Indiegaga festival aims to bring together music and art in Kochi; to feature Dronningen, Anu Cheeran, Pavi Sankar

Indiegaga intends to be an annual travelling festival that kicks off on home ground at Kochi, and then moves to different cities in India, and even overseas to Dubai.

Anurag Tagat March 09, 2019 13:04:48 IST
Indiegaga festival aims to bring together music and art in Kochi; to feature Dronningen, Anu Cheeran, Pavi Sankar
  • Indiegaga festival will be held on 9 March in Bolgatty Palace and Island Resort in Kochi.

  • Indiegaga intends to be an annual travelling festival that kicks off on home ground and moves to different cities in India, and even overseas to Dubai.

  • Since, a festival experience now inevitably extends to more than music, there’s a bent towards the arts as well at Indiegaga.

Once part of artists and event production company Aum-i Artistes in Kerala, several members broke away to form Wonderwall Media with a similar intent as their former company. While they’ve positioned themselves as a production and design house specialising in music, TV and branding, their first step into the field comes with the inaugural Indiegaga festival, held on 9 March in Bolgatty Palace and Island Resort in Kochi.

Where the team were once in charge of TV performance shows like Music Mojo on Kappa TV and its music festival Mojo Rising under Aum-i, the Indiegaga Festival comes across as an exciting development for Kochi’s music circuit. In a city that barely gets gigs, a big (yet affordable) festival like this aims to bring together music and art for a day-long showcase.

Indiegaga festival aims to bring together music and art in Kochi to feature Dronningen Anu Cheeran Pavi Sankar

Members of the Chennai/Bangalore-based dance/punk band The F16s

In a statement released by Wonderwall Media, Indiegaga intends to be an annual travelling festival that kicks off on home ground and moves to different cities in India, and even overseas to Dubai. The international draw also extends to the lineup, since this edition includes the India (and Asia) debut for UK electronic-rock band Dronningen.

The big draws at Indiegaga, however, remain the likes of Delhi rock band The Local Train, Kerala prog veterans Motherjane, Chennai rockers The F16s, Kerala folk metallers The Down Troddence, Bengaluru rock band All the Fat Children and experimental rock act Cut A Vibe. Additionally, since a festival experience now inevitably extends to more than music, there’s a bent towards the arts as well at Indiegaga. This includes showcases by painters like Pavi Sankar and Minon John, pottery artist Anu Cheeran, sand artist MK Satheesh and miniature artmaker Thomas Jacob.

For Dronningen, this is about first impressions, considering they are flying into the country for just one show and a recording for Music Mojo on Kappa TV. It’s a study in globalisation in some ways to trace how the electro-rock trio got booked to play at Indiegaga. Frontwoman Beatrice Bonnano explains that they performed in Sweden’s Live At Heart festival in 2018 and got called on by Canadian promoter (and Wonderwall Media’s rep) Evan Murray, who had caught their set. “We were so excited and literally booked the flights the following day, we can’t wait to play in Kochi," Beatrice says.

Indiegaga festival aims to bring together music and art in Kochi to feature Dronningen Anu Cheeran Pavi Sankar

Dronningen. Image courtesy: Paul Hudson

Although they’re not exactly aware of India’s alternative music circuit, Indiegaga wouldn’t be a bad place to start considering the diverse lineup of crowdpleasers like The Local Train and The F16s, alongside the heaviness of bands like Motherjane and The Down Troddence. It’s the first Asia show for Dronningen, who released their last EP Sugarbox in 2017. Beatrice says about their performances, “We don’t spend time looking at our shoes and pretend no one is in front of us. We are not that kind of band.”

The trio, travelling with a lighter setup just to meet baggage allowances, has 24 hours to make the most of their time. Beatrice adds about their plans, “Exploring the city, walking on the beaches, riding a jet ski, learning more about the history and culture of the place. One thing we would really love to do is recording the sound of the streets, the noise and rhythms of Kochi. Last but not least, learning some Malayalam.” With new material in the works, a show in India alongside the country’s finest might just be a big boost for any fledgling band. “Someone will probably have to pinch us as we land at the airport,” Beatrice adds.

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