Festember is the annual cultural festival of National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli also known as NIT, Trichy. It is a 4-day event held usually in September. Founded by the students of NIT, Trichy in 1975, Festember - dubbed the Fest to Remember - has now become one of the largest festivals of South India. What started off as a zero budget fest has grown rapidly with the help of sponsorships and collaborations. It now boasts an annual footfall of more than 17,000 students from over 500 colleges across India. The logo and brand name ‘Festember’ have been trademarked since November, 2017 and is a testament to to what art, culture and creativity stands for.
|Organised by||National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli|
|Filing status||Student Run, Non-Profit Organization|
|Fest To Remember|
Festember began in 1975 as an intra college fest. Within a few years, it transformed into a fully fledged inter-college event. Almost 40 years later, it continues to dominate the south Indian college cultural scene, winning the title of Best Cultural Event of the Year, an award given by the Tamil Nadu State Government, in the year 2005.
Since the first Festember in 1975, participating colleges compete to win possession of the Festember Rolling Trophy (famously called the Ilaiyaraaja Trophy). Several celebrities and dignitaries have graced the festival, including Ilaiyaraaja, Sid Sriram, Jonty Rhodes, Amit Trivedi, Sachin and Jigar amongst others.
The term ‘Festember’ was coined by Dr. G. Kalyanraman, a student of the 1978 batch. The name was short for “A Festival in September” and was inspired by Mardi Gras, the cultural festival of IIT,Madras, which was the predecessor of Saarang. For the first editions, design and ambiance was overseen by the Architecture Department. The shields and medals were forged in the workshops of the Mechanical Engineering department.
The college that gets the most points gets the Festember Rolling Trophy. The Rolling Trophy was originally named the "Ilaiyaraaja Trophy" after the maestro himself, who performed at Festember in 1978.
What started out as an inter-departmental collegiate has now evolved into a compendium for art, music, dance and culture. With every new batch Festember grew in leaps and bounds. The ProShows are now being hosted in the Golden Jubilee Convention Hall and many more outreaches such as Festember Football League are now being conducted in major cities. The Guest Lectures Series which became a part of Festember since 2014 will run its fifth edition in F’18.
Festember has explored a myriad of themes since its inception in 1975. The organizers have gone to great lengths to express and showcase the theme through ambiance and theme-specific events. Mascots each year have also been designed and adapted to communicate the theme.
'Carpe Diem' (Latin for Seize the Day), the Guest Lecture series of Festember, was introduced in 2014 with the aim to bring down some of the most inspiring, talented and accomplished individuals from around the world. It serves as a platform to get to know them on a personal level and draw motivation and encouragement from their journey to success.
Carpe Diem has hosted various eminent personalities in the past, including Jonty Rhodes (acclaimed former South African cricketer), Sid Sriram (Indian-American music producer, playback singer, and songwriter), Michael Karp (VFX Expert, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2), Mahesh Dattani (Sahitya Akademi Award-winning Indian director, actor, playwright and writer), Srinivas (popular playback singer and judge on Airtel Super Singer and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa), Baradwaj Rangan (renowned film critic, former deputy editor of The Hindu), Unnikrishnan (Indian Carnatic vocalist) and many more.
'ProShows', Festember's most anticipated events make a spectacular end to an event-filled day of Festember. All four days of Festember feature a ProShow which showcases many prominent celebrities and artists including Amit Trivedi, Sachin and Jigar, Guns n Hoses, Ambi Subramaniam, Ambi Subramaniam, Karthick Iyer and many more.
The 2015 edition of Festember witnessed Kash Trivedi, a progressive DJ and producer set the beats on fire on day 2. Festember 2016 played host to the breathtaking performance of Sachin and Jigar. The Golden Jubilee Building resonated with the hearts of thousands as the band continued to play. Festember 2017 had a stellar line-up of ProShow artists. Amit Trivedi and his band came down to NIT, Trichy to perform for the attendees of Festember’17.
