Many of us Kolkatans have been mourning about the fact that Steven Wilson isn’t coming here to perform in the City of Joy. While some have booked train and flight tickets to Shillong and Pune as soon as the line-up was announced, others, like us, didn’t really have a bad time at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender Express at Aquatica on the 24th of September, 2016.

Although the 2-day 5-stage festival was cut down to only a 1-day and 1-stage event, the turnout was quite good actually. Couple-entry being free this year, the grounds were brimming with couples and pseudo couples.

Parekh & Singh live at NH7 Weekender Express, Kolkata, 2016

Parekh & Singh set the mood for the evening, with Jivraj’s groovy beats and Nischay’s wonderful voice. The duo performed some of their hits including Panda and Ocean and we could totally feel the Owl City influences in their music.

The F16s took over the stage, after Parekh & Singh, with their electronic-alternative music. Most of the Kolkata crowd were quite unfamiliar to this genre of music, but the way they pulled it off! Everyone was bound to love it! Who knew, EDM, rocking guitar riffs and killer vocals make such an amazing combo?

Fossils, followed the F16s, and they set the stage on fire! They had the entire crowd singing along, jumping and going insane! Rupam Islam, the face of Bangla Rock Music, called for the youth of Kolkata to keep the love for rock music alive, to keep the fire in our hearts burning and to support artists by being a part of such events. Long live rock! Long live Fossils! Kolkata loves you!

Fossils live at NH7 Weekender Express, Kolkata, 2016

Papon was up next with his mesmerising voice with some Assamese folk as well as Bollywood numbers. One of the few musicians who have revolutionised folk music and spread it across a large audience, Papon has to be one of our personal favourites!

And lastly, to wrap it all up, we had Nucleya playing some of his electronic dance tracks which made us take off our shoes and dance like no one was watching!

Overall, the night was amazing, the crowd insane, the drinks cold and the atmosphere electric! NH7 showed us again that it was the happiest music festival indeed!

Here’s to hoping NH7 Weekender will be back again next year, bigger and better!

It’s great to see so many music lovers/enthusiasts coming forward and being a part of these events. There is a ray of hope that we can finally bring back the rich culture and diversity in the music scene of Kolkata. Quite a few events are happening side-by-side in different parts of the city and the only way one can bring back the lost heritage is by actively being a part of these events. There are so many artists – local, national and international, performing in the city. So don’t just sit at home and while away your time doing nothing. Go out, support the scene, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!

~ Amrita Bhattacharya
Kolkata. India
Freelance Correspondent

Kolkata. IN

Founder of Friday Night Originals. Singer-songwriter and a fiction and non-fiction writer.