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    After three years of curating the event series Indie March in Bengaluru, providing a stage for independent musicians — from Carnatic progressive band Agam, to singer Vasuda Sharma — CounterCulture decided to scale up this year.
    The maiden Indie March Festival will bring down bands such as 65daysofstatic, a Sheffield electronic/post-rock band, German stoner/psychedelic band Colour Haze and Scottish electronic duo Happy Meals for their India debut, alongside a total of 30 artistes across five stages. “Since the closure of our venue – CounterCulture – the idea was to focus purely on music, and extend some of our smaller acts such as the Indie March (which was a month-long event) with three-four bands performing on weekends, to a larger concept,” explains Vishwaraj Mohan, founder of CounterCulture.
    The line-up
    The Indian bands slated to perform include Malayalam rock band Avial, Kolkata dream pop duo Parekh & Singh, Dualist Inquiry from Delhi, and Mumbai’s electro-swing duo Madboy/Mink. Mumbai-based instrumental rock/metallers Pangea, Bengaluru’s own sludge band Shepherd, and Chennai rockers Skrat will also perform. Adding more pull to the event are local favourites such as the progressive/psychedelic rock band Parvaaz.
    “The whole agenda is to have heavier guitar-driven sounds for the festival. And in terms of choosing international artistes, it just takes a lot of time to convince them, and later it boils down to their schedules. But the fact that many of these bands are performing here for the first time excites me,” says Guru Somayaji, program director.
    Special act
    The event will be a two-day, five-stage show and will also include the special Rajasthani folk performance — The Manganiyar Seduction. Somayaji adds, “The Manganiyar Seduction will take place on an entirely separate fifth stage with seating, with festival goers having the option to buy a ticket for only that, or the entire festival. They are celebrating their 10th anniversary this March.”
    The inaugural edition is at the sprawling MoonGate, which Mohan says has everything — from a lakeside amphitheater to an industrial shed. Add to that coconut grove-dotted stage for rock bands.
    March 19-20. At Chikkajala. 3 pm onwards. Tickets (`2,399)
    on bookmyshow.com
    — Nandini Kumar

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