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Big 69 : India’s First Metal Pilgrimage

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Metalheads who think the scene is dying… there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! Mumbai is now ready to get its very own metal music festival, called BIG69. Supported by Pepsi MTV Indies and managed by BAJAAO Consulting and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., BIG69 will bring the biggest names in the rock music arena to India. In its very first year, BIG69 will showcase UK’s leading heavy metal legends Carcass and progressive metal act Sikth as the headliners. The festival will take place at the Richardson & Cruddas industrial compound in Byculla on the 17th and 18th of January, 2015 and the lineup includes Italian metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse and UK rap metallers Hacktivist along with some of the biggest Indian bands such as Bombay Metal Project and Joint Family, who will be reuniting for this festival after seven years of being defunct.
Carcass is one of biggest influences in the death/grindcore and melodic death metal genre. After disbanding in the mid 90s, Carcass reunited in 2007 for touring purposes, but the reunion became permanent in 2012 with a new lineup as drummer Daniel Wilding and guitarist Ben Ash joined founding members Bill Steer and Jeff Walker. With a 2013 release ‘Surgical Steel’ the band sets foot in India for the first time this January.
SikTh, who disbanded in 2008, have made a triumphant return in 2014 with a headlining set at the Download festival and are considered by many to be the godfathers of modern progressive metal. Vocalist Mikee Goodman said: “It has always been a dream to travel the world and play shows for myself and the rest of the band. It is an honour to be here right now. I heard some bands were recently coming to India to play. At last this chance has come for us and we are very excited to see and play in India!”

Fellow headliners Hacktivist who are considered to be one of the rising stars of the UK progressive metal scene and Fleshgod Apocalypse from Italy will be the other two international bands performing at the event. This festival will also give a platform to some of our very own Indian bands who have been performing in this genre. These include Nepal’s Underside and Indian metal biggies Demonic Resurrection, Undying Inc, Zygnema, Kryptos, Devoid and Noiseware. There is also something that young aspiring bands can look forward to. Pepsi MTV Indies is conducting a band hunt to choose two promising bands who will get a chance to play at the festival.

Apart from music, the festival will also have a special focus on art, with well-designed stages, art installations and the Indies KVLTure project – a special showcase of visual art, photographs and iconography associated with heavy metal. This will involve a number of collaborations with some of the finest artists and designers from the Indian metal scene who will create artwork and designs especially for the festival. Artists already on-board include Reuben Bhattacharya aka Visual Amnesia, Aaron Pinto, Avinash Jai Singh, Anirudh Singh aka Nuclear Puke, Gaurav Basu aka Acid Toad and Aaquib Wani. Limited edition prints of their artwork will be available for sale at the festival, along with special Indies KVLTure project merchandise and much more.

Festival managers BAJAAO were the company behind the now-defunct cult underground venue B69, which is still remembered fondly by the city’s metalheads. BAJAAO, along with the festival’s promoters and partners, is very excited about this upcoming new event that is to be added to the city’s annual calendar. Festival promoter Ashutosh Pande said: “We’ve had a long association with the Indian metal scene. BIG69 is our effort to take metal to the masses and to fill the void that B69 left behind. We intend to replicate the B69 experience at a much larger scale by giving Mumbai its very own Festival director Himanshu Vaswani said: “Mumbai hasn’t had a big music festival in a long time and we’re very excited to be doing a metal festival on this scale. We’re making sure that everything – from the line-up and stages to the whole experience – is as big as it gets.”

Early bird tickets are available at www.insider.in/big69 at Rs. 2500 for a two day pass. School and college students can avail of a special discounted pass at Rs. 1500. Find all the details at www.big69.in.

Watch this space for updates!

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