Deriving its name from one of the greatest songs ever written, Strawberry Fields started off as an attempt by the students of the National Law School of India University, back in 1997, to provide a stage to bands at a time when the country was just warming up to MTV. Geared towards promoting grassroots music, this has been the ideology behind this music festival for the last 16 years. Open to bands on a first-come-first-serve basis, it gives amateur bands an opportunity to perform at what has now become one of the biggest shows in Bangalore.
It seems counter-intuitive that a bunch of law students, who are supposed to be busy poring over tomes of cases and articles could feel so passionately about music to start a festival that has grown to become such an important part of the music scene. However, Strawberry Fields has since become an integral part of the NLS calendar with even law-aspirants talking about the fest and hoping to get into the premier law institution in the country to witness its magnificence.
This show has grown in great measures along with the music scene in Bangalore. Having played an important part in the lives of several Indian bands, Strawberry Fields happened to be among the first stages played by bands like Zero, Motherjane, Demonic Ressurection,Junkyard Groove etc. Past headliners have included Pentagram, Parikrama and The Raghu Dixit Project. Winners and finalists at this music festival have gone on to achieve recognition with bands like The Bicycle Days, The F16s, Clown With A Frown becoming common names in the Indian music scene.
The best part about the show is its attention to promoting grassroots level music, with the music always taking precedence over everything else. Past editions have been etched in the memory of festival goers with certain performances talked about in music circles years later. People keep referencing Strawberry Fields for having provided a platform to several bands in the early part of their careers.
Distinct from other college competitions, Strawberry Fields has been known and accepted among veterans of the music scene in Bangalore and beyond as a festival that has matured and grown with the scene itself. The upcoming edition of Strawberry Fields to be held from 8th -10th of November, promises to do the same and deliver another show that would live up to the legacy that it has built for itself over the years.