Semi-finals and finals of Chennai Live’s Band Hunt this week

For the musically inclined (and those who like head-banging and the theatrics that surround rock music), season four of Chennai Live’s Band Hunt is here. Bands from across the city and Bangalore will compete to win Rs. 1 lakh.

Band Hunt, which began four years ago, not just provides a platform for local bands, but also promotes Indian contemporary music. “We’ve always been looking to promote Indian music (non-classical and non-film). So, one of the conditions for the hunt was that the compositions should be original,” says Prem Kumar, COO, Chennai Live.

Getting bigger

About 150 bands from Bangalore and Chennai registered for the event and 11 were picked for the semi-finals. “We began including bands from Bangalore last year. There has been a lot of interest and we’re hoping to take the event pan-India next year,” says Prem.

Winners of the last three years have gone on to perform in different cities and release albums, which according to Prem, points to a resurgence of indie music. “A lot of cutting-edge filmmakers are now giving songs to different composers. This means that bands and other independent musicians are now finding their way into the mainstream music circuit. This is a heartening change,” he says.

The bands, this season, were selected based on originality, showmanship and technical finesse. “A panel of judges from Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music conducted the auditions. They will pick the finalists and winners also. The judges seem very impressed by the talent. We’ve heard, over the last couple of years, that the winning bands are on a par with international talent, in terms of quality. The judges also offer teams tips on how to improve vocals, technical aspects and so on.”

The semi-finals will take place on September 24 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Museum Theatre, Egmore. The finals will take place on September 25 at the same venue. Swarathma will perform at the finals at 5 p.m.