| 21 Feb 2024
'Scaled Down' New Wave Asia announces first international act

MUMBAI: Ennui.Bomb's Rishu Singh isn’t new to complications that plague the live music scene in India. So, as the date approaches to the third edition of his annual traveling festival, Singh finds himself in an extremely familiar position; this time, however, without the support of a sponsor.

Scheduled for a 16-17-18 December execution, New Wave Asia announced its first - and the only - international act to perform in anti Social Delhi (Hauz Khas Village) – one of the two New Wave Asia ‘16 venues (Raasta will host the third edition on the first day - 16 December). French world music duo ILHAAM Project is penciled in to perform at the three-day event as the headlining act on 18 December. The third edition will feature metal acts Bhopal's Elemental and Pune’s Dirge, singer-songwriter Tejas Menon, rap crew Mumbai's Finest, hometown acts Peter Cat Recording Co., Outliners among others.

The first edition of the traveling festival introduced Vans as the associates and featured 66 acts across two stages, each representing the two vital brands - Vans and Pepsi MTV Indies. The following edition had Vans contribute towards the festival on a larger scale, however, the final line-up was reduced to 44, compared to the debut edition’s 66. The upcoming (third) edition will feature only 22 artists, and two in-door venues, unlike earlier editions. "We had artists from Japan and Thailand and Germany perform for us in the first two editions. Since it’s an entirely DIY (of sorts) effort for us, the most important aspect for us was to ensure the edition happens as promised. After Vans pulled out, I decided not to beg to sponsors for their money,” explained New Wave's founder Singh.

Singh also informed that the festival could associate with a Pune-based brewery for on-ground support and Bengaluru-based Haul apparel for merchandise partnership. With 22 bands spread across three days, the third edition's entry tickets would cost somewhere between 600 and 800 rupees, informed the founder of the festival. What has not affected ennui.Bomb’s usual plans in the ’16 edition, apart from Singh’s confidence and determination to keep it alive, appears in the form of Stupiditties’ tenth mixtape that features Laxmi Bomb, Ferry Tales, Bianca Love and 14 other acts.

Sponsors play an extremely crucial role in the execution of a live event, an even bigger role in the alternative music community. With Vans' disassociation with the festival, Singh had predicted bigger challenges, but as publicly declared (through social media) a few months ago, the third edition continues to remain right on its course. “The team at ennui.Bomb is doing this edition entirely on its own," informed Singh, who left his former employer to be a ‘full time’ ennui.Bomb promoter almost exactly four years ago. "Organising anything sponsor-less is a challenge, but I want to keep this property alive. The initiative has brought down some of the finest acts from South and South East Asia. The Indian bands have agreed to perform knowing the circumstances, and all I want – more than the monetary outcome or anything – is a satisfactory response from the performing musicians."

Raasta Delhi will host the opening day, whereas anti Social will be the festival's home on 17 and 18 December.