Not a run-of-the-mill fest

Updated: Nov 11, 2019, 22:29 IST | Shunashir Sen |

An electronic music property returns for its second edition at a historic mill compound in Byculla

The festival's first edition
The festival's first edition

Something momentous happened around this time last year when it comes to the city's electronic music scene. The Great Eastern Mills, a historic property in Byculla, opened up its doors for a techno festival called Far Out Left, giving the audience respite from the hegemony of Famous Studios in Mahalaxmi. But back then, Bhishma Sagar, founder of Regenerate who organises Far Out Left, wasn't sure whether the mill's owners would be okay with him hosting the festival there again this year. Dr. Anurag Kanoria, whose company owns most of the property, had also told us that he was only testing the waters. But he's clearly been increasingly open to the idea of the compound hosting electronic gigs since around half a dozen such events have been held there in the intervening period. And this weekend, Far Out Left returns to its original home for its second edition, in a bigger and better avatar.

Bhishma Sagar
Bhishma Sagar

Last year, there was just one room next to a pond that the event was restricted to, with a second stage being set up at an open-air driveway. This time, though, there is another outdoor area where Social will place food stalls and barbecues. That apart, there is a second room outside of the one with the pond. This is where Red Light, an Amsterdam-based radio station, will live stream music, before a DJ takes over the proceedings. Sagar says that there are also many more visual elements than before, along with artworks that will be hung up on the walls for people to buy.

 Volvox
Volvox

The number of artistes has increased, too. In 2018, there were only four foreign DJs. But this year, there are a whopping 11 international acts like Octave One and Volvox, along with 11 Indian ones such as Chhabb and Blurry Slur, making Far Out Left one of the biggest electronic music events within Mumbai's city limits.

The best part about the fest, at least in our books, remains the venue, though. Despite being next to a main thoroughfare, you feel like you've entered a different world when you walk down a long alley that leads to the spot where the stages are, hidden in a corner in the property's far end. Sagar says, "It's a historic place that exists from the colonial era. You have these high windows and walls from the British times that have been refurbished without the character being changed, so you truly feel the weight of the mill compound's 200-year-old vintage."

The-Great-Eatern-Mills
The Great Eastern-Mills

He adds that there is another party he is planning next month at another offbeat location - Edward Theatre in Kalbadevi. We had written in these pages about a gig at Liberty Cinema in Marine Lines, in which electronic artiste Sandunes played a stripped-down piano set. But the one that's coming up is going to be wholly different. It will be a full-blown party, and not a sit-down affair, since Edward Theatre has a wide space between each row of seats where people can comfortably shake a leg. But that's a story for another day. In the meantime, soak in the atmosphere at this weekend's festival, losing yourself to dance at a venue that we hope hosts music properties on an increasingly regular basis.

ON November 15 and 16, 8 pm onwards
AT The Great Eastern Mills, near Rani Baug, Byculla East.
Log on to skillboxes.com
Cost Rs 4,000

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