In 2012, metalheads in Mumbai were given an unfair deal as their favourite haunt called B69 in Andheri shut down. It was a venue that hosted a ton of local metal acts, hence giving a voice and stage to several Indian metal bands. While most mourned its end, Himanshu Vaswani and Ashutosh Pande decided to bring back the vibe, if not the venue itself. They have announced a metal festival called Big69, to be held on January 17 and 18, next year, at Richardson & Cruddas in Byculla, Mumbai.
“Metal has been under the shadows in this country, even though there is a huge fan following and many local bands. It’s a heavier form of music and those who love it deserve their own festival, so yes, it’s for a niche audience,” says Vaswani, one of the founders of Bajaao Consulting and Entertainment Pvt Ltd, the organisers of Big69.
The festival will host some exciting up-and-coming international acts such as UK-based rap metal band Hacktivist and Italian death metal act Fleshgod Apocalypse. “These are bands that are on their way up. We want to educate people about these new sounds. Two headlining acts will be announced soon,” says Vaswani. Mumbai-based bands Demonic Resurrection and Zygnema and Delhi’s Albatross, among others, will also perform at Big69. “We have booked bands from Shillong, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune and several other cities because we want to showcase what’s happening in the country as far as metal is concerned,” he says.
The organisers are concentrating on making it an annual fest in Mumbai for now and have no plans of taking it to other cities.
Early bird tickets are available on Insider.in and are priced at Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,500 for students.