Written by Mitali Dhar
The Bacardi NH7 Weekender, which kicks off on Friday and goes on till December 1, will see a number of popular artistes — Marty Friedman, TesseracT, Opeth, Karnivool, Kodaline and Nick Murphy (fka Chet Faker) — perform. But the festival is much beyond its headline-making acts.
It is the collective effort of organisers and the over 100 volunteers, most of them students of colleges in Pune and surrounding areas, who have signed up to work for the festival. These volunteers will receive no monetary benefits for their efforts, but will get a chance to see their favourite artistes perform up close.
Somakshi Joshi from Gwalior, a student, has been going to NH7 for the past two years and has also worked as a volunteer for the event. “I love working for events such as NH7, which is such a huge platform. I earn a lot of experience and one always looks forward to it. One can see many varieties of artistes here at NH7,” she says.
These youngsters also get a chance to contribute towards the making of one of the most happening musical festivals in the country. “Helping OML, the organisers of the event, in offline marketing for over 4-5 months was an absolutely wonderful experience. I did something out of my comfort zone,” says Angela Jocob from Pune. “During the three days of NH7, I have been allotted stage duty along with three more people. Our work involves handling the artiste’s stuff and looking after all their needs before and after the show,” she adds.
Raghvendra Singh Chouhan, who is from Indore and is studying in Pune, has also been going to NH7 for the last two years. “As there is no such music festival back in my hometown, my first NH7 was a beautiful experience in itself. I volunteered because I wanted to see how a big music festival works and also gain experience about working in such a festival,” he says.
Anjanjyot from Delhi, who is currently in Pune, started attending NH7 in 2017, when she came to the city for further studies. “In my second year, I decided to volunteer for the festival. One of the reasons for it was that I am very interested in events and how they are run, and of course my love for music,” she said.
The Bacardi NH7 Weekender has also boosted the independent music industry in India, with local artistes getting an opportunity to share the stage with some international music stars.
Music is one of the main motivations, but not for every volunteer.
Mansukhman Julka, who is from Patiala and is studying now in Pune, attended NH7 last year for the first time as a volunteer with OML. “To be very honest, music wasn’t the reason as there were only a few artistes that I was crazy about who were performing last year. I was looking forward to the experience and it was a good opportunity,” said Julka.