Hang on to these words

Updated: Jan 11, 2020, 09:42 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

The country's biggest spoken word festival returns this weekend with an improved line-up.

First, there was indie music. Then came stand-up comedy. And now it's the spoken word that's emerging as the third wave of alternative entertainment in India. Here's a case in point. When Spoken Fest — a platform for the genre — was held in Mumbai for the first time in 2017, nearly 6,000 people turned up. "That number is expected to rise to 15,000 this year," says Kommune's Roshan Abbas, the main organiser, adding that some of the artistes — such as Canadian spoken word mainstay Shane Koyzcak — have travelled over 24 hours by flight to perform. Here are five artistes we feel that you must catch at the weekend fest.

On January 11 and 12, 2 pm
At JioWorld Garden, G Block, BKC.
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Cost Rs 999

Rudy Francisco

Rudy Francisco
His voice quivers with emotion when he performs. It rises and falls like a massive wave crashing on a beach. And his words are good enough for him to have made repeated appearances on the Jimmy Fallon Show. American artiste Rudy Francisco promises to stir your heart.

On January 12, 8.30 pm
At The Mehfil stage

Varun Grover

Varun Grover
Varun Grover is quite the man of the moment. After basking in the success of Sacred Games 2 that he co-wrote, the comedian wrote a poem called Hum kagaz nahin dikhayenge that takes the powers that be to the cleaners over the NRC and CAA issue. Attend a meet-and-greet session where you can pick the firebrand youth icon's brain.

On January 12, 4.30 pm
At Cred tent

Peter Cat Recording Co

Peter Cat Recording Co
PCRC is a band that makes Jack-in-the-Box kinds of songs, in the sense that they surprise you with a sudden musical change in direction when you were least expecting it. The vocals are as smooth as single-malt whiskey and the instruments as dreamy as Alice must have been in Wonderland. Catch them as they play a set that will bring the curtains down on the event.

On January 12, 9 pm
At The Mehil stage

Shane Koyzcak

Shane Koyzcak
Talk about turning adversity around to your advantage. Shane Koyzcak is a person who was bullied viciously in school. But he later used that dark phase in his life as fodder for a poem called To this day, which shot him to fame. He is easily the foremost spoken-word artiste in Canada at present, as was evident from his appearance at the Vancouver Olympics.

On January 11, 8 pm
At The Mehfil stage

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