Day 1 of the tenth edition of the happiest music festival began on Friday in Pune to a packed audience, with performances by Kodaline, Ritviz, Swarathma, Midival Punditz and several more. Celebrating a decade of bringing the best local and global musical acts to the Indian audience, BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender, the country’s largest multi-genre music festival – conceptualized by OML in 2010 returned to its hometown, Pune, on Friday (Nov 29). One of the most anticipated and loved music events in India, the festival was once again welcomed by thousands of music fans at the venue – Mahalakshmi Lawns, Nagar Road.
The festival was completely sold out before gates opened, and saw magnificent performances by the much anticipated internationally-acclaimed Irish rock band Kodaline, Ritviz, Indian Ocean, pop and folk band Easy Wanderlings, German band Fiddler’s Green, instrument jazz-rock band Submarine in Space, DJ Ishani. Faridkot, Midival Punditz, Sid Sriram, Swarathma and many more.
Day 1 saw performances by stand-up comedians Kanan Gill, Prashasti Singh, Raunaq Rajani, Supriya Joshi, Tanmay Bhat and Tom Cashman, from the Melbourne Comedy Festival – all of whom performed at the5 Star ke Lolstars Stage and offered comic relief to festival-goers. One new act was the BFAB crew, hip hop dancers who performed at the Breezer Vivid Stage – to be followed on day 2 by the winners of Breezer Vivid Shuffle – the Shuffle all-stars.
Fans have much to look forward to on Day Two (Nov 30, Saturday) of the festival, which will feature metal giants Opeth. Other highlights to look forward to on Saturday include Kokoroko, Wadalis, Dreamville Showcase’s Earthgang and Cozz, PENGSHUi and Bhayanak Maut. Day 2 will also see acts like Gullygang Showcase, Gutslit, Yung. Raj, Many Roots Ensemble and more – to give fans of every genre something to look forward to The comedy lineup on Day 2 includes top names such as Zakir Khan, Aadar Malik, Sumukhi Suresh, Michelle Brasier from the Melbourne Comedy Festival and for the first time – Mentalism by Suhani Shah.
The festival stages – BACARDÍ Arena (headlining acts, rock and metal), Casa BCARADI, (metal, rock, singer-songwriter), The Doers Club (singer-songwriter, folk , fusion, world music), Breezer Vivid (electronic and hip-hop), the Gaana stage (singer-songwriter, indie) and the 5 Star ke Lolstars stage (comedy – a dedicated comedy stage for the first time in the festival’s history) will have simultaneous performances and fans can access all stages with their festival wristband.
A digital guide that includes details, the performance schedule and instructions for festival fans can be downloaded and viewed here.
While in between performances, attendees can indulge in some shopping at the bustling bazaar or head to the food stalls for a variety of delicious food and snacks. There’s a lot planned – an art showcase, featuring memories from the festival over the years as well as work by talented visual artists, the signature Ferris wheel, and more. There are also a variety of different activities by the festival’s partner brands. BACARDI has a host of innovative drinking experiences planned – with happy hours, pop up bars with special drinks and limited edition variants from the Bacardi portfolio. At the Gaana Studio, you can relax and lounge around between sets, get some artist interviews, meet & greets and photo ops. You could also head to the CRED lounge – where CRED members can get exclusive benefits. Tinder is back at the festival with Camp Tinder – a zone in which people can relax with fun activities during the day and after the performances on stage end, fans can flock to Camp Tinder for some special acoustic sets every night. And last but not least, people can take a break with the 5 Star zone with a classic game that will delight every festival-goer.
The festival is supporting many initiatives, including the Paper Bridge Project, that aims to build libraries in the remotest corners of India, giving attendees a chance to donate a book for a good cause when they come over to this happiest music festival. It is also actively looking to be more inclusive this year by partnering with The Humsafar Trust and 6 Degrees to make the space LGBTQ friendly, with a safe space on-ground to counsel anyone in need, gender-neutral bathrooms and frisking lanes at security, and information being distributed to increase awareness about gender issues.
Continuing the green initiative the festival successfully launched in Pune a few years ago, BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender is ensuring that the festival generates as little disposable waste as possible by partnering with Skrap. In 2018, over 90% of the waste generated was recycled or reused, and the festival is looking to increase that number year on year. In furtherance of this, fans are urged to reuse their cups to get a discount on their next drink. Plastic straws have been banned at the festival and now replaced with paper straws, and drinks will be served in rice husk glasses. The food stalls will also all serve food with compostable cutlery. In furtherance of this, fans are urged to reuse their cups to get a discount on their next drink. A partnership with Butt Ballot is also in place, to ensure proper segregation and recycling of cigarette butts. The festival is also working with Cupable to provide drinking water for festival-goers with a system that’s environmentally friendly, to replace disposable plastic water bottles. People can purchase one recyclable cup and get unlimited water refills for all festival days.
The venue location can be seen on Google Maps here .