This weekend, more than any other, Beach Road is the place to be as Pondy’s annual music festival Freedom Jam is to be held here. Olympia Shilpa Gerald has the details

The weather is just right. So is this weekend, for anyone who loves music — of any kind.

Its time to headbang, jive, hum along or simply keep time with the rhythm, this Republic Day weekend. Freedom Jam, which has become Puducherry’s annual music festival supported by the Department of Tourism, is back in town. Surf, sea breeze and sunsets — that’s the setting the festival is aiming for at three venues, all on the Beach Road, on two successive evenings.

A concept that originated in Bangalore, Freedom Jam took off in Puducherry in 2011. The festival is all about letting music lovers experience various genres of music, for free. With different genres divided among multiple venues, the aficionado gets to choose what to listen to. For musicians, what better place than the open air and an eclectic mix that is the willing Puducherry audience, for the wildest experiments?

Young vibes

The Seagulls Restaurant, opposite the Port office, is the right place to catch some rising stars and young talent. The ambience that persuades you to do nothing but relax will play rock, pop, metal and blues, all evening. Watch IIT Saarang’s best guitarist Jesh Moorjani, and Chennai band Crossroads on Day One. Pondy’s own boys, Frooti for Pappu from PIMS and Swaha Blues from Auroville, will be there to add some local flavour. But then old they say is gold, and if its gold with a funky twist that your after, Spirit of Madras is all set to belt out rock remixes of MGR and Sivaji hits.

Take it up a notch higher on Day Two with heavy metal wielders De’Sat from Bengaluru, proud winners of a national talent hunt. If some good old classic rock is your cup of tea, troop in to cheer Foxy Lady or if you’re game for the untamed, there’s Wild Things Federation, an experimental rock band from Chennai.

But if its folk music that sets your heart pounding, then Le Café can provide the right fix with Arul Mani’s troupe and Indipop band Ullasa Paravaigal.

Classics

Indian classical music lovers have a venue too to relish Carnatic and Hindustani at the Tourist Information Centre. After tuning in to Gopukumar’s classical repertoire, listen to Bryce Gringlington coax sweet notes from the bansuri accompanied by Arnab Chaudhuri on the tabla.

The Republic Day spirit will be revved up by the 20-member brass ensemble Rhythmic Energy from Bangalore. Linger on as the evening mellows and listen to Kovai Usha on the violin and Tata Bhanumathi on the veena.

So pick your venue, ring up your friends, and soak in some music, as the sun goes down this weekend.