Attendees of Festember 2015 witnessed a great number of ProShow artists, starting with actress and classical dancer Rukmini Vijayakumar. DJs Kash Trivedi and Belgian duo Alvar and Millas performed the next night, and Day 2 saw rock bands Mushroom Lake, Black Letters, Skrat, and a surprise appearance from Shakthisree Gopalan who performed a song with Skrat. The final ProShow of Festember ‘15 saw the Golden Jubilee Convention Centre filled to capacity as popular Bollywood artists including Pritam Chakraborty, music director of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Abhijeet Sawant and Antara Mitra of Indian Idol fame, and singers Nakash Aziz and Aditi Singh Sharma take over the audience.
Festember 2016 played host to an international cover band, the 'Guns and Hoses' for the very first time. This was the first international rock band to have visited Trichy. The audience was also enthralled by well known romantic numbers by the Bollywood duo, Sachin-Jigar. The inauguration was followed by a classical-fusion performance by Bindu and Ambi Subramaniam. Festember'16 also had an EDM Night with DJ Aceaxe from VH1 Supersonic performing in NIT, Trichy.
Festember's cultural events include:
Festember‘s creative side is embellished by the presence of the dance events that form the backbone of the fest. Known to be a crowd puller, dance manifests itself in its most superior form with various talented participants giving it a shot. Every year, a number of high-profile judges come down to provide the best of experience to the participants, with their comments and ideas providing a sure path of improvement for them. Events like ChoreoNite, solo and duet freestyle and eastern dance events comprise this cluster.
The Flagship event of Festember, ChoreoNite sets the stage for the best dancers of various colleges to showcase their talent. Unlike its contemporaries, there is no separate competition for Eastern and Western. Any style of dance is allowed, any kind of music is allowed. With its graceful moves and wild leaps, ChoreoNite garners a huge audience, and is one of the most visited events of Festember.
In Festember '13, SASTRA won the ChoreoNite and took home the trophy.
In Festember '15, the Eastern event was judged by the famous dancer and actress Rukmini Vijayakumar, while the Western event was judged by Ravi Varma, founder and choreographer of the B-FAB dance crew. The winners of the Western category were Sastra University, while Christ College bagged the first place in the Eastern category.
Festember’17 saw a variety of sponsors like Workstudio, Indywood talent hunt and Vcreations, making the event shine among its colleagues. The event was presided over by the greats in the field of dance - Vinosh Anand, Girish Nair, Mahesh Sarathy and Rageshwari. The western event was won by the Loyola College, Chennai.
A cluster that upholds the culture tag of the fest, Festember’s music events have something to satisfy every type of music enthusiast. Seeing a variety of participants hailing from different colleges, it holds a special place in the heart of the fest. The main events include the Sruthilaya cluster, Tarangini and Gig-a-Hertz that attract a huge audience, with a number of established artists providing insights about the art form. The music cluster provides a platform for budding music artists to improve their knowledge.
Shruthilaya is the classical music competition for vocalists and instrumentals. The stage has heard innumerable high-level musical masterpieces in the past. Participation is highly selective with limited entries allowed to take part. Shruthilaya consists of three events, viz, Solo Vocals, Solo Instrumentals(percussion) and Solo Instrumentals(non-percussion).
Tarangini is an event where there is a battle between the classical fusion bands, conducted by the Music Troupe of NITT. This involves own compositions and reinterpretations of popular Tamil and Hindi songs, that attracts participants and audience across Southern-India.
Gig-a-Hertz is rock music battle of Festember where rock-bands from across the country explore and experiment on various genres of rock ranging from hard rock and metal to jazz and blues. This event is a treat for those who prefer late-night, loud and ferocious music.
The bands ‘CONFUZONE’, ‘Godia’ and ‘Saturn Night Sky’ won the Gig-a-Hertz event in Festember’17, ’16, and ’15 respectively.
