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One People Festival Kicks Off in Chennai

It’s a homegrown lineup featuring rock acts such as Junkyard Groove, The F16s, Franks Got the Funk, The Broadway Addicts and more for the inaugural annual event

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Sep 15, 2018

Vikram Yesudas, Abhinav Krishnaswamy, Harshan Radhakrishnan, Sashank Manohar and Josh Fernandez from the F16s.

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When Chennai’s newest festival, One People – taking place on September 15th and 16th – says it features 36 hours of music, it’s because they don’t intend to slow down at all. The debut edition of the festival features music that starts in the early evening and runs on until 6:30 AM, according to co-founder and organizer Bjorn Surrao.

The frontman from city-bred rock act Franks Got the Funk, Surrao and his friend Prashanth Amir conceptualized One People Festival as a way of bringing all of the city’s fledgling and seasoned artists together. Surrao says, “It’s a very Chennai thing – even when the floods happened, everyone came together. This is the same kind of spirit.”

Originally billed as a day-long festival by the beach, Surrao and his team called off the festival owing to the mood in Chennai after statesman M. Karunanidhi’s death last month. “But we decided we weren’t going to stop. Everyone involved also wanted to continue pushing for the festival,” Surrao says.

One People Festival then expanded to two days, five stages, over a 100 artists – all local. This includes everyone from rock veterans Junkyard Groove to indie rock band The F16s, newer punk acts such as The Broadway Addicts and La Brise, rock band Vertigo, Tamil prog act Madras Mail and pop artists like Stevie. DJs and electronic music producers at the fest include Vachan Chinnappa, Modrac, Nez and more.

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Surrao will also take to the stage with Franks Got the Funk and he assures us he’s got his team covering for him behind the scenes. He adds, “It’s not just getting on stage to play songs for me. I’ll be telling everyone about the idea and movement we’re trying to create. It’s supposed to be a long-term movement, where people come together and know about this event happening every year.”

One People Festival takes place on September 15th and 16th at Chariot Beach Resort. Entry: Rs 1,000 (general entry), Rs 4,000 (general entry + two-day tent accommodation). Buy tickets here. Event details here.

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