BudX Mumbai: The much needed 360 degree experience
Budweiser hosted its sophomore edition on BudX Mumbai earlier this month. Budweiser Experiences, better abbreviated as BudX aims to be at the forefront of an evolving industry and strives to create unparalleled journeys and experiences for all their fans. Focusing on creating a 360 degree escapade for lovers and followers of music, art, and dance, the festival tastefully curates a variety of unique experiences under one roof, bringing together a diverse fan base and acting as a point of coalescence for the same. This year having housed themselves at the iconic Mehboob studios for a weekend, the festival targeted four major niche, yet strongly growing underground scenes and chose to showcase them. One of course being the global basement phenomenon, Techno, Bass, Undercurrent and the music, or rather, the voice of the rugged streets of Mumbai, Gully Hip-Hop. The programme is focused on the development and collaboration of artists within these four vastly expanding sub-cultural sounds currently shaping India's music landscape and witnessed a power packed bunch of music enthusiasts all gathered to revel in the collective and empowering vibe of the platform, in the presence of some revered and budding home-grown and international artists.
The daytime programme hosted an assortment of integrated masterclasses and discussions. Focusing on aspects such as the challenges of a DJ in the current century, the current scope of music discovery and it leading to its saturation point, self-care during the process of subjecting oneself through some adverse experiences in order to get more creative in their field of art and even the future of the gully hip-hop scene in India. The discussions covered a vast array of topics that were extremely relevant and crucial. Masterclasses too ranged from one about setting up an inclusive artist agency, to, the creative process of Indian Hip-Hop artist Sez on the Beat being demonstrated.
The primary highlight of the event however remained the music showcases during the event. Having two distinct stages namely the District and the Warehouse, they represented the styles being exhibited on them. The first day saw local acts such as Dotdat, Tsunami Soup Collective, and Dreamstates dishing out slamming tracks and Bass and Dubstep artists Aamish, RHL, DJ Mocity, Vilify and Ox7gen taking over the stage. Larger than life perfomances included that of Sub Focus who made his debut in the country. The crown jewel of Day 1 however was the renowned global broadcasting platform, The Boiler Room showcase, that managed to recreate the exact same vibe as that of an underground techno party. Having artists such as Mor Elian, Indian talent house Arjun Vagale’s moniker AsymetriK, Matthew Dear and Acid music veteran DJ Pierre doing their best, they had the crowd cavorting in no time. Day 2 saw the likes of Mumbai based agency Milkman takeover for a Detroit kick to things on the Warehouse stage, while the heroes of Mumbai’s lanes, the emerging talent of the local Hip-hop scene took over. Keeping the momentum high throughout the gig, the event witnessed performances by Lifafa, Spacejams, Music From Memory founder Jamie Tiller and of course, Techno’s capital city superstar, Detroit In Effect. Topping the Bill were the British Hip- Hop crew Foreign Beggars and our very own Divine and the Gully Gang.
The festival on the whole was a breath of fresh air that brought out some really distinctive genres to light, that usually get side lined by most other major festivals that either choose to go down the commercial route or only focus on one or two particular genres. The diversification of the sounds exhibited was almost like a gamble that paid off well. More than the music and the art showcased, what we fell in love with was the attention paid to every intricate detail . From basics such as the installations, the visuals being projected on the walls around, the sound wall, the décor and everything around, there was not a single aspect where one could point out a flaw. Moreover, the festival also went on to prove the fact that sometimes keeping things absolutely minimal and simple also can do wonders. From the colour schemes used, the merchandise and food stalls, the rejuvenation rooms and the overall setup, it wasn’t too overdone or jazzed up. Rather, it hit the perfect spot of being right in between being too over the top and being too basic, which is where most other festivals fail. Even with the artists that were selected, they weren’t too commercial, neither too niche. Yet, they were stalwarts in their own respective scenes and managed to command a loyal fan base that came up to support them. The most important thing that this event paid detail to was the fact that programs like these are not just about the music or the production or the artists playing, but the overall experience that it is able to provide to the attendee. It managed to pique all our senses.
Overall, BudX Mumbai was the much required change from the regular festival junket that the audience in the city needed to experience and be a part of. In our opinion, for a two day festival in a major city, it managed to weave together some very unique individual experiences and a billing of impeccable performers. We can’t wait for the next edition of the festival to come by and sweep us off our feet by its sheer simplicity. After all, In the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, “ Simplicity is the ultimate Sophistication” and BudX Mumbai couldn’t have been a better embodiment of it.
BY Shivani Murthy
NEWS / 8 months