With the arresting ruins of Purana Qila in the background on a cold December evening, music will fill the air as Delhi hosts the sixth edition of South Asian Bands Festival (SABF).
From rock bands to fusion outfits and metal heads, Delhiites can experience the changing contemporary music scene on one platform.
The festival will see a unique mix of different genres of music including rock, alternative, pop and Sufi. Delhi-based folk-fusion rock band Nasya will perform some exclusive songs from their upcoming album. “We are really proud to play in this festival and believe it’s a great way of having better relations with our neighbours,” says Ashish Chauhan, drummer of the band.
Suresh Goel, director general, ICCR says, “SABF is one of the most popular initiatives of ICCR. The festival aims at uniting the whole South Asian region through a youthful energy springing through rock music and articulates awareness about South-Asian regional cultural themes.”
SABF is the only festival in the city’s social calendar that brings all these countries, especially the youth, together on one stage through music.
Singer and actress Monica Dongra, one half of the Mumbai-based electric duo Shaa’ir+Func band, feels performing in Delhi is like performing at her second home. “Our extended musical family lives there, as well as our extensive fan family. Delhi is a city full of intelligent and conscious people, that has to be my favourite part about the city — that, and how it really is a stunning sprawl of green.” Monica adds, “The great thing about these festivals is the way dialogue opens up between artists who would normally never meet.”
Youngsters in Delhi are giving a thumbs up to Noori, the band from Lahore, Pakistan. Noori is considered one of the pioneering forces behind what is dubbed at the “21st century pop-revolution of Pakistan”. District Unknown, with their fresh music, is the first metal band of Afghanistan, with members all under the age of 24, is the other name to watch out for according to Delhi youngsters.
Ritu Kharayat, a city youngster, says, “It is not everyday that you have bands from Nepal or Sri Lanka coming to India. This certainly speaks of Delhi becoming the new cultural capital. What a refreshing treat for a wintry night!”
Sanjeev Bhargava, festival director, SABF 2012 says, “It’s magical to see people from all ages throng Purana Qila in thousands every year to enjoy the best of rock music. This year we are happy that Delhi University and its students are also getting involved in this initiative.”
Bengaluru-based band Galeej Gurus, who recently rubbed shoulders with Korn, is also all set to enthrall the Delhi audience. “Such platforms broaden the scope of learning about what’s happening in the contemporary music scene,” says Ananth Menon, a member of the band.
Other performers include Jindabaad (Nepal), Thriloka (Sri Lanka), E-SA and the band (Maldives) among others.
Presented by ICCR in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs and SEHER, the festival in the capital starts today and goes on till December 9 at Purana Qila.