In Bangalore, artists come together to pay an uncommon
and festive tribute to nature
a time when many artists have to divide their time between creating works
and getting them sponsored, some still choose to pursue art for art’s
from any sponsored event,’ says Praveen of the band Yell-O
a festival, held an hour away from Bangalore last Saturday, a wide range
of musicians and performers came together to sing for an enthusiastic
audience. It was an event for the artists by the artists. Some played
chaste Hindustani classical music, others Western notes. But they conveyed
one message – the need to preserve the environment. Fittingly, the
festival is called ‘Bhoomi Jathre’, a festival celebrating
nature. The idea for a non-sponsored came three years ago from Kirtana
Kumar, a filmmaker and her husband Konarak Reddy. Both realised the need
for a platform where artists would be able to perform without giving in
to the restrictive demands of sponsors.
venue was not hard to find — Fireflies, an ‘eco-ashram’
on the Kanak- pura Road on the outskirts of Bangalore. Run by the Pipal
Tree Trust, its activities revolve around local environmental issues and
meditation. That’s how Bhoomi Jathre started. The dusk-to-dawn event
has a theme every year. This time, the festival paid tribute to Marra
Devaru (the tree god). An appropriate theme considering the rate at which
trees are being felled in Bangalore to widen roads, says Kumar. A photo
exhibition by NA Naseer on the theme of trees was also displayed in the
venue. The Jathre began with classical music renditions. Musicians like
Prakash Sontakke played the Hindustani slide guitar. Mysore Nagaraj and
Mysore Manjunath played the violin. Two rock bands Mynd Snare and Yell-O
gave the event an exciting pace.
entire event was put together in the spirit of a village fair. Food stalls
dotted the ground. A bustling flea market, a painting competition and
a book stall were the other attractions. The Jathre ended at 6.30 am.
over, the artists packed up their stuff. The only remuneration they received
was a share of the gate collection and they were more than happy with
it. “This festival is different from any other sponsored event,”
said Praveen Yell-O’s lead guitarist.
flecks of bright yellow and white lights that bordered the dusty road
leading to Fireflies may have died down after the festival. But the glow
of the event has not dimmed.