If you approach any rock music veteran of the scene and ask them about how the country’s rock and metal scene came into being, they’ll have only two words waiting to roll off from the tip of their tongues – Independence Rock. In 1986, musician, composer, gig promoter, and Rock-n-Roll enthusiast Farhad Wadia came up with a simple concept – to bring some of the greatest rock and metal bands from the country’s music scene under one umbrella where they could get to showcase their head-splitting music to an equally enthusiastic audience, who had been dying for such a concert to take place for so long. And the rest, as you know, is history. Independence Rock went on to become the watershed moment in the Indian music scene that would go on to give birth to what we today term the country’s “rock and metal scene” today. So much so, that it eventually earned the nickname “Woodstock of India”. The festival was responsible for launching to popularity some of the greatest names in the scene, kind of becoming a rite of passage for alternative music acts over the last three and a half decades.
And now, the festival is back with a bang after a hiatus of 8 years, all set to take place on November 5th and 6th at Bayview Lawns at Princess Dock, Mazgaon in Mumbai! Of course, this came as nothing short of surprise and ecstasy to countless rock music enthusiasts, ranging from the older generations to the Gen-Z who have been waiting patiently for any hint of news from the I-Rock organizers up till now. And looking at the hype, this is going to be one of the most sought-after events to take place this year with black-clad diehard fans thronging the arena to witness their favourite artists live (a usual scenario at every year’s I-Rock).
But at the same time, the event organizers have promised an all-around upgrade to the two-day festival with a revamped avatar and a lineup to die for, upholding the same ethos and passion at its core as it has all these years. If you have already gotten the tix for this year’s I-Rock, you have made the right choice! But if you are still skeptical or hesitating, let us take you through a couple of reasons why we feel you should definitely give it a shot.
1. This year’s I-Rock Lineup Is Tight!
Now, a lot of people might have conflicting opinions on the matter but we think this year’s lineup is fire! From veterans like Indus Creed, Pentagram, Parikrama and Zero to contemporary names like Parvaaz, Avial, Thaikkudam Bridge, Bloodywood, The F16s, and Aswekeepsearching, you’ll get to experience some of the driving forces behind the scene who have established themselves as the poster-children of the homegrown rock and metal scene. There is no way in hell that you should miss out on such a tight line-up!
2. The vibes and sheer energy are unmatched
Let’s face it, the best gigs are rock gigs (well, mostly so). The ebullience exuded by concert-goers is something of a lifetime experience. And Independence Rock has always upheld the spirit of freedom, rebellion, non-conformism, inclusivity, and equality. It is an environment that wholeheartedly welcomes those who are truly passionate about music and also those who want to experience it for the first time.
3. It is THE MOST iconic rock music fest in the country
Before NH7 Weekender and Lollapalooza, there was Independence Rock. A platform that gave the opportunity to fresh faces to present their art in front of thousands of screaming fans. It was THAT moment that started it all and continued to be one of the most sought-after festivals highlighting these alternative music genres for three decades straight. The impression that it left on the scene was indelible and now that it’s back with its renewed outlook, we can only hope for more in the coming years.
4. It is the ONLY all-rock/metal fest in the country on this scale
Yes, India right now may have a couple of kickass festivals up its roster but how many will you find that solely hosts only rock and metal bands? Independence Rock has done it since the beginning and to this date, they remain to be the ONLY festival to continue doing so. A true delight for all rock/metal fans indeed!
5. Zero is coming out of a hiatus and more bands are making their debut
It is not unknown that I-Rock gives opportunities to up-and-coming artists to display their talents on stage, something that has been a ritual since its inception. This time around too is no exception. Mumbai-based fusion rock band Bombay Bandook, metal giants Bloodywood and more will be debuting for the first time at I-Rock this year. It is also a special moment for all those artists who have been given the opportunity to play at this legendary festival after their massive win at Tomorrow’s Headliners – a series of band competitions organized by the event itself.
At the same time, the festival this year is a lucky one for Zero fans as the band that went on a live performance hiatus in 2018 is once again back with a bang with their first show in 4 years at I-Rock. Definitely not the one to miss out on.