Ooty Got Cooler With The M.A.D Fest
A look back at the first-ever Music Arts and Dance fest
Lead vocalist of Kolkata’s Skinny Alley Jayashree Singh announced at the beginning of their set on the opening day of the Music, Arts and Dance festival: “The fest had to live up to its name,” and the three-day fest did.
With a fantastic line-up across two stages that drew some of the best Indian indie bands including Indian Ocean, The Raghu Dixit Project, Papon and The East India Company, Skinny Alley and upcoming acts such as Spud in The Box and La Pongal to Ooty for the first time, the fest that was held earlier this month saw its share of hits and misses. But the inconsistent sound set-up and the organizers being unprepared for the rains on Day 1 didn’t dampen the mood at the scenic festival site overlooking sprawling tea estates. The lawns and pine tree trails surrounding Fernhills Palace hotel, the festival venue, wore the look of a university campus with young festival goers strolling from one stage to the next.
Stand out performances included high energy sets by Mumbai rock band Spud In The Box, Chennai folk rock group La Pongal, Papon and The East India Company led by Assamese vocalist Angaraag Papon Mahanta, Chennai’s Adam and The Fish Eyed Poets and Delhi band Peter Cat Recording Co. While seasoned performers such Thermal & A Quarter from Bengaluru had a smooth run on the festival’s closing day, bringing it to a wrap with hits such as “Mighty Strange”, Indian Ocean was perhaps the worst affected by the shortened set and a disastrous sound set-up on the opening day. Surprise acts at the festival included Afflatus, the all-girl band from Shillong, who delivered an extremely fierce set showing a marked improvement in their performance over the years. The Raghu Dixit Project, Skinny Alley, The Kabir Project and Swarathma displayed an indefatigable spirit that left the audience charged enough to put technical glitches behind them and look forward to the next edition of M.A.D.