Bira 91 April Fool’s Fest – All Access Pass
Akhila Shankar · May 28, 2018 · 2 Minute Read
For the best in international and Desi hip-hop, check out our Bira 91 Hip-Hop playlists. You won’t regret it!
Delhi heat and Delhi winter – almost as extreme as opposites get. But sometime toward the end of March and the start of April, there is a comfortable space where the days hint at the oncoming of summer while sundown reminisces a more pleasant winter time. It may just be the last time you can truly enjoy an outdoor music festival before the heatwave. It was around this time, on the weekend of April Fool’s, that we made our way to the Bira 91 April Fool’s Festival.
The programming brought together music, comedy, food and drinks, right in the middle of South Delhi. As you entered the venue, you could sense a welcoming feeling from the décor and the vibe. Thanks to the Comedy Arena, which featured artists like Sumukhi Suresh, Anu Menon, Neeti Palta, and Aditi Mittal, the venue was filled up by the time the early evening music sets began. The music programming on both days kicked off with DJ sets (Boxout Soundsystem, DJ Ishani, and Madstarbase on day one; DJ Uri and DJ MoCity on day two). Day one ended with LushLife who played his debut gig in India followed by Raja Kumari who headlined the night.
Editor’s note: A couple of days after the festival, LushLife dropped by our office for an exclusive Live at Saavn performance. Watch it here.
Delhi evidently loves its live music. Case in point – on day two, at about 6 PM, Prabh Deep took the stage to perform for 2000+ fans, all of whom seemed to know every line he was rapping. Post his set, when Divine and Gully Gang went up, people in the front row had sign boards ready for every song. Nucleya closed the festival with the entire ground packed to the brim.
There are two things that stood out at the end of the festival. We now live in a time when a lineup of predominantly homegrown artists can fill venues. We also live in a time where the demographics of festival-goers is undergoing a change – perhaps it’s the accessibility, perhaps it’s the programming, perhaps the addition of comedy to the mix, perhaps it’s a bit of everything. What was unique about April Fool’s Festival was how approachable and inclusive the experience felt. While the audience did have its fair share of regular festival-goers, it was families, college students (many of whom seemed to be first-timers) and kids that made up the larger share of the audience. That is the game changer. The more people who are introduced to alternative culture, the more scope for it to grow, until it truly becomes a part of this country’s pop culture. And when a festival can do that, that is a success worth taking note of.