(All designs by Anish Sundaran)
The Gig Week, in its third edition now, is just this very cool DIY initiative. It started in 2011 when three college kids thought: Screw this, let's just start our own thing and have like a bunch of gigs with our favourite bands coming down to Delhi and playing here. Well, it's become far bigger and badder with each passing year, and this year's line-up sees some real gems heading down to ol' Delhi. Our scribe Aditya Varma speaks to the organizers about their vision behind the festival.
The Gig Week, a week-long musical extravaganza across various venues in New Delhi, begins on September 21, and it’s bigger and better than before. In its third edition now, the Gig Week is the perfect example of a gathering of musicians and music lovers coerced purely by the intention of cherishing our love for the art form. Be prepared for a week full of free-spirited musicians flaunting the best of their home-grown music.
Woe is us, who sat at home on idle Sunday afternoons finding and listening to our favorite buskers and indie artists on YouTube and whining about how the indie wave may never hit the Indian banks; speculating that Delhi will never be able to keep pace. What, was it just me? Well, while we spent most of our ‘to-be-used-constructively’ time criticizing the supposedly bleak future of Indie musicians in the country, a small group of students in the city was busy creating something that would soon gain considerable momentum and leave its imprint on the evolution of indie here in our blessed country.
The so called ‘pre-programmed, disillusioned and astray’ youth of the country we crib about certainly produced at least three young men who came up with something that would put Delhi on the map not just domestically but also at par internationally when it comes to indie music. Jubin Jacob, one of the co-founders of the festival, says, “We were a group of three students, two from colleges in Delhi and another from Hong Kong, who started The Gig Week. Three years down, I am still a part of the Gig Week core team of five people [along with Anubhav Gupta, Nolina Mishra, Dhruv Malik and Uday Kapur] - who are taking care of everything, from band selection to other nitty-gritties.”
The Gig Week first hit Delhi in July of 2011, instantly making an impact and catching the indie circuit by surprise. The shows were free for all, with an array of artists ranging from names like Barefaced Liar, Half Step Down, and The Doppler Effect, to solo musicians like Shantanu Pandit and Rounak Maiti. It was no-holds-barred from its very inception. The concept was tailored for music lovers, and it was just getting started. The second edition of the Gig Week came back in September 2012, and introduced the city, yet again, to lesser known, upcoming, and extremely talented musicians. You could say it’s even a kind of haven for the underdogs.
Speaking a little about the festival, Anubhav Gupta, Festival Director, says: “The Gig Week is something we all feel very passionately about – doing this for the indie scene, getting some new but no less talented bands from some other parts of the country to play out here. I think it always works both ways, because each of these artists has been immensely supportive of our festival as well. I've come across some extremely talented musicians and even more wonderful people while working on this property for the past three years, and the way the scene is growing always spurs us to keep our festival going. People keep trying new things, the festivals and venues keep getting bigger and everyone's more receptive now. It's every bit as challenging as it could possibly be, but this scene, the new indie ecosystem that's going, and those seven days of The Gig Week every year – they're this absolutely amazing space to be in.”
The artist line-up for this year’s edition sees these guys really outdoing themselves. Let me start off by naming a few artists that I am personally excited about; we have Kitchensink playing on the September 21, Spud In The Box and The Family Cheese who will play on the 24th, and of course, Run It’s The Kid and Nikhil D’souza on the 26th of the month. Other artists include Bay Beat Collective, Goddess Gagged, and all time favorites Shaa’ir Func and Pentagram, who will play on the 27th. The growth and reception that The Gig Week has attained over the last two years is a testament to how these guys have really stepped their game up; it reflects on their innate tendency to subvert the dominant paradigm. The Gig Week is here to stay, y’all better recognize.
The Gig Week Line-Up:
September 21 – Out of the Box Café, Hauz Khas Village
Prateek Kuhad Collective
September 22 – Blue Frog
September 23 – Boombox Café, GK
Dhruv Visvanath Trio
September 24 – Turquoise Cottage, Saket
Nice Weather for Ducks
Spud in the Box
September 25 – Raasta, Hauz Khas Village
Two’s A Crowd
Bay Beat Collective
September 26 – Lodi the Garden Restaurant
Run It’s The Kid
September 27 – Blue Frog
Drawing Short Straws
The Lightyears Explode
Shaa’ir & Func
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