The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Band’s big dream
Participants of the Campus Rock Idols at the Shillong leg of the competition

All those hours of practice after classes are about to pay off. This Saturday, the Campus Rock Idols 2007 bandwagon rolls into Calcutta. India’s largest inter-college rock music contest is happening across 10 cities over a period of two months.

The show will have the top three bands from the Calcutta and Shillong selections competing with each other in the east zone finals at Nicco Park on November 24. The two bands who rock their way to the top will earn tickets to the national finals in Delhi, to be held at the University Polo Grounds on December 2 and judged by Pentagram frontman Vishal Dadlani.

The annual competition for amateur bands is in its fourth year. Says T. Venkat Vardhan, MD, DNA Networks: “Initially, we got a few hundred entrants, but over the years the number has swelled into an astonishing 300 bands. Campus Rock Idols is now an annual event to look forward to. The number of applications increased from year-to-year, as the winners get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform with an international band.”

Considering last year’s winner FTN opened for Iron Maiden and 2005 toppers The Super Fuzz Big Muff opened for Bryan Adams at Bangalore gigs, the champions of Campus Rock Idols can dream big. Word is out on a return of Iron Maiden under the DNA Networks banner on February 1, 2008. The winning band also gets Rs 75,000, the first runner-up Rs 50,000 and the second runner-up Rs 25,000.

Bands can log on to to register. All participants must be college students below 25 years of age as on October 25, 2007. They are required to attach a copy of their ID cards with the entry forms. A minimum of three and a maximum of 10 members can be a part of a band. “We get the best response from the east and the Northeast,” says a DNA Networks official.

The seriousness with which local musicians like Debashis Pradhan take CRI shows why. “The contest is our only platform to reach out to a national audience. This is vital for us, as the level of acceptance for new sounds in Calcutta is low,” says Pradhan, the vocalist for the city-based death metal band Atmahatya.

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