Pune witnessed incredible performances by Nick Murphy fka Chet Faker, Kodaline, Opeth, A. Hariharan, Wadalis Raja Kumari, Sandunes and more over three days.
One of the most anticipated live music experiences in India, BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender came to a close on Sunday, with the third day of its 10th edition in Pune, the city where the festival started. BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender’s journey began when OML conceptualised the multi genre music festival in 2010, with its debut edition in Pune and it has since then grown to become one of the most anticipated and loved events on India’s events and music calendars. The 2019 season of the festival began with with the Meghalaya edition (1-2 November), and now culminated in the Pune edition (29 Nov – 1 Dec). This weekend was the festival’s tenth edition in Pune, and one that was held at the same venue as the previous year – Mahalakshmi Lawns, Nagar Road.
Nick Murphy FKA Chet Faker played a highly anticipated set in Pune, his first performance in India, and for one song was joined by tabla player Aneesh Pradhan. A. Hariharan closed the night at the Doers Club with a special set called Soul India. The festival also saw a packed crowd for Raja Kumari and Brodha V. Other performances included the highly acclaimed Garden City Movement, Anand Bhaskar Collective, Fopchu and Sandunes – who played her piano based set called Hand of thought.
Electronic acts Lifafa and BLOT saw a fantastic response, along with Job Kurian. The comedy stage was packed throughout, with performances by Sejal Bhat, Urooj Ashfaq, Varun Thakur and more, with a secret set by Ashish Shakya. Kenny Sebastian closed the stage with a musical performance.
Supreet Kaur, Festival Director said,“It’s been one decade since we began, and the team is so proud of where we’ve come over the years. We started off as a small festival with a dream and the way we’ve grown has come to set the standard for music festivals in India, and we wouldn’t have been able to do that without the immense love and support we see from those who attend. It’s been wonderful to be able to bring such a diverse lineup of artists that excites both us and the audience alike and now that this edition has drawn to a close, we’re looking onward to see how we can continue making this experience even better, whether it comes to the artists we have on the lineup, the festival area and stages, our sustainability and inclusivity initiatives, and more. Pune will always be home for us and we can’t wait to be back and make this festival even bigger and better from here onwards”.
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a shift in how music festivals are managed in India. Since the launch of the first BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender 10 years ago, Bacardi and OML have shaped the way India experienced music at a time when there was no large-scale platform that celebrated independent artists”, added Anshuman Goenka- Director Marketing, Bacardi India Pvt. Ltd. “This year is not only special because we have completed a decade, but also because we have continued to bring new and innovative experiences and elements to the festival, such as our sustainability drive. Our passion for music and our zeal for curating experiences has helped us create a legacy of pioneering festival culture in India. The joy of helping artists and audiences do what moves them is what motivates us as we charge into the next 10 years of music, art and culture.”
While in between performances, attendees could indulge in some shopping at the bustling bazaar or head to the food stalls for a variety of delicious food and snacks. There was a lot on display – an art showcase, featuring memories from the festival over the years as well as work by talented visual artists, the signature ferris wheel, and more. There was also a variety of different activities by the festival’s partner brands. BACARDI had a host of innovative drinking experiences planned – with happy hours, pop up bars with special drinks and limited edition variants from the Bacardi portfolio. At the Gaana Studio, fans could relax and lounge around between sets, get some artist interviews, meet & greets and photo ops. They could also head to the CRED lounge – where CRED members got exclusive benefits. Tinder was back at the festival with Camp Tinder – a zone in which people could relax with fun activities during the day and after the performances on stage end, fans could flock to Camp Tinder for some special acoustic sets every night. And last but not least, people could take a break with the 5 Star zone with a classic game that will delight every festival goer.
The festival supported many initiatives, including the Paper Bridge Project, that aims to build libraries in the remotest corners of India, giving attendees a chance to donate a book for a good cause when they come over to this happiest music festival. It also actively looked to be more inclusive this year by partnering with The Humsafar Trust and 6 Degrees to make the space LGBTQ friendly, with a safe space on-ground to counsel anyone in need, gender neutral bathrooms and frisking lanes at security, and information being distributed to increase awareness about gender issues.
Continuing the green initiative the festival successfully launched in Pune a few years ago, BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender ensured that the festival generates as little disposable waste as possible by partnering with Skrap. In 2018, over 90% of the waste generated was recycled or reused, and the festival is looking to increase that number year on year. In furtherance of this, fans were urged to reuse their cups to get a discount on their next drink. Plastic straws were banned at the festival and replaced with paper straws, and drinks were served in rice husk glasses. The food stalls all served food with compostable cutlery. In furtherance of this, fans were urged to reuse their cups to get a discount on their next drink. A partnership with Butt Ballot was also in place, to ensure proper segregation and recycling of cigarette butts. The festival also worked with Cupable to provide drinking water for festival goers with a system that’s environmentally friendly, to replace disposable plastic water bottles. People could purchase one recyclable cup and get unlimited water refills for all festival days.