The second edition of the Bangalore Open Air comes to the city on July 6, bringing together a whole lot of metal bands

The annual Wacken Open Air festival at Germany, which attracts big metal bands and even bigger crowds, is a tough act to follow. The Bangalore Open Air (BOA), which aspires to reach similar heights, is now taking baby-steps towards reaching that goal. The second edition of the Bangalore Open Air comes to the city on July 6, and this time, the band line-up looks a much better mix. In the inaugural year, old-timers were thrilled to see the headlining acts - thrash metal veterans Kreator, and folk metal pioneers SuidAkrA.

This year, the younger lot from the world of progressive metal makes an appearance through Leprous and Animals As Leaders, while Iced Earth, Dark Tranquility and other contemporaries play the role of elder statesmen. Salman Syed, Founder, Infinite Dreams, and event organiser, says the Bangalore Open Air is “for the metal heads, and by the metal heads”.

Syed, who got his first big break when entrusted with managing big-time Indian act Kryptos, is pleased with the line-up. “We have been around for a long time, so we know what the people want,” he says. Syed recalls his eye-opener of an experience at Wacken 2010, which proved to be the inspiration for replicating a similar venture in India.

“I talked to the organisers at Wacken, and told them about the huge metal scene in India. They then agreed to help me set up this show, and booked the big bands which play here,” he says. The difficulties faced by foreign bands in obtaining visas have been well documented. Several shows have been curtailed due to this reason in the past, and even BOA 2011 suffered a setback when Iced Earth pulled out. But Syed remains confident. “We have a reputed agency on the task, and I think the visas for all the bands will come through,” he says.

While the impressive international cast is sure to hog the limelight, the BOA provides a great opportunity for our own musicians to make an impact. Demonic Resurrection, Mumbai’s death metal crew, and Millennium, one of India’s first metal bands, will add the local flavour. For Millennium, the BOA holds huge significance, as it gets back on stage after a long hiatus. The tickets getting priced at Rs. 2,499 is likely to weed out the casual fans. Metalheads, somehow, are not known to be free and easy with their money; it is impossible to expect the maddening crowds, which spent an equal amount for the Swedish House Mafia concert, to turn up here. If anything, Facebook addicts who smile for ‘selfies’ will not be found here. You can be sure that clenched fists will rule. Not synchronized waves.