The pioneering fashion event of Trichy city. Fashionitas was introduced in the 2012 edition of Festember as an Individual Event, offering the highest cash prize for an individual event in Festember. The latest edition witnessed participation from 13 teams consisting of over 110 participants. Judged by three independent prominent designers- James Abraham, Sherlin Seth and Senthamarai Gopalakrishnan from Chennai, the competition was intense. With an audience of 400 odd people, this was one of the most successful events of the edition.
Mr and Ms FestemberEdit
Sponsored by several leading companies, this is the official fashion pageant of Festember. Through a series of rigorous round judged by leading fashion designers, the participants battle it out for the ultimate title. With every edition, the event continues to enthrall the participants and the audience.
Festember was initially conducted on a shoestring budget. Over time, the event's reputation has strengthened substantially and various corporate sponsors including Adobe, City Union Bank and Aircel have contributed funding. Apart from sponsorship, sponsors have held events on their own. OnePlus, the title sponsor of the 2017 edition, conducted a workshop and contests that engaged the audience.
Starting from humble beginnings, the brand value of Festember has increased exponentially as it seeks to become one of the largest cultural festivals in India.
Take-One was the forerunner of South-India's biggest student-run film festival – the ‘Rolling Reels Film Festival’. It had witnessed eminent judges from the movie industry and had been one event that remained a viewer's delight.
Every year, the Thespians society of NIT-Trichy organize "Theatrix", a 45-minute dramatics competition. Original scripts, pre-written scripts and adaptations are permitted, however the play should not have been staged at any earlier Festember festival. With major participation from all the big colleges, audiences witness some chilling performances in front of the spotlight.
Teams arrange their dominoes within a one-metre square area marked on the floor. At the end of the competition, no domino is allowed to cross the perimeter and the best arrangement wins the prize.
How Close Can You GetEdit
A 100-word detailed description of a black-and-white photograph is given to each team. Based on this description, the participants need to sketch the photograph. Judging is based on how similar their sketch turns out to be, compared to the original photograph, and also on their artistic skill.
Graffiti painting competition, where the topic will be given on the spot and all necessary materials will be provided. Judging is based on degree of adherence to the theme, creativity, style, usage of the space provided and artistic quality.
Around 40 literary events take place each year in the Tamil, English and Hindi ‘Lits’ categories. These events generally witnesses the most number of participants who battle it out to win with their prowess in the domain of linguistics and adroit thinking..
Quizzes, Debates, JAM, DumbC and Crossword are few among the 14 events that are conducted in this cluster. IITM, SASTRA, VIT, SVCE, and SRM have taken home many laurels in the previous editions of the fest.
14 literary events consisting of crowd-favorites like Kalakkal Galatta, Sakalakala Attam, Uyarthini Semmozhi, etc. highlight the importance and pride of the Tamil language. Tamil Labyrinth, an online event, was conducted in 2014. DG Vaishnav, Kumaraguru, MEPCO, JJCET, SASTRA, SRM and EBET have regularly topped these events in the past.
13 events like Rochak Mantrana, Vaad Vivaad, Antakshari, De Dana Dan, Halka Fulka and Taatkalik Bhashan are just a few of the 13-odd Hindi literary events conducted. IITM, VIT and SRM have proven their mettle time and again.
Workshops form the soul of Festember. Every year, around 5 to 6 workshops are conducted on topics ranging from areas as diverse as Fencing to Glassblowing, and they are a huge crowd-puller. They last for a few hours, giving participants a basic understanding of the topic, and still allowing them time to enjoy the other festivities. The themes for the workshops are kept as unique a possible, so that every student gets a chance to learn something new each year.
