The Fireflies Festival is an annual, all-night, BYOB (and any other intoxicating alphabet) music party held at the Fireflies ashram on the outskirts of Bangalore. A bunch of musicians spanning genres and languages perform from 6pm to 6am. This 2010 instalment took place on Saturday, Feb 20.
The term “music festival” is much overused in India these days. Anything from a garden party with a couple of DJs to a Backstreet Boys gig gets assigned this title. And while the ambiguity of its definition is cause for some concern, we’re pretty sure its essence stems from more than just the music. Of all the charlatans claiming to be festivals, Fireflies perhaps comes closest. Everything from the banyan tree at the Fireflies ashram amphitheatre under which artists perform, to the sickly sweet smell of marijuana wafting through the air, to the passed out Bengalurus who periodically woke up to prepare said marijuana for smoking, reeked a community spirit missing from many imposters.
On the bill were a bunch of acts, local and otherwise, including homeboys (now w/girl) Lounge Piranha. While their set was pretty loose, it was largely enjoyable thanks to an interpretive dancer who accompanied the more drone-y Piranha material, and a particularly kvlt cover of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’.
The remainder of the music we caught was pretty pedestrian, fusion-y jazz-rock. But the vibe of the night, coupled with the fact that though booze and assorted intoxicants were involved, no one misbehaved (tough ask pulling this off in Delhi though, okay Rocktoberfest wasn’t a bad start), more than made up for the shaky programming. We’re certainly coming back next year.