INDIA’S FIRST FOLK AND FUSION MUSIC FESTIVAL
In 2016, a company called Nesco called us and said that they wanted to get into the entertainment space. As owners of The Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon, it seemed a natural extension of their current business of renting out their 65 acre property.
We pitched several ideas to them and bless their soul, they homed in on wanting to do a Folk & Fusion Music festival as against opting for more obviously commercial music. It was like a God send and we had a great time conceiving and curating it. One thing was for certain, this was about the music and only about the music.
We also wanted this to be more in the nature of an enjoyable concert experience so it was a seated only event, in an air conditioned venue, a single stage event that ran from 6pm to 11pm featuring four performers each day.
For 2016, we focused on Rajasthan, Assam, Bengal and Punjab, which reflected in the artiste line up and the mouth-watering food platters prepared by Nesco. Of course, the venue was done up to reflect the look and feel of the rustic, which created the ambience for the performers to wow the audience.
India’s most successful fusion band, the Colonial Cousins opened the show with their first performance in Mumbai in over four years! Mame Khan then brought the rich and rustic folk music of Rajasthan to life with an incredible performance. The husband wife duo of Gangadhar & Tulika made their performing debut in Mumbai with the cutest act of traditional Bengali folk music anyone has ever seen and finally Papon brought the house down at the end of Day One with a typically brilliant performance that covered Assamese, Punjabi and even Rajasthani folk songs, his impromptu jam with Mame Khan being the piece de resistance of the evening.
Chaar Yaar, the Sufi quartet from Delhi, opened Day Two with an acoustic and educative set that covered the poetry of philosophers and writers down the centuries, from Rumi to John Lennon. Dhruv Ghanekar and his Voyage set featuring Kalpana Patowary on vocals encapsulated the theme of the festival ideally as they their songs traversed the length and breadth of the regions in focus while the Nooran Sisters reversed the pattern of the show completely : they sat and performed their style of Punjabi Sufi and Folk while the audience stood, danced and went bananas! Brothers Salim & Sulaiman Merchant closed Paddy Fields 2016 with a power packed performance featuring multiple vocalists including a set of Manganiyar musicians with whom the brothers had never performed in Mumbai earlier.
The feedback to the event was phenomenal and we’re pleased as punch that already people are talking about taking Paddy Fields out of Mumbai to other national and even international destinations.