It’s been a year already. Jamsteady, a series of gigs organized by Smoke Inc at Princeton Club in Kolkata, celebrates its one year anniversary on Saturday, November 9, with a specially curated all-day festival. It starts at two in the afternoon, with live music playing till late into the evening, as well as food stalls and other arts and crafts kiosks and stalls. Some of the bands on the bill include Chronic Xorn, Evil Conscience, Underground Authority, and The Pulse Construct.
“For one year, the musicians have been super supportive. Our objective is to create a support-system; a self-sustainable model,” says Nishit Arora, talking about the anniversary gig. Thus, in addition to the live music on display, the evening will also host a bunch of independent artists and organizations – a tattoo parlour, clothes, all sorts of stuff. The aim is to have a system that supports itself and grows bigger while retaining a distinctly indie and DIY identity, which the organizers have worked hard to set up and preserve. Initially, Jamsteady was a sponsored affair, but three or four months in, the sponsors were not a part of the setup anymore. The bands, supportive of a venture such as this one, even offered to play for free to keep Jamsteady alive. But that went against the vision of the initiative, and eventually, the promoters decided on an entry fee model for gigs, which, Nishit explains, worked well beyond their expectations. The model allowed fans the opportunity to connect with the movement by directly contributing to the gigs and, indeed, making the vision of Jamsteady a reality.
“There were hardly any venues in Kolkata – no venues, actually – pushing independent alternative music. Most venues here have been hosting cover bands for the past 15-20 years. There’s so much talent in the city, but those bands just stay here, no one knows about them. We shared our vision with Princeton Club last year and they’ve been very supportive,” Nishit says, elaborating on their vision and the collaboration with Princeton Club. Jamsteady gigs have been happening every Friday over the past year to an overwhelming response, with mostly indie and alternative acts taking the stage. “Our metalhead friends were getting angry with us for not featuring them,” laughs Nishit. So, for the anniversary gig, they went a different way. Only two of the 13 bands on the bill – Kendraka and Write in Stereo – have played Jamsteady before, with all the others making their debut. They’ve gone for an eclectic lineup to complete their first year, getting metal bands, jazz and fusion acts, indie-dance bands, all together at the Princeton stage. Essentially, the vision of Jamsteady is to support original independent music in the city and create a movement that grows progressively, and the one year anniversary is merely a step in their journey to become far bigger.
Entry fee is Rs. 200 till 6 PM and Rs. 300 after 6 PM
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