Mumbai hosted the 28th Independence Rock Music festival on November 5th and 6th, after 9 long years. The legendary music festival is not just another fest, though. Since 1986, this festival has been at the heart of India’s rock music movement. With some of the country’s biggest rock bands playing, the two-day festival returned to its glory days as Mahindra Independence Rock.
Independent rock, popularly known as I-rock, has come a long way since its inception. In 1986, two of the most famous rock bands were all set to perform at a prestigious college fest. Just a week before, the gig was canceled. The college authorities disapproved of their music which eventually led to mass protests among the outraged students. One student among them was Farhad Wadia, a die-hard rock music enthusiast. Along with some other students and rock band members, he organized the first edition of I-rock which eventually made a substantial place in the country’s rock movement. Independent rock music festival is the oldest and one of the most significant rock music events in Mumbai. It has a substantial presence in rock and metal ignition in the country. Almost three decades after it began, the festival has grown into a culture, lifestyle, and music festival.
Being at the festival made me feel ecstatic. It was an amazing experience watching the homecoming bands perform live. The iconic festival surely returned with a bang! Amazing performances, a great ambiance, and a fun crowd gave it the biggest hoot! The first day of the festival hosted some of the veteran bands like Pentagon, and Zero along with Bloodywood, Thaikkudam Bridge, and Aswekeepsearching. On 6th November, Parikrama and Indus Creed (earlier known as Rock Machine) set the iconic stage on fire with their exemplary riffs. Popular bands like Avial, Kashmiri-origin band Parvaaz, and The F16s also performed on the second day of the festival. The Bayview Lawns (Princess Dock, Mazgaon) in Mumbai surely witnessed the memorable events of the decade.
Furthermore, the event organised a country-wide online hunt for next-gen rock and metal bands. Numerous future Indian rock idols derived their inspiration from this segment. The winner of the nationwide band competition by Mahindra I-Rock powered by Jawa Yezdi Motorcycles was Bombay Bandook. They performed on the Jawa Yezdi stage on the second day of the festival. They absolutely blew away the crowd with their amazing and energetic performance.
Mahindra Independent Rock has made the crowd go frenzy over their lineup of bands. As much as the crowd hooted and shouted for their favorite frontmen, I’m sure they’d love to be there the next year. Farhad Wadia, the founder of I-rock and a pillar in the music industry, has successfully resurrected the esteemed music festival after 9 years. As a part of the black-tee crowd of the festival this year, I sure hope it returns in all its glory the next year too. May it be more extravagant, more unique in its own way, and bigger the next year!