Control ALT Delete 2019: Inner Sanctum, Tadpatri Talkies perform at 11th edition of crowdfunded gig series
Crowdfunded gig series Control ALT Delete has raised Rs 5 lakh this year. Its line-up includes heavy-hitters, such as Inner Sanctum and Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café, as well as a lot of fresh talent
If any fan and regular on the independent/alternative music circuit was missing the joyful annual gathering that was Control ALT Delete, the crowdfunded gig series’ founders felt weird about it as well. “We have never taken a break before this,” says co-founder Himanshu Vaswani.
After their scaled up, multi-stage, two-day edition in early 2017, it was clear to see for the organisers – Vaswani and Nikhil Udupa, along with their team of numerous volunteers – that there was no going back to their indoor, day-long editions which started out in 2011. Vaswani says they outdid themselves with the 2017 edition, which brought together everything from hip-hop crews like Dopeadelicz to metal bands like Demonic Resurrection and electronic artists like Komorebi.
The 2019 edition, which has returned to Malad, at Mumbai’s Roaring Farms ground (with camping options this time), is taking place on 9 and 10 March. The thing about the crowdfunded gig series – apart from the fact that they managed to raise upwards of Rs 5 lakh for their previous edition – is the excitement it garners from people looking out for new talent from Mumbai and other parts of the country. “As far as the artist curation goes, we have never really had a formula. Nikhil and I are far too critical for any formula to work,” Vaswani says.
In addition to featuring heavy-hitters, such as metal bands Inner Sanctum and Gutslit, folk rock band Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café, rap acts such as Swadesi and Dopeadelicz, there’s a lot of fresh talent. “Some times we just feel that a band needs to play with no second thoughts,” Vaswani says.
In addition to producers such as Malfnktion, Spryk and Karan Kanchan, Control ALT Delete’s 11th edition also brings together psych-rock band Daira, singer-songwriters like Raghav Meattle and funk/jazz-leaning artists such as Shubhangi Joshi and Ladies Compartment. Must-see artists from out of town include Shillong R&B singer Meba Ofilia, synthwave producer Dreamhour from Siliguri/Pune, Kolkata singer-producer Plastic Parvati, hip-hop duo Seedhe Maut from New Delhi and more.
Kochi disco-pop quartet The Derelicts will make their Mumbai debut at CAD, a series they’ve been following since the festival edition caught their attention. Guitarist, synth player and vocalist Ashwin Nath says, “For an up-and-coming band like us, CAD represents honour, a way to be in that elite list of India's future best. We see it as a stepping stone.” While they’ve got their travel covered by the festival, Nath says his band sees it as an investment which will have a “high rate of return.”
Elsewhere at CAD, it’s double duty for vocalist Sidharth Raveendran, who’ll be handling the mic for his hardcore band Pacifist and comedy collective Tadpatri Talkies across both days. Ask him about how he’s pacing himself to be a aggro frontman and then take on the persona of rapper Gari-B and Sidharth says, “It's a little wonky, I can assure you, but the Gari-B set is more about just having fun, wisecracks and shenanigans with the hip-hop to go, while Pacifist is quite personal, cathartic in ways with the music and the content matter.”
With five stages and 46 artists performing at CAD, it’s clear that the organisers are really banking on contributors to make them go way past just breaking even. They’ve gone from having bragging rights about raising over Rs 2 lakh for their indoor editions before, to now aiming for Rs 5 lakhs, like their previous edition. Vaswani crunches the numbers and says that target is just their online goal. “We would like to hit a total revenue of 25 lakh to ensure that we have a profit of 10 lakh, and that would pay each act an approximate fee of Rs 20,000 each, which is still low by market standards. At the same time we can't really complain. The fact that we are able to make 15 lakh out of nothing is an accomplishment in itself, if I can say so myself,” he says.
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