The third edition of the Storm Festival saw adventure, collaborations and a camping experience unlike any other. An analysis of the tornado that rocked Bangalore

Not everyone can claim to have survived a storm. But the people who made it to the Storm Festival 2014 certainly can. And what a storm! Music raged while the whole experience of adventure, camping-out and jamming all night poured in hours of tempestuous fun at the event held over the weekend at Stormfields in Corporate Leisure City.

The three-night, two-day musical extravaganza, brought to Bangalore by Liquidspace Entertainment, saw the coming together of 65 artistes on five stages spread across 40 acres of lush green landscape. The third edition of the festival also provided a weekend getaway from the concrete jungles.

This year’s spectacular music gala saw five stages – the main world music stage, a secondary songwriter’s stage, the dance stage for EDM and two mini stages for stormers and artistes to jam at plug and play and camp jam stages.

Day 1 kicked off in the afternoon with Gurgaon singer-songwriter Pragnya Wakhlu on the songwriter’s stage followed by Mumbai-based Hindi band Sparsh on the main stage. Initially, the crowd trickled in and only a few braved the scorching mid-day sun to cheer the artistes. What changed the entire mood was a rumbustious curly-haired man in a glitzy folk dress who got the crowd on their feet in the hot sun. Vasu Dixit and his Bangalore-based international band Swarathma took the storm festival literally and kicked up quite a frenzy with their performance.

The Storm Festival also had its share of unforgettable collaborations – the first of which was Bangalore legends Thermal And A Quarter teaming up with flute maestro Ravi Kulur to bring a sensory treat. Another much-anticipated partnership was Leslie Lewis feat. GenX comprising the sons and daughters of the stalwarts of the music industry such as Siddharth and Shivan Mahadevan (Shankar Mahadevan), Alisa Mendonsa (Loy Mendonsa), Divya Lewis (Lesle Lewis), Akshay Hariharan (Hariharan), Ambi Subramaniam (L. Subramaniam) and more. While Avial and Raagalicious rampaged the main stage in glorious rock music, the dance stage was slowly drawing its own crowd. Dance Republic (DJs Rohit Barker and Nikhil Chinapa) followed by UK DJ Eddie Halliwell and Belgium-techno band Filterheadz lit up the dance floor with a music thunderstorm. By evening, a sizable crowd had gathered in all stages. The main stage show culminated with Swedish-Indian fusion legends Mynta followed by Papon and The East India Company notching up the energy with their electric folk-fusion.

A photographer’s paradise – the event gave shutterbugs and first-time wannabe paparazzi time to click selfies with their favourite artistes as well as capture nature in its purest, unadulterated form.

The venue also had a lot for the adventure buff. The evenings had many adrenaline-high fun-lovers try out the array of adventure activities spread at the adventure zone. The camp-out experience also saw many impromptu jams happening late into the nights. Music lovers gathered around their favourite artistes and jammed along in small pockets around camp fires under the starry sky.

On the downside, despite the hype, the turnout wasn’t as expected – this resulted in a hike in food prices on Day 2 leaving many who had brought limited money with their pockets empty. Day 2 began with a simple, yet amazing vocal spectacle group that went by the name Tetseo Sisters. The trio and their brother from Nagaland dressed in traditional garb quickly drew a huge gathering around the songwriter’s stage with their upbeat folk music. Their voices continued to linger as the divas from the all-girl Mumbai band Indiva took centre-stage. Singing in their typical rustic vocals, the divas won hearts all over with their strong women spirit.

This paved way to an unexpected twist – a group of men got on stage with typical dappanguthu instruments and attire – it was Anthony Dassan Yen Party. Singing in fluent, colloquial Tamil, Anthony and team quickly gathered a massive crowd with their music. Giving new meaning to the festival name, the dance frenzy had the audience on their feet jiving in wild abandon. These men were the real highlight of the festival. The EDM ground continued to groove on Day 2 with DJ Swing, Kid Creme and DJ Pearl.

Bangalore’s lungie-clad boys The Raghu Dixit Project stormed the crowd with their classy contagious soundscape that paved way for the biggest music battle of the festival – Shankar Tucker v/s Shankan Mahadevan. The American clarinettist and the Indian vocalist closed the event’s headlining act with a performance to remember.

The Festival got over too soon for many, and stormers are sure to talk about the music typhoon for a long time and wait for the next year’s edition in anticipation of a bigger storm.