Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival’20

Imagine you’re sitting in the mountains. Chilly, but the sun shines down on you warming you up. There’s a calming breeze blowing while you look out at the beautiful view of Kasauli. And to add to that, you’re listening to some amazing music. That is the life. And that is exactly what you experience at the Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival!

Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival is a fundraising festival in Kasauli, organised by us. With the 9th edition of the festival, we are celebrating nearly a decade of great music wrapped with the joy of giving. And we are here to give you some inside scoop on the creation, production, and execution of India’s 2nd best music festival.

It all started when one of our founders, Prema Sagar, decided she wanted to do something with the two things she is most passionate about – music and giving. She really wanted to do music when she was younger and to this day still carries that motivation to make something out of it. When Genesis Foundation was first started, both Prema Sagar and her husband Jyoti Sagar (Founder Trustees) of the Foundation would often cry after each case they would encounter. But when they thought about it, they wondered why they cried. It ideally would’ve been a moment of happiness since they had ensured they had given another chance at life to a child who was suffering. So, they decided, it was time to be happy, to celebrate. And hence, with Prema’s passion for music, they would combine the both and create a music festival that was for the purpose of giving and celebrating happiness.

The first edition premiered in 2012.

But they were determined that it had to happen only in Kasauli. Why Kasauli, you ask? This story dates back to when the Sagars had married. They had taken a trip up to Shimla with a few friends and decided to take a short detour to Kasauli as Jyoti had fond memories from his childhood days of coming up to Kasauli from Chandigarh. And they fell in love with the place immediately. Prema came back home and told her parents that Kasauli is where the Sagars will eventually retire – both were just 23 – so this was a long shot long-term plan! What followed were regular visitations to Kasauli, having children and getting them to Kasauli as well, and ultimately getting a vacation home there so their visitations would be more convenient.

Other than their obvious adoration for Kasauli, they chose such a place because they wanted people to get to know Kasauli better. And what better way to do that than through a enriching experience such as a music festival. Choosing a not so popular destination back then meant the people attending were there for the music in specific, and it doesn’t hurt to be surrounded by serene beauty. Prema’s idea of appreciating music meant doing it in the open, explicitly expressing the joy that comes with music rather than listening to it by herself.

The Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival, as the name suggests, would make people believe R&B is the only genre that is included. But that isn’t the case. It started out with R&B as the main focus since Prema personally really enjoys the blues. But she believed that adding artists that were popular at that time meant they would be able to reach a larger audience and ensure everyone enjoyed. As Prema Sagar says, “It’s for the music, but it’s also for the people”. She also wanted to provide independent artists a stage to express themselves since she wanted to help further develop the indie music scene in India.

So, if you are planning on attending the festival, you can expect a variety of genres and possibly multiple familiar names and faces. When you attend KRBF, you are assured a certain quality of music, unparalleled by other festivals.

It has been an emotional rollercoaster for Prema and Jyoti but a rewarding one too. In the past, we have invited children whom we have helped and their parents. They got onto the stage and spoke about their experience, which was a real tear-jerker, but all the tears shed were happy ones. And this is what makes the experience a much more beautiful one, where everyone came together to share the happiness of the family.

Upon asking Prema Sagar whether she believed her initiative was a success, despite the initial 150 attendees in the 1st edition to it now becoming the 2nd best music festival, she said that the fact that she has been able to reach so many people over these 9 years and helped spread awareness has been the most important factor that makes this festival a success. She feels satisfied that she was able to execute the project that was so close to her heart. These factors are what makes this fundraising festival in Kasauli one that must be attended. And this year is going to be unlike any other.

So, come on down to KRBF’20! And be sure to bring along your little ones as well for this wholesome experience brought to you by Genesis Foundation.

To find out more about the line-up, location and more visit the KRBF page.

– Contributed by Ananya Ravi

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