The first edition of BUDX BLR creates a dialogue about inclusivity, gender and identity
Among the numerous music festivals in India, BUDX is one that goes beyond just gigs, and talks about issues the music industry is facing. Through panel discussions and masterclasses with renowned artistes, they address topics from race and gender to trends in music technology. The fest makes its way to Bengaluru this weekend with a focus on female empowerment. We take a look at what’s in store at the first ever BUDX BLR.
The day-long event has panel discussions on topics such as Breaking Through the Boy’s Club (which looks at women working behind the scenes in music and arts) and, Arts as Activism. LA-based power-house Madame Gandhi will perform at the event. The artiste, who has toured with MIA, will play a live-drum set along with her elec-tronic music. “It will be a fem-positive DJ set where I showcase some of my favourite female artistes and male artistes who support women. We’ll have tracks from Brazil, Berlin, Nigeria and India of course and some DC go-go music, a rare funky African-influenced beat from Washington DC,” reveals the fourth wave feminist, who has been championing the cause of female and queer participation in the arts and music world.
At the event, she will also be on a panel titled, The Future is Female, with Aneesha Kotwani of She Said So, a global community of women in the music industry. The panel will discuss feminism and gender inclusivity in independent music. “What we’re working towards is an equality where women don’t feel like their femaleness is what comes first, its their artistry. I think it’s important to recognise that women bring different things to the table, more so than men, and that is why there should be an enthusiasm around their work, instead of us teaching the women where they have to catch up to the men or to aspire to what the men are doing, in order to fit in,” she says.
Also performing at the festival is Sandhya Visvanathan, known on stage as Pardafash. She will play her mix of spoken word monologues along with her electronic music. “My performance looks specifically at gender-based violence and questions the normalisation of violence that is taking place in our nation,” she tells us. On the topic on inclusivity in the indie circuit in India, she feels that there isn’t much gender or even caste diversity. “We simply need more voices,” she says, adding, “We also need to hold men from the music industry, who are sexual predators, accountable. It is important to talk about these things.”
Backed by performances by alt band, The F16s, pop-rock band The Derelicts, singer-songwriter Nush Lewis, electronica duo Flex Machina and more, BUDX BLR seems to be a refreshing change of pace from other festivals in India.
Rs. 799 upwards. May 18, 4.30 pm. At Fandom, Koramangala