Asia’s largest college cultural festival, MOOD INDIGO, the cultural festival of IIT Bombay, is a must visit destination for college youths from across the country as December sets in. Organized entirely by the student body of the institute, MI, as it is fondly called, in its 43rd edition witnessed a footfall of about 104,000 students. Over the years this festival has seen its stage set afire by countless performers of national and international renown. Mood Indigo has always provided a platform for talent in all its forms. A host of competitions encompassing genres from music and dramatics to quizzing, dance and even cooking are organized during the fest. The competitions, one of the oldest in India, have given rise to our country’s best known talents like Amjad Khan, Mani Ratnam, Nagesh Kukunoor and Ayushman Khurana, to name a few. A stage for rising artists and talents, Mood Indigo competitions see a participation of over 1500 colleges all over India, giving it a widespread reach. MI winners have gone on to pursue their passions in their respective fields and succeeded with the confidence and exposure MI gave them. This year Mood Indigo has literally broken boundaries by bringing one of its Biggest and Most renowned competition, Livewire to Sri Lanka and Nepal as well.
LIVEWIRE is India’s oldest and largest semi-professional band event and it seeks out and provides a stage to talent across the country. The last edition of Livewire saw 850+ bands from various parts of the country and across several genres of music, such as rock, metal, punk, jazz and blues; compete for the coveted title of India’s best semi-professional band. The livewire winners through the years have made it large in the Indian music scene. The winners of Livewire ’91, Parikrama are now the best rock and roll band in India having performed in the prestigious Download Festival, UK. Something Relevant apart from having toured across India and Indonesia also played for a month at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then had a special gig at the famous Ronnie Scott’s Bar. Demonic Resurrection, the winners of Livewire ’05 were awarded the Metal Hammer Golden Gods in 2010 and performed at the Wacken in 2014. Bhayanak Maut, the winners of Livewire ’06, performed at the Inferno Festival 2011 at Oslo, Norway. Vishal Dadlani, one of India’s most famous music directors, was the lead vocalist of Pentagram, winners of Livewire ’95. With bands like Vayu, Zygnema, Goddess Gagged, Motherjane, Slain, Rosemary etc. all having made their entry into the professional circuit through Livewire, the competition has been seeing the best of Indian bands coming up the ranks every year and making an impact with their music.
Top 10 bands selected via the online rounds will perform before their local crowd at gigs at prominent music venues in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Guwahati, Kathmandu and Colombo. The top 3 bands get recording opportunities and other prizes, while the best band gets to travel to Mood Indigo 2014 to perform before a crowd of 10,000 and open for the International Act at the festival. In the past these acts have been some of the biggest concerts India has seen with bands like Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) with Neal Morse Band, Simple Plan, Katatonia, Ensiferum etc. Starting from 15th September Livewire spans a period of 3 months, culminating on 29th December in an action packed Open Air Theatre at IIT-Bombay.
“Music has no boundaries and Team Mood Indigo 2014, apart from its pan-India presence, believes in building international relations across borders to give the independent music scene here a push” says Ishan Rakshit, Concerts Head of Mood Indigo 2014. “Unless there is a common international platform for bands in these countries, the music scene will stay confined to a few focus points and not develop further.” When asked about the motives behind taking it overseas to Sri Lanka, Ishan added, “We wanted to give our participants an even bigger stage to perform on. To prove their mettle on the same stage as bands from Nepal and Sri Lanka, will surely be a huge push for the music scene in India.”
The team worked nights to sort out the difficulties associated with exploring entirely new countries which no college fest has explored. Several bands, musicians, music journalists, friends of friends were contacted to help sort out the logistical and other issues. In general there has been a steady improvement in the quality of Livewire every year and the trend will continue hopefully this year as well. Street publicity teams have been made in which jam rooms, pubs and bars, local musicians, students and local media bodies were actively involved to publicize Livewire in the corners of several major cities across India. Sanskar Dholi, Pronites head, says, “With a completely international outlook, we will be sending the top band to Nouvelle Prague, which is a Music Showcase Festival. They have a 2000-strong crowd comprising of select representatives from prestigious international festivals including Glastonbury and several international agencies”.
MI has always provided it’s audiences with these never before tried avenues and it continues to do so this year by giving musicians all over a chance to shine no matter where they come from. MI’s Livewire is the perfect launchpad for these up and coming semi-professional bands. This is the best platform for the bands to come up in Sri Lanka. There is something for everyone – regional prizes and opportunities for the top ten bands from each region. The winners have a lot to look forward to. While the winner will get a slot in Nouvelle Prague – Top Music Showcase Festival and Conference in Czech Republic, the top 3 finalists will get to open for the International Act at Mood Indigo before a crowd of thousands. A 2-year contract with digital media giants Culture Machine, plus gigs in Hard Rock Cafes in Asia, exclusive feature in top music magazines and a music video contract with Shutter Up are some of the carefully planned prizes for the bands at Livewire to ensure that these bands are able to make a huge impact with their music. Loads of cash prizes and equipment vouchers are also to be bagged along with recording, mixing and video shoot opportunities.
Bands can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.moodi.org/livewire for more details and registration