|Photography||Archery||Photography||Break Dance Solo||Beat Boxing||Hip Hop||Screenplay Writing||DJ||Kendo|
|Crossword Solving||Cartooning||Ventriloquism||Fencing||Skateboarding||Party Dance||Pyrography||Caricature||Mocktail Making|
|Creative Writing||Independent Film-Making||Photo Gene||Flair Bartending||Popping||Archery||Pottery||Sound Design||Graffiti|
|Western Dance||Hypnotism||Dance||Jive||Salsa||Glassblowing||Couple Dance||Crime Scene Investigation||Mind Reading|
|Overall Styling||Dance & Theater||DJ||Illusions||Frisbee||Photography||Parkour||Lyrical Hip Hop and Salsa||Slacklining|
|Freestyle Football||Card Throwing|
Rolling Reels Film FestivalEdit
Rolling Reels Film Festival is an integral part of Festember. Started in the year 2015 as one of the outreaches of Festember, RRFF is a short film festival that looks to find young talent from the many film makes in India- a platform for young film industry aspirers to make their presence known. It is a two-day cinematic extravaganza with several workshops sure to enthrall young film makers and actors who will get to interact with experts in the industry which is sure to help them hone their skills and talents. RRFF 2015, the first edition, was held in Hyderabad at Legendary Kollywood superstar Akkineni Nagarjuna's studio Annapoorna Film Studios, attended by directors Balaji Mohan, Madhumitha and many others. The presence of yester year actress Amala Akkineni made the fest more memorable. This edition of RRFF also had the association with Thoongavanam, the blockbuster from Ulaganayagan Kamal Haasan. RRFF 2016, held in Chennai at BOFTA was a bigger success. With over 250 entries from across the globe, the movies were judged by the late Biren Das Sharma, Professor, Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata. This edition had an art direction workshop conducted by T.Ramalingam of Kabali fame and a guest lecture by Actor and Director Prathap Pothen.
The Bangalore edition of Gig-a-Hertz was organized at the Big Pitcher on the 10th of September 2017. The event began witnessed breathtaking performances by participants from different parts of the country. The battle of bands saw seven acclaimed music troupes from south India holding the audience spellbound by their music. As the event progressed, the judges Ranit, the music composer, and Kartik, percussionist from the Nathaniel school of music actively interacted with the audience.
The Chennai edition of Gig-a-Hertz was held on the 3rd of August 2017 at Phoenix Market City. The event was a huge crowd puller with throngs of people witnessing the various bands showcasing their talent. Having Vijay and Sooraj, maestros from the Junkyard groove and Non Violinist Project respectively, as judges, the competition between the bands was nothing short of neck to neck. With ten astounding performances that had the audience wanting more, the event was a huge success.
Festember Football LeagueEdit
The Festember Football League was started in 2017. It had 220 people involved with 24 teams of 8 players each and was held in Tiki Taka, Chennai.
The Chennai edition of FFL 2018 was held at Tiki Taka on the 23rd and 24th of June. 25 teams took part and both days witnessed a lot of adrenaline filled action, with the game constantly keeping both spectators and participants at the edge of their seats. The winning team walked away with goodies worth 14k while the runners up won prizes worth 8k.
The Bangalore edition was organised at Tiger 5 on the 30th of June and 1st of July. 18 teams took part in a contest that was challenging with beautiful goals and incredible gameplay. The matches kept everyone hooked with nail-biting finishes and action-packed play. The winners received goodies worth 14k while the runners up won goodies worth 8k.
Respawn is a gaming outreach held in Bangalore in September 2016.
The Festember BlogEdit
Festember aims to bring people together through the creative outlet called The Festember Blog, an online publication that explores various aspects of culture, creativity and art. Recognizing that a fest does not conclude in the four days it sees the light, Festember strives to keep its vibes and values alive throughout the year through its blogs. Umpteen articles ranging from web series like Maggot in the Apple, branching stories that give the reader a role in the work itself, poems to suit various occasions to reviews on books and movies that have caused a stir. This medium is also used to highlight specific social issues like the article on The Blue Whale Challenge, providing unbiased information and awareness to the masses. Also, Festember celebrates important days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and World Environment Day by providing its views through the blog. A notable aspect of the publication is the Talks by the Firelight series, which brings the minority to the masses, by publishing the interviews with inspiring personalities achieving great heights in spite of constant struggles albeit behind the curtain.
