Festival Review: Epic Fam Jam Sets New Benchmark By Bringing Together Virtual Stars and Superfans in the Real World
The social media-driven festival presented by Qyuki and Paytm Insider celebrated the Internet’s best creators and the fans that enable it all
Yesterday’s EPIC FAM JAM festival brought together social media sensations and fans to celebrate the medium and culture that enables content creation. The day-long event, which saw thousands of people turn up to Mumbai’s JioWorld garden, spanned meetups, contests, a concert and more. With Instagram and particularly TikTok carving a new niche that challenges the demographics of social media success, this first festival of its kind was fun for multiple reasons. Here are some of the highlights:
1. Melting pot of epic fans
What’s the EPIC FAM JAM without the fans? The social media celebration brought out fans across age demographics and the grounds of Mumbai’s JioWorld garden in BKC teemed with toddlers, kids, teenagers, adults as well as senior citizens with even families coming out to watch and meet their favorite social media acts. The event truly proved that the growing social media wave caters to all, leaving no one out of the festivities.
2. Blurred lines between social media and reality
A great thing about festivals and events such as the EPIC FAM JAM is that they break the wall between creators and viewers, making for an exchange that feels both familiar and simultaneously inspiring. The festival lineup featuring TikTok sensations Team 07, Jannat Zubair, Teen Tigada, Awez Darbar, Nagma Mirajkar and more hosted meet and greets in the Super Fan Zone where attendees interacted with the creators, learning and exchanging tips on social media success, the art of content creation and leveraging the digital wave. Creators such as Shayan Siddiqui, Sana Khan and more also indulged in impromptu Q&A sessions. Fans even recorded videos for their own channels with the creators taking part in spontaneous collaborations and follow streaks.
3. When social media made nostalgia the new FOMO
With Rolling Stone India, MissMalini, Instagram and more setting up interactive displays at the EPIC FAM JAM, things were bound to get creative and fun for the fans attending the festival. People found themselves on the cover of the January 2020 edition of Rolling Stone India’s magazine that catapulted them to the status of ‘Social Media Stars,’ even if for just a photo-op. Fans posed with the MissMalini Trending hashtag, indulging in their own social media enabler moment. Instagram really hit the sweet spot with their installations, turning the clock back to offer nostalgia to attendees with swings, slides and seesaws, all following the theme of love (or likes!) and people didn’t mind reveling in the physical representation of social media etiquette and affection. There was also a bucking machine, (three!) trampolines, face and nail painting stations and more, all going towards inspiring creators to make the most out of what they saw around them, with many creating their own TikTok moments.
4. Team 07’s Bollywood dance medley
In a true phata poster, nikla hero moment, TikTok collective Team 07 (comprising Mr. Faisu, Adnaan Shaikh, Hasnain Khan, Faiz Baloch and Shadaan Farooqui) closed the EPIC FAM JAM concert with a bang as they emerged from cut outs of themselves! The social media quintet turned the drama up on stage for the closing act, dancing to a set of popular Bollywood numbers such as “Swag Se Swagat,” “Mujhko Pehchaanlo,” “Dabangg Reloaded” and more, and the love for actors Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan was evident. With high-entertainment value, dynamic dancing and abundant theatrics, Team 07’s set was nothing less than a quintessential Bollywood masala flick and the audience lapped it up.
5. Kings United’s power-packed dance set
Vasai dance collective Kings United have some pretty heavy accolades. As World of Dance winners (2019) and World Hip Hop Dance Championship bronze medalists (2015), their performance for sure had to pack a punch. With their mix of contemporary movement, Bollywood masala, aerobic flips and spins, the crew kept the audience on their feet while wowing attendees with their set as they danced to the songs “Bolo Har Har,” “Tatar Tatar” and more. The crew even launched into an interesting hand formation in the latter song, contorting and twisting their fingers in an evolving arrangement that was a visual blockbuster.
6. The afterschool of hip-hop brought their class to the festival
The crew from the afterschool of hip-hop always know how to put on a good show and they bought some serious energy to EPIC FAM JAM. Mumbai hip-hop collective The Dharavi Dream Project (TDDP) brought out its beatboxers and breakdancers for a killer set. The beatboxers indulged the crowd with mixed beatbox variations that played with melody and electronica while the breakers delivered a stunning set to Divine’s laid-back, groovy tune “Chal Bombay” as well as hip-hop cult favorite “Mere Gully Mein (feat. Naezy),” replete with flips, headspins and more.
7. Rock-flavored Bollywood tunes
Popular YouTuber and musician Shraddha Sharma infused her covers of Bollywood songs “Bekhayali” (from the 2019 film Kabir Singh) and “Kabira” (from the 2013 film Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) with elements of rock to deliver a performance that was both stunning and surprising. Replete with electric riffs and powerhouse vocals, the singer was fearless as she experimented with melodies during her set. She also indulged in talk about heartbreak, speaking of vulnerability and healing during the performance.
8. Classical, folk and hip-hop fusions
Known for his mix of Indian classical and folk music elements, activism, Hindi lyricism and fiery bars, Patna hip-hop artist Shloka aka Rahul Karn roused the crowds at the EPIC FAM JAM with songs they remember from his time on hip-hop reality show (MTV’s) Hustle, including fan favorite “Antim Shlok” and more. The rapper’s strong delivery and quiet but compelling stage presence made for a simple set with not much distraction (save for the backdrop visuals) and Shloka held his own on stage as the audience listened, enthralled. Shloka is definitely someone to look out for in the festival circuit as well as the music scene with hopefully more drops coming this year.
9. Punjabi pop with social media superstars
Punjabi musician Ramji Gulati performed a high-octane set spanning some of his recent hits including “Tere Bin Kive,” “Fruity Lagdi Hai” and more. Gulati further hyped the crowd by bringing out TikTokers Jannat Zubair and Mr. Faisu on stage to join him as the social media pair have appeared in multiple videos of the musician. The act was entertaining and tied the trinity of social media, music and reality together, lifting a spell of sorts.
10. Gajendra Verma’s good ol’ comforting acoustic-pop
Jaipur singer-songwriter Gajendra Verma is perhaps most famous for his 2018 breakup track “Tera Ghata” and fans sung the words back to the musician during his set. Going through a series of his tracks such as “Mann Mera,” “Tera Ghata,” “Emptiness” and more, Verma delivered a potent concoction of strong vocals and lyricism which translated into a set that had heads turning, even as the festival inched towards the closing curtains.