A music festival that stands as a platform for something more than just great international music making its way to India – that was what Roshan Netalkar had in mind when Echoes of the Earth was first conceptualised:
Living in Bengaluru, we are exposed to bad waste management and declining natural resources. We felt it is the need of the hour to wake up and create a responsible ecosystem. Music is universal, we decided to use it as a platform to spread the message of a more eco-aware way of life.
The theme of the festival, which just concluded its second edition, was ‘Bugs of the Ecosystem’ – and this theme was seen in several creative ways across the venue of Embassy International Riding School. Besides two stages dedicated to the theme, there were art installations that were up, giving people something to admire and think about.
3D Dragonflies to Gunny-Bag Owls
One of the two main stages was a homage to the Dragon Fly. Designed by Roshan and artist Hemangini, the stage took two months from concept to reality. The giant wings were made out of recycled scrap metal and fabric standing at 55 feet tall amidst the trees. An enthusiastic Hemangini explains:
We introduced 3D projection mapping onto these wings to bring out a visual experience bar none – with a theme subtly influenced by sunlight that falls on dragon fly wings. Visitors were delighted to the see the intricate patterns on the wings that came about when sunlight bounced off it during the day!
Bheemaiah, the designer of the Owl installation, created his piece from gunny bags, jute ropes, areca-nut plates, fruit-wood and junk metal. It took him three months. He explains:
The installation was created such that the owl’s head had a mechanical rotation of 180 degrees. The structure tried to depict the grandness and special features of owls like their massive wingspan and feathers that are a marvel of aerodynamic engineering! The sticks used in the installation were fallen branches – which meant no trees were cut and harmed.
Speaking of the bird that inspired it all, Bhemmaiah hopes that his installation will get people to acknowledge and pay attention to this unique creature before it becomes too late to save them. Owls, he insists, have been unable to gain primary importance even with conservationists for the simplest reason that they are nocturnal creatures.
The Praying Mantis – designed by Tapanjeet Singh – stood at 24ft tall and also took three months to come to life.
Praying mantis is made of scrap frames, pipes, rods, punched-out sheets and a variety of scrap. The frame of the mantis is covered by automotive scrap, scrap metal sheets and other reclaimed materials.
Marrying Music to Eco-Awareness
Waste management is the current issue and the best way to get through to people would be to create something beautiful out of waste. Tapanjeet believes that the festival was a great platform to showcase and create awareness on sustainability and preservation in a fun and effective way.
The festival was a plastic-free zone, with hammocks and mats for people to sit rather than plastic chairs. All food stalls served only in bio-degradable plates and cutlery. Segregation of waste was encouraged and even the waste bins were made of recyclable material.
Echoes of the Earth set a great example of how large events may be produced with minimal waste. The same philosophy, one hopes, can be applied in day to day life.
(Ruth is a media professional who has worked across multiple platforms in the last 15 years. She believes that every experience and interaction adds a new dimension to her perspective of the world and she loves every minute of what she does.)