. Industrialist and part of co-sponsor TT Group, Arun Vasu, says, “The bands we have on Saturday and Sunday are there, but we have a stage in the back where we encourage upcoming artists. That has grown. We had 15-20 bands before and now we’ve had 150 applications–so we have to screen them. That’s beautiful to see. Surfing is a serious part, but the rest all is fun.”
In between surfing, yoga and music, EarthSync’s founder Yotam Agam says it’s not so much about finding a balance as it is about creating “a single experience.” Yotam, who is also performing at the festival, says, “We wanted to create a festival experience that is holistic, that touches the mind, body and spirit in several different ways – whether artistically, physically, musically or spiritually.”
Both co-organizers of the festival note that there’s been growth in terms of interest as well as footfall, with over 15,000 people in attendance over the weekend festival in 2016. Vasu says the one thing that’s kept them sustainable is not just a growing attendance, but also increased sponsorship over the years. While TT Group is a key sponsor for the fifth year in a row, Vasu adds, “The value would be finding people who are locked in long-term.”
The festival also serves as a promotion vehicle for the Covelong Point Surf School, and Vasu says they involve the local beach village of Kovalam as much as possible. He adds, “In terms of participation of food stalls and activity on the beach, it’s increased. We’ll have close to 40 stalls this year. Even [among] the village, we take in stalls. It’s nice that they see value in what we do.”
With about 20,000 expected in attendance over the three-day festival, Yotam says they are looking at an even bigger picture with Covelong Point. He says, “The expansion will be to take this festival experience to different locations in India – and share this celebration of mind, body and spirit with more audiences.”
Covelong Point Surf, Music & Yoga Festival takes place between August 25th and 27th at Covelong Point Surf School, Kovalam, Chennai. More details here.