A confluence of music, dance, fashion, art, drama, and literature is a rare, yet remarkable sight. However, what would be an even better treat to the soul is if these complemented each other, and in doing so, really represented art and culture in all its glory. This is the essence of Festember, NIT Trichy’s annual cultural festival. Coined by NITT students, ‘Festember’ stands for ‘Fest to Remember’, which stands true to the name till date. With every edition patronizing a significant theme, this student-run fest houses a plethora of events, workshops and lectures from all facets of culture thereby making it accessible to the elite as well as the common men.
Festember has a long history, which dates back to 1975 as a zero-budget intra college fest. Within a few years, it underwent a gargantuan metamorphosis into an inter-collegiate festival with hundreds of colleges battling out in the pursuit of winning the prestigious Festember Rolling Trophy, fondly called as the Ilayaraja Trophy, as the first edition was graced by his eminent presence. In 2016, it had a footfall of more than 15,000 students from over 500 colleges across India, thereby making it as one of the largest festivals in South India.
Over the years, Festember has been graced by the presence of eminent personalities, the likes of Ilayaraja, Javed Ali, Ganesh-Kumaresh, Naresh Iyer, Sachin-Jigar and Anuradha Sriram.
ProNites are one of the highlights of Festember and are one of the most anticipated shows over the span of four days of the festivals. These shows feature performances from some of the most illustrious artists in various fields of art. Generally comprising of a Classical night and an EDM night, talented artists from both spheres like Kadri Gopalnath, Ganesh-Kumaresh, