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Mumbai's got metal!

Dedicated to Metal and Rock music, Big69 will feature the best of international bands, including Carcass and SikTh, as well as popular Indian acts like Demonic Resurrection

Rock and Metal music fans have much to cheer as the city is set to host the Big69 music festival. Spread across three stages, the first edition of the annual Big69  festival will feature 23 bands over two days. This includes iconic Rock and Metal musicians like UK-based Carcass and SikTh, as well as Italian Metal group Fleshgod Apocalypse and UK Rap Metal group Hacktivist. Indian bands such as Demonic Resurrection and Kryptos will also perform. Special acts like The Bombay Metal Project, with 21 Metal musicians from the city, will pay tribute to Mumbai’s Metal scene. Another special will be by the band Joint Family who will reunite for this festival after seven years of being defunct.

SikTh is a six-piece Progressive/Technical Metal band from England
SikTh is a six-piece Progressive/Technical Metal band from England

Big69 will also focus on art, and feature installations as part of the #Indies KVLTure project. It will showcase visual art, photographs and iconography associated with Heavy Metal. There will be collaborations with artists and designers from the Indian Metal scene who will create artworks and designs especially for the festival. Fans can splurge on the limited edition merchandise, T-shirts and prints made by the artists that will go on sale at the venue. The project highlights the visual art and iconography coming out of the Metal scene and features artworks by Reuben Bhattacharya aka Visual Amnesia, Aaron Pinto, Avinash Jai Singh and Anirudh Singh aka Nuclear Puke, Gaurav Basu aka Acid Toast and Aaquib Wani.

A limited edition print made as part of the #Indies KVLTure project
A limited edition print made as part of the #Indies KVLTure project

Festival director Himanshu Vaswani explains that the festival is named after the underground gig venue, as it was the only venue which focussed on Heavy Metal and became like a second home for Metal heads. “Big69 is a continuation of that but on a much bigger scale,” he adds.

Further commenting on the Indian Metal scene he feels that while there are numerous bands and fans, the missing link remains the venues.

Death Metal band Demonic Resurrection from Mumbai
Death Metal band Demonic Resurrection from Mumbai

Vaswani shares that they wanted to cover the entire spectrum of Metal — from old school to modern — with Indian and international bands. “Being the first time that we booked international bands directly, we faced difficulties in finalising the international line-up. Secondly, the venue booking and permissions were expensive. Many sponsors and venues are not Metal-friendly. We tried to change that mentality with pre-event sessions and like-minded sponsors,” he states.

He gives the venue, Richardson & Cruddas, a thumbs-up for its with its industrial vibe: “It suits our festival. It’s a new venue owned by the Central Government with open doors. It’s a non-bureaucratic organisation. It was easy to work with them. Its location and size appealed as well.”

On: January 17 and 18, 3 pm 
At: Richardson & Cruddas Industrial Compound, near JJ Flyover, Byculla. 
Log on to: www.big69.in.
Cost: Rs 2,500 (early bird two-day passes available at www.insider.in/big69); Rs 1,500 (discounted passes for students)

Did you know?
Festival goers can glug exclusive beer by Doolally at the event. The organisers roped in SikTh to give a name and identity to the beer. It will be called ‘Something Wild’ after the band’s debut album. The Altbier will be a copper bronze full-bodied ale with fruity notes, a full malt flavour and a crisp finish.

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