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Preview: India Bike Week 2013

India Bike Week on Goa’s Vagator Beach is shaping up to be one of the best weekends of 2013. We’ve got everything you need to know about IBW ’13.

31 Jan, 2013

Shalaka Pai

Feature Writer

Hark! Do you hear the faint throb of a convoy of bikes? No? That’s because they’re all probably headed off to India Bike Week. The two-day festival is scheduled to take place on Vagator Beach, Goa, on February 2 and 3, and has been designed by bikers, for bikers. Not only does the festival ground have two music stages, (Main Stage and EDM Tent), it also features a host of bike-related exhibits and activities, as well as a fight club arena. Since there’s a lot happening at the festival, we’ll break it down day-wise. But first, a map!

Click to enlaaaaaarge.

Day 1, February 2
Alongside the music performances, the first day of India Bike Week features film screenings, stunt shows and Coyote Girl performances. The Big Trip film tent will see shows of bike and travel films including A Racer’s Diary by Aspi Bathena. The dirt track will have bike races of different classes during the day, as well as a workshop on off-road racing. The music is divided between the Main Stage and the EDM Tent.

Main Stage
The first day at the Main Stage features Bombay alt-punk act Blek, Delhi punk band Indigo Children, pop-rock group Faridkot, hip-hop/reggae act Bombay Bassment, and will be headlined by UK ska/dub group Gentleman’s Dub Club. Blek have been playing consistently tight, energetic sets over the last year, and one would expect their IBW set to be no different. Delhi punk/garage scene favourites Indigo Children will bring a different groove to the stage, and will be followed up by Faridkot and a set by Mumbai hip-hop act Bombay Bassment, who rarely disappoint.

Headlining the Main Stage for the day are Gentleman’s Dub Club. The Leeds group combine ska, reggae, dancehall and a little bit of live dub (of course) to create a well-planned soundscape that is very conducive to dancing. Combine that with a beach, and you’ve got a party going on. They’ve been touring a lot over the past two years, and have played at both Bestival and Glastonbury in 2011, as well as the Outlook Festival in Croatia, which is pretty much one of the the big daddies of bass music festivals. Gentleman’s Dub Club generally suit up on stage and take pride in a high-energy stage act.

Check out a music video of Gentleman’s Dub Club’s ‘High Grade’ below to get an idea.

EDM Tent
The EDM Tent will see performances by OX7GEN, Bay Beat Collective, Nucleya and a headlining performance by Reggae Rajahs. Looking at the schedule, one can conclude that the overall tempo for the day will be a quick buildup, with Delhi producer Nucleya hitting the peak. Aditya Ashok aka OX7GEN will kick off proceedings at the EDM Tent. The young drum ‘n’ bass artist is good at gauging the vibe of the audience, and will be sure to open up the tent competently. Bay Beat Collective are next at the Tent, and if the last glitchy, deliciously bass-heavy set we saw them play (pics) was anything to go by, their set should be fun.

We last saw Nucleya and Reggae Rajahs play a quick collaboration at the Pune edition of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender (stage report), and going by that, we can safely say that Nucleya’s set will raise the tempo significantly and also pave the way well for the Reggae Rajahs to take over the console.

Check out a video of the Rajahs dropping a sick dubplate at the Pepsi Dub Station at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, NCR.

Day 2, February 3
One of the more exciting non-music events featured on the second day is the FCC-8 showcase. The arena will see eight bouts, with some of the country’s best fighters of different styles square off against each other. Go here for more details about the fights and the contestants. The Stunt Zone at the festival will not only see stunt biker teams showcasing their skills, but also a course on safe riding. Yet another event worth a watch at the festival is the Biker Build-off. In a first-of-its-kind competition for the country, three motorcycle builders have been given identical bikes to customize. The rolling chassis will be brought to Goa, where each building company will complete the final assembly live on the Main Stage. Mumbai company Transfigure Custom House will face off against Rajputana Custom and Dreamriders Vehicles to create the most badass bike.

Main Stage
The second day at the Main Stage will see an opening set by classic rock DJ Blackjack!, followed by performances by pop-rock act The Other People, indie electro-rockers Sky Rabbit, Split, Lou Majaw, and a headlining performance by Mumbai electro-rock act Pentagram.

Hyderabad DJ Blackjack will open the day with a three-hour-long set comprising the music he loves best – rock and blues. Blackjack himself is a passionate biker, and performs annually at Enfield Rider Mania. The vibe carries on with a classic rock-infused set by The Other People, and then will get a little more chilled out, with a set by Sky Rabbit. We last saw Sky Rabbit play on a beach (well, facing a beach) at MTV Bloc Party (pics) and we can conclude that beaches are an excellent venue for a Sky Rabbit set. Post Split, a set by veteran Shillong musician Lou Majaw will probably deviate from the overall soundscape, though his sets are usually energetic and passionate, and should be an interesting watch. Pentagram sets never fail to disappoint, and are sure to end the night on a high note, and maybe even fuck the fucking time limit, because, after all, it’s Goa #amirite?

Check out an NH7 TV video of Pentagram’s video premiere of ‘Tomorrow’s Decided’.

EDM Tent
The Tent will see afternoon performances by BLaNK and DJ Ruskin, and then sets by Anish Sood and Dualist Inquiry after a long break.

Chennai act BLaNK are made up of DJs Skip and Manny at the turntables, and Nirupama on the vocals and flute. Their sets are usually well planned out, and span the spectrum from ambient house to techno and breakbeats. Each member of the crew adds a different layer to the soundscape, culminating in a multi-dimensional, interesting, EDM set. DJ Ruskin and Anish Sood are seasoned professionals, and their sets are sure to match up to the vibe of the crowd at the time. 

Delhi producer Dualist Inquiry has been working on a new album that’s scheduled to release this March, and his recent live sets have included an increasing amount of material from the work in progress. Mr Bakshi has also been experimenting with creating audiovisual elements for his live sets, which has been working well in his favour.

 India Bike Week takes place on Vagator beach, Goa, on February 2 and 3. The festival website has a list of accommodation options in the area. Festival passes will set you back by Rs 3,000 for men and Rs 2,000 for women, and can be bought on BookMyShow. Find a full schedule and other fun stuff on NH7 Festivapp!

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