Back by popular demand and entering its third year, Hindie Rock Fest starts tonight in Cambridge, MA. The alternative desi music and arts event brings together a diverse range of artists from hip hop, punk, electronic, poetry, dance, Hindustani classical, and other forms of expression. Co-founder Saraswathi Jones shares this history on the growing festival with a two-day lineup of performances:
Hindie Rock Fest started as a show in an art gallery between friends with a love of puns and shared sonic ties to the Subcontinent. It has since grown into a community of artists and activists who share a vision of art as a platform to politically engage desi people and push for transformative, liberatory change for all in an especially crucial era of civil rights activism and sweeping social change.
The festival’s artists are based in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The first night’s performers from 7-11 p.m. include Ashni, DJ Ayes Cold, Evilartform, Nazar Bollywood Dance Troupe, The Shadow Notes, and Trandcention. From 5 p.m. and on for Saturday, the festival shows performances from Anjali Nirmalan, Awaaz Do, Garv Bomjan, Humeysha, The Kominas, Monishita Ray, Nina Bhattacharya, Payal Sharma, Solaradicals and Word-Music Problems.
Hindie Rock Fest dance performer Nina Bhattacharya talked about the festival on a recent episode of the Almirah Radio Hour.
…As we like to describe it, it’s two nights of rock, roll and postcolonial soul…It’s such a great opportunity to listen to what the diaspora sounds like, because the diaspora’s so diverse it isn’t one genre or sound.
Hear more from Bhattacharya and others including Shahjehan from The Kominas, who described Hindie Rock Fest to be a “powerful experience” and “kind of like the desi function I always wanted to go to as a kid,” in this video offering a glimpse of this year’s lineup.
Friday 10/14 – doors 6 p.m.
7:00 p.m.: Trandcention
7:45 p.m.: Raavi Lucia
8:00 p.m.: The Shadow Notes
8:45 p.m.: Ashni (NYC)
9:00 p.m.: Evilartform (D.C.)
9:45 p.m.: Nazar Bollywood Dance Troupe
10:00 p.m.: DJ Ayes Cold (D.C.)
Saturday 10/15 – doors 4 p.m.
5:00 p.m.: Hunter Music
5:45 p.m.: Anjali Nirmalan (poetry)
6:00 p.m.: Word-Problems
6:45 p.m.: Solaradicals
7:00 p.m.: Garv Bomjan Music
7:45 p.m.: Nina Bhattacharya (dance)
8:00 p.m.: Humeysha
8:45 p.m.: Monishita Ray (dance)
9:00 p.m.: The Kominas
9:45 p.m.: Payal Sharma
10:00 p.m.: Awaaz Do
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