| 23 Jul 2024
Bangalore Open Air 2014 takes the crowd-funding route

MUMBAI: The third edition of the Indian heavy metal festival Bangalore Open Air plans to be 'By the Metal Heads, for the Metal Heads'. The festival has taken the crowd-funding route on popular crowd-funding site Wishberry. The 90-day campaign allows potential festival goers to buy their ticket at a discounted price along with other perks, depending on their capacity to donate. With 68 days remaining, the collections so far have been 4 percent of the targeted 44 Lakh.

"We had two successful episodes of the festival but we have lost a lot of money in the first two years, the reason being we did not have the support from corporates," said Salman Syed, Promoter of BOA. "However, considering we are the largest heavy metal festival in India, I want to keep the festival alive and keep it going by crowd-funding," he added.

Norwegian Black Metal band 'Mayhem' will be one of the international artistes to perform at BOA 2014. However, the line-up is yet to be announced. "There will be four international and four local artistes. I have not announced the others because I need the funds to pay them. I could announce 'Mayhem' because I know them personally and they wanted to visit India and perform," said Syed. The band posted a video on the festival's Facebook which featured its vocalist and guitarist Necrobutcher telling fans to buy the tickets in advance so they can come and perform at the BOA.

The Metal Battle this year will begin on 17 May 2014 and will go to six cities; Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Bangalore. The concerts will be headlined by Celtic folk metal band SuidAkrA in all the cities. The four national finalists of the Battle will perform at the BOA and the winner will be selected to perform at the 25th Wacken Open Air, the largest open air metal festival in the world. The Battle will be judged by SuidAkrA, Vice President of Wacken Open Air Miriam Hensel, a few senior people in the music industry and Syed himself.

This year, the sound production for BOA will be done by J Davis Pro Sound, who according to Syed is "the best in Bangalore for technical production." But on the sponsorship front, they have a long way to go. "Metal Battle is a property of Wacken and the whole idea is that they support upcoming metal bands. The BOA is powered by Wacken, who are promoting the festival. People know that when we are associated with Wacken, there is no bulls**t. Then again, very few know Wacken and would understand it. Unfortunately, despite our team marketing it to sponsors, it has been a very hard time for us," explained Syed.

The previous two editions of the festival have had over 2000 people attending the event and brought to Indian audiences international names like SuidAkrA, Kreator, Iced Earth, Dark Tranquillty, Animals as leaders, Orphaned Land and Ihsahn.

Syed also owns an artiste management company called Infinite Dreams, for metal bands, and manages top names like Kryptos and Millennium.