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    Metal heads unite for the music A�event of the year this Saturday

    The OPEN Air heavy metal festival returns in a new avatar for its third edition this weekend. With fans travelling from all over Asia, the line-up includes German thrash metal band Destruction, Italian death metal band Cadaver Mutilator and Greek extreme metal band Rotting Christ. The Indian contingent is made up of Bangalorea��s thrash metal band Threinody, classic metal/rock band Girish and the Chronicles, and The Down Troddence (TDC), who won the Best Band award at this yeara��s Rolling Stones India Metal Awards.

    Crowd surfing
    For the first time, the festival will be held at CounterCulture, a more intimate space, giving fans a chance to interact with bands. a�?Because the venue is not large, it will be more friendly,a�? says festival founder Salman Syed. Munz, the lead vocalist with TDC concurs. a�?We always look for an intimate venue,a�? he explains. a�?You can meet new people and engage with them when you are on stage.a�? The strong link between the fans and the festival encouraged organisers to pilot crowd-funding for this yeara��s edition, harnessing the support of the tight-knit metal community. a�?Since we didna��t have much support from sponsors or corporates, we decided to crowd fund to raise capital,a�? explains Syed.
    Indian scene
    The festival has achieved near cult status as the most important event in the Indian metal music calendar. a�?Bangalore Open Air is like an invisible thread that binds all metalheads together,a�? explains self-declared metal head Ramee Bordoloi from Assam. a�?People travel from far and wide to be a part of this. When you see thousands of people around you headbanging in sync, you feel at bliss,a�? she says. This sense of community is no less important for the bands. a�?Metal is not mainstream, ita��s the music of the oppressed. So a metal festival is more like a family reunion,a�? explains Munz. a�?Everyone on the metal scene are like our brothers and sisters.a�?

    For Girish and the Chronicles, it is a chance to broaden their musical reach, and hear certain bands live for the first time, at least in India. a�?Ita��s a great opportunity for a classic metal band,a�? says lead singer Girish Pradhan. a�?Ia��ve actually never been to a thrash metal show before, so ita��s something new for me too,a�? he concludes.

    At Whitefield. Tickets (`1,500 upwards) on bookmyshow.com
    a��Maegan Dobson Sippy


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