FFI Festival File: Easy Wanderlings

The popular Pune-based indie band tells us about a few of their favourite festivals

Pune-based band Easy Wanderlings’ shiny, happy, crowd-friendly mix of pop, rock, funk and soul has made them music festival favourites. After making their debut at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in 2016, the octet – made up of composer/lyricist Sanyanth Naroth, vocalist Pratika Gopinath, flautist Siya Ragade, violinist Shardul Bapat, bassist Malay Vadalkar, guitarist Sharad Rao, keyboardist Nitin Muralikrishna and drummer Abraham Zacharia – has played Bloom In Green, Spoken and Ziro Festival of Music among others. Next month, they’ll return to perform again at Weekender and in December, they’ll take the stage at Bloom In Green and India Bike Week. This makes them perfect candidates to open our new interview series in which we ask performers and speakers across different genres about their favourite festivals. Edited excerpts:

Your favourite music festival
Pratika and Sharad: Mahindra Blues Festival, because of their line-ups.

Your favourite music festival act
Pratika: The Soul, from Sri Lanka.
Sanyanth: Jose Gonzales. 
Sharad: Kokoroko.
Editor’s note: Each of these international acts have played the Bacardi NH7 Weekender festival.

The one music festival on your bucket list
Sharad: Glastonbury. It must feel amazing to perform on that iconic stage. Definitely a platform to get noticed and not to mention, the opportunities that could come out of participating in a festival of that stature. 

Music festival with the best vibe
Sharad: Ziro Festival of Music. The environment is breathtaking. We performed on a stage with a stunning backdrop of a vast field, mountains and a beautiful sky.

Music festival with the best food and drink
Shardul: Zomaland. They put a lot of effort into carefully curating the best vendors and different cuisines. 

Music festival with the best merch 
Sharad: NH7 Weekender, we still use their mugs as ashtrays.

Music festival with the best social media game
Sanyanth: NH7 Weekender. They know how to keep their fans engaged before and after the festival. They keep the anticipation high by releasing the line-up in phases. They are very particular with giving proper guidelines to artists and audiences about using the right keywords and hashtags.

Music festival with the best crowd management
Sharad: Vh1 Supersonic. Entry and exit seemed a lot smoother than compared to other festivals attended.

Music festival with the best loos
Sharad: None. 

Most family-friendly festival
Sharad: Mahindra Blues Festival. It’s a [relatively] smaller festival in the heart of Mumbai, indoors, comfortable. The energy of the crowd is more calm and relaxed compared to other major festivals. 

Music festival with the best after-parties
Sanyanth: We’re usually asleep by then. We’ve heard good things about after-parties organised by both NH7 Weekender and Vh1 Supersonic. 

Most eco-friendly music festival 
Sharad: Ziro Festival of Music. As far as we could see there was no plastic being used, drinks were served in bamboo glasses and there were water filling stations through the whole ground. All the stages, stalls and fences were constructed with wood. We’ve heard nice things about Echoes of Earth too. 

Most music festival-friendly city
Shardul: Pune, without a doubt. It has a good relaxed vibe in general. It is a hub for college students, affordable and accessible.

The one thing you’d like to change about music festivals
Sanyanth: We’d like to see cleaner toilets and a lot more toilets for women because there always seems to be a large queue. 

The one thing you’d like to see more of at music festivals
Sanyanth: More media coverage for artists. For example, for Vh1 Supersonic, the organisers had arranged multiple interviews with a variety of media outlets. That gave a significant boost to the artists. We’d also like to see more public transportation organised by festivals for better traffic management.

The one thing you’d like to see less of at music festivals
Sanyanth: A lot of the same line-ups getting repeated over and over again. Would be nice to see more diversity from around the world across genres, even if they are not extremely popular artists.  

The Indian music festival that has the potential to be staged internationally
Shardul: NH7, because it has a vibrant mix of Indian and international sound

Your main pro-tip for music festival attendees
Sharad: Stay hydrated. Spend time listening to the acts before attending the fest.

Easy Wanderlings’ new EP ‘Caught in a Parade’ is out on Friday, 07 October. You can catch them on their ongoing EP launch tour in New Delhi on Sunday, 09 October and in Pune on Sunday, 30 October. Get details here.

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