Festember Social ResponsibilityEdit
As responsible members of the society, Festember has been involved in a host of activities that aim to contribute and give back to the society. All year long, Festember, through its social responsibility wing, has conducted a multitude of events and has embarked upon various endeavors to benefit the masses through these events. The most iconic of these events include:
This event was an initiative to collect reusable and recyclable things such as but not limited to papers, books, plastics, electronics,clothes from hostels on campus. After thorough segregation, these items were sent to be recycled and then sold. The money acquired by selling these items was used to the benefit of society. In one such year it was used to organize the ‘Gift a Birthday’ event at the Synthika Trust in Lalgudi, Trichy. In 2015, the money generated from this event was used to set up a library in the REC Middle School through an event called 'Pages'.
Festember set up a library at the REC middle school on 21st August, 2015 . In an event graced by the Director, Dr. S. Sundarrajan, Festember purchased books from the returns of ‘Gold Dustbin’ and donated these to the school. Various departments of the college (NIT Trichy) also took an active part in donating books towards this cause. Festember also organized some innovative and informative events for the children that correlated learning to their everyday lives. In 2017,the initiative ‘Pages’ was carried out in two phases. In the first, books were donated to a small primary school in Trichy, in association with HumaNITTy. In the second, books were donated to a small school in Chennai which was undertaken by the non-profit organisation ‘Teach For India’.
Pages was social responsibility outreach conducted by Festember in Chettinad Vidyashram School on 2 September 2016 in association with the NGO Teach for India and popular children's magazine Tinkle. Pages is primarily a book collection drive where school students, teachers contribute books which would go as proceeds to Teach for India to educate children in rural India. The event was launched with sub-editor of Tinkle, Sean D'Mello, as the chief guest who later conducted a small workshop with the school students focusing on story writing.
Channeled Clarity towards Charity (CCC)Edit
An event that has been conducted since 2013, CCC is the physical manifestation of the light in everyone’s heart for giving back to the society . It is an event which truly lives up to the motto for Festember’s Social Responsibility Wing, which is to create "Ripples of Change". It has managed to impact the young and impressionable future of our country and make them understand serious issues of society, through a riveting train of fun and games. Events ranging from mock parliament, paper presentation to floor art were conducted so that students could showcase their ingenious talents. For those who just want a spot of fun, there is always an event X, a surprise event that never ceases to amaze each year. In 2017, Festember also distributed brochures with fun puzzles for those people who just wanted to pass time.
CCC managed to channel the seeds of social responsibility with clarity into the minds of the next generation of social citizens of the country , which means mission accomplished for Festember’s Social Responsibility.
Aashi is an endeavour by Festember that never ceases to turn heads. It is one of Festember Social Responsibility’s quintessential events. It is held every year around the month of April, as a tribute for World Autism Day. The first edition of Aashi saw a fun-filled day planned out specially for autistic children at Vidivelli Special School,Trichy. The kids were handed fun puzzles to solve and other events that they enjoyed a lot. The second edition, Aashi 2.0, was conducted in The Rehabilitation Centre for Blind Women, Mannapuram,Trichy. During Aashi 2.0, some of the inspirational stories of the blind women’s struggle in their daily lives were captured through a series of captivating interviews. Both editions had a purpose, to bring joy and enrich those lives who lived differently from us.
Coadunate Act Nominate (CAN)Edit
Inspired by the Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan, Festember’s Social Responsibility conducted CAN (Coadunate Act Nominate) - a clean-up drive on 1st August 2015 in the tiny village of Vaazhavanthaankotai, adjacent to the NITT campus. Students unearthed clean patches of land on either side of the main road from under layers of plastic waste. Starting at 7 AM and going on for the next four hours, they managed to accumulate a huge heap of waste and leave behind a significantly cleaner place.
Festember contributed its part to the nation and also initiated a chain reaction by nominating four other college fests to continue CAN - the perfect gift to our nation.
Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS)Edit
A small step towards this was the Young Astronomers Talent Search organized by Festember Social Responsibility at St Johns Vestry Anglo Indian High School in association with Tata Steel and Space Kids. A diversity of events such as model exhibits, essay writing, word games, role play and debate were conducted. Students set up astronomy models, centered on the work done by ISRO for the exhibits. Each contest had two categories for students of standard 6 to 8 and standard 8 to 10. An initiative to promote awareness of astronomy among students and tribute A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s indisputable contribution to the field.
Cancer Awareness MonthEdit
Festember took up several initiatives to spread awareness about Cancer and to raise funds for cancer victims. A breast cancer awareness session was conducted in campus by specialists from Harshamitra Super Specialty Cancer Centre in Trichy. Festember also joined the No Shave November moment where volunteers were asked to give up shaving for a month and donate the amount typically spent for that purpose.The amount collected was a big sum of Rs 20,000 and it was collected from over 1000 participants. The money collected was donated to the Indian Prostate Cancer Foundation, an organisation dedicated towards raising awareness of Prostate cancer in men. The money was then used to conduct a screening session for Armed Force veterans.
The paperback initiative of FSR which aims at reducing paper wastage. This event involved students actively volunteering to give their unused exam answer sheets which would otherwise go waste. The collected sheets were reused in various Festember events . Also the team didn’t restrict themselves to the fest and took a step forward to serve the society. Booklets were made from the remaining sheets and distributed to Illuminate, a government certified charitable trust that aims at developing the lives of the children of the marginalized communities. This Paperback initiative is unique and a true realization of FSR’s goal to create ripples of change throughout the year and for the years to come .
"Walk For Peace" event conceived with the idea of taking the message "Individual peace contributes to world peace" was organized by Heartfulness Meditation Organization (USA). The event started with HFN relaxation to the participants, and followed up with a rally through artery of the city with high visibility. With support from the corporation of Tiruchirappalli, the event was a grand success with over 600 participants.
In an effort to spread awareness about a dying art form, Festember Social Responsibility organized street plays during the third week of September in Bishop Heber School and Kamakoti Vidyalaya. The team captivated the students with a catchy play complete with music and a good dose of humour. It spoke about the rising issue of obesity and lack of physical activity, and the serious long term effects of the same. Through this event, FSR achieved a dual purpose of educating the children about ‘Therukoothu’ (Street Play as an art form) and the benefits of an active lifestyle.
In 2013, in an attempt to increase awareness about social issues in area of large audience, the FSR team headed to Trichy and commenced Metrole. They marched on the streets of Trichy and conducted a rally to educate the masses about the depreciation of the Indian rupee, and what the common man could do to alleviate the problem. During the course of the rally, impromptu street plays were held, focusing on related issues like Brain drain, Gold Trade, buying foreign products against indigenous products, etc.
A junk art competition called ‘Huishou’, was organized in NIT Trichy during the 2nd day of Festember ‘17. It is done to create awareness on the three R’s(Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). The event was covered by ‘The Better India’ facebook page.
- A social media campaign on Republic day was conducted when ex-military servicemen inside the campus were interviewed and their experiences were shared in the form of a video on Jan 26th, 2017.
- On Anti Child labour day, awareness was raised about child labour through a video which explains the problems and hardships faced by them.
- The event ‘Vatsalya’ spread happiness and fun at St. Antony’s Home for the Aged in Trichy.
- In October 2016, a speaker from Harshamitra hospital enlightened the students of NIT Trichy about the causes of breast cancer and precautionary activities.
- Festember regularly speaks about issues around the world such as Awareness on ‘Drug Abuse day’, ‘International Day of the Girl Child’ and ‘World AIDS Day’ by raising them through the publication of articles on the Festember Blog and through it’s social media platforms.
- The Young Astronomers’ Talent Search was organised to spark curiosity and interest in Space and Astronomy in the young minds of school children.
- Festember took up the task of making Festember a No Plastic Fest. In 2017, around 4000 paper bags were made for the distribution of Festember t-shirts to the students of NIT-T. Several dust bins were placed all around the campus during the 3-day fest in order to collect plastic waste.