Strawberry Fields is National Law School of India University's (NLSIU) annual music festival. For the past 23 years, Strawberry Fields has been championing the cause of aspiring musicians all over the country by giving them a platform to showcase their talent in front of thousands of music enthusiasts. Set on a lush field of grass in Bangalore's otherwise quiet suburb of Nagarbhavi, bands from all over the country battle it out over the course of three days to take home the highest honour there is.
Rated as India's 'Best College Rock Festival' by the Rock Street Journal, it is India's biggest grassroots music competition in India for upcoming and established bands and semi-professional bands. The format of the show is simple and spread across three days. During the first two days, 40 participating bands battle it out to reach the finals, followed by special acts by some established bands. Day Three sees the best 5 participating bands in India competing to win the prestigious title of Winners of Strawberry Fields, after which the stage is graced by our headliners. In the past we have had the privilege of being hosts to bands of the calibre of The Raghu Dixit Project, Sky Rabbit, Parikrama, Skyharbor, Inner Sanctum, Swarathma, and Bhayanak Maut.
STATE OF THE ART EQUIPMENT
In spite of being synonymous with the Indie music scene in India, Strawberry Fields boasts of using the latest and the most cutting edge equipment that is available on the market today, using the same equipment for our bands that has been used in concerts of various international artists like Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Bryan Adams, Black Eyed Peas, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden and Sting.
STRAWBERRY FIELDS: LEGACY
Throughout its history, Strawberry Fields has provided bands with the opportunity to play their own music in front of a crowd of thousands, on a set-up which is at par with international standards. In the midst of all this, new talent is discovered. The show has served as a launch pad for some of India's finest bands, including Thermal and a Quarter, Motherjane, Junkyard Groove, Bhayanak Maut, Kryptos, Slain, Mindsnare, Pin Drop Violence, Demonic Resurrection and Galeej Gurus to name a few.
RAHUL CHERIAN - THE MAN BEHIND SF
23 years ago, in a time and place when only musical stalwarts with years of public validation behind them could command a platform to perform, a 22-year old law student conceived and brought into being, a music festival that created a platform for the expression of diverse grassroots level music to music enthusiasts in Bangalore.
This student was Rahul Cherian- a man who conceptualized the festival we know as Strawberry Fields today, who was not only a trailblazer in the independent music scene but also in the realm of disability rights advocacy, who was a rock star, in every which way. To Strawberry Fields, he will always be a founding father, the one whose vision started it all, whose passion for original music clearly marked the contours of the show and gave it a voice; a voice much like his own, that spoke up for upcoming artists, for discerning music fans, for the love of music.
Rahul succumbed to an illness in 2013. In honour and memory of someone who lives on in our hearts and in the timeless institutions he created, the winning band at Strawberry Fields receives the Rahul Cherian Award for Best Band every year.
National Law School of India University is India's premier legal institution. Despite being only 31 years old, it has firmly consolidated its position at the top as the leader in the field of legal education. Around 50,000 aspirants write the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) across in India in a bid to gain admission into the most prestigious legal institution in the country. NLSIU strives hard to inculcate in its students the ability to develop skills not just with regards to advocacy and legal reform, but also with a temperament that encourages literary and cultural pursuits. Keeping this purpose in mind, the Event Management Committee of NLSIU has been organising Strawberry Fields for the last 22 years and continues to do so with great vigour.
Motherjane is a progressive ethnic rock band from Kochi, Kerala formed in 1996. After first performing in Strawberry Fields, the band went on to achieve monumental success and fame after. A few of their accolades include: “Artist of the Decade”, Rock Street Journal 2010; Asia’s Most Popular Act at AVIMA AWARDS 2010; Asia’s No.1 Rock Act at AVIMA AWARDS 2009; Their Album MAKTUB Named #1 Album of the Year, in the Rolling Stone Magazine 2009, the Rock Street Journal 2009 and the Unwind Live Awards 2009; Artist of the Year, Rock Street Journal 2009; John Thomas Awarded the prestigious Jack Daniel’s Drummer of Year 2009; Best Top 10 Indian Albums ever for Insane Biography Rock Street Journal 2005; No.1 Album of the Year Insane Biography at The Unwind Live Awards 2003; and the “Most Rocking Band Of The Millennium”, Rock Street Journal.
THERMAL AND A QUARTER
Thermal and a Quarter are a Bangalore based indie rock band with influences from Blues, Jazz, Funk, Progressive and Indian Classical. Also known as 'TAAQ' performed at Strawberry Fields in 1998, after only being formed 2 years before and have gone on to acquire legendary status in the Indie music scene in the country. They have opened for two great classics Deep Purple and Guns N' Roses in the past and until last year had released 7 studio albums. TAAQ have gone on to win several awards and accolades, to name a few: GIMA Award for 'BEST ROCK ALBUM' – 2014; Spirit of The Fringe Award - Edinburgh Fringe – 2013; Rolling Stone/Jack Daniels Award - Best Guitarist – 2012; Rolling Stone/Jack Daniels Award - Best Guitarist – 2009; and the WorldSpace Radio Award for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Rock – 2007.
Kryptos is a Bangalore based old school metal band, formed in 1998. They were a participating band in Strawberry Fields who went on to achieve enormous success both nationally and globally. They have long been considered to be one of the true spearheads of the Indian metal revolution, upholding the old-school metal ethos laid down by the 80s New Wave of British Heavy Metal and other Thrash movements. In April 2006, Kryptos signed with Old School Metal Records from California, U.S.A, and became one of the first metal bands from India to sign with an international metal label. The band released their second album in mid-2008, The Ark Of Gemini. The album received excellent reviews from different parts of the world and also enjoyed a fair amount of airplay on U.S and European metal radio stations. In 2013, Kryptos toured Europe playing at festivals like In Flammen Open Air, Ragnarock Open Air and most notably Wacken Open Air, becoming the first Indian band ever to play at Wacken Open Air. Kryptos has supported Iron Maiden at Rock 'N India 2009, American thrash metal band Death Angel in Germany in 2016 and has opened for Swedish heavy metal band Katatonia at Saarang 2017, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Demonic Resurrection are a Symphonic Death Metal band from Mumbai, formed in March 2000. They released their first album 'Demonstealer' at Strawberry Fields 2000. It was an instant hit and the crowd absolutely loved it. They managed to sell 60 CDS of their album that day. Since then, Demonic Resurrection have gone only one way - up. Over the last 17 years, the band has released 3 albums, 1 EP and have played countless gigs across India and even internationally including Norway, Czech Republic and UK (Bloodstock Festival, Derbyshire). Some of their awards include: Metal Hammer Golden God Winners, 2010; Rolling Stone Metal Award Winners 2010 and 2014 across various categories, and many more.
Formed in 2003, this Groove Metal band based out of Bangalore won Strawberry Fields in 2004. Since then, they have gone to achieve great heights. The band has performed at some of the most prestigious festivals in the country. In 2011, they were invited to perform at one of the biggest metal festivals in the world, the Inferno Music Festival in Norway. If that wasn't enough, Bhayanak Maut have previously shared stages with metal and rock biggies like Textures, Lamb of God, Meshuggah and Amon Amarth. Some of their awards include: Best Band at Rolling Stone Metals Awards, 2011; Best Vocalist at Rolling Stone Metals Awards, 2013; and Wrought Iron Most Metal Band Award, 2014.
Junkyard Groove (JYG) was formed in the year 2005 and has become a mainstay in the Indian independent music scene. They took Strawberry Fields 2005 by storm by completing the Holy Trinity of SF, winning Best Band, Best Drummer and Best Guitarist. The band has featured several brilliant musicians through its decade long presence among the top 10 indie bands in the country. JYG have 2 albums and 2 E.P’s to their credit, have won awards and garnered a loyal base of fans and followers. The band has played at some of the biggest festivals and has had the honour of opening for bands like Iron Maiden, Megadeath, Prodigy, Machine Head, Mr. Big and more. In 2007, they won Shamal: Battle for Dubai Desert Rock Festival.
Starting off as a participatory band during Strawberry Fields 2010, this Mumbai based band has achieved meteoric success since then. It’s a four piece Heavy/Thrash Groove Metal band, over the last 10 years, has released two full length albums,won numerous national and international accolades that only do so much to correspond to the powerhouse that the band is. Some of their accolades include Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2016 Best Band; Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2016; Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2011 Best Band; Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2011 Best Song. With a list of versatile compositions from their debut album "Born of Unity", the band has been on a rampage, ripping every stage they step on.
For any upcoming band in India, there is no greater honour than winning Strawberry Fields and for any established band in India, there is no greater pride than in returning to the 'Fields of Sound', where they first got their break, and owning the stage once more like they did years ago.
FAME THE BAND
Fame the Band were winners of SF XX in 2016, and are a four-member, alternative/pop-rock band formed in 2013 in Tura, now based in Mumbai.
Aathma is a contemporary rock band from Bangalore, formed in 2014. They won the XIXth edition of SF in 2016.
Formed in 2009, they are a metal/hard rock band from Fort Kochi. They won SF XVIII in 2014.
A “progressive post-hardcore” band from Mumbai, who won the XIVth edition of SF in 2010.
Describing their music as Melodic Progressive Rock: a sound that retains the glory of Classic Rock, while being driven by the barrier-breaking musicianship exclusive to Progressive Metal, this Bangalore band won Strawberry Fields in 2007.
ONE BY TWO
Based in Mumbai, they were formulated as a result of inspiration from "various aspects of life and music". They were the winners of the latest, XXIIth, Edition of SF in 2019.
CLOWN WITH A FROWN
A pop/funk rock band from Bangalore, they won SF XVI in 2012 and headlined the show in 2013.
Found in 1992, Lucidreams is an old-school metal/rock band from Bangalore. They won the 1st edition of SF in 1996.
Formed in 1996, this Bangalore Based Metal Band won Strawberry Fields in 2000.
A Bangalore based Progressive Rock Band that won the show in 2004.
Brute Force came together in Pune in 2005 and won Strawberry Fields in 2006, mesmerizing the crowd with their skull crushing metal act.
ALL THE FAT CHILDREN
All The Fat Children is a Bengaluru-based rock band that was formed in June 2008 and won SF the same year.
A Chennai based Alternative rock band that won SF in 2009.
A Nagpur based vedic metal band, Ayog won the XXIth edition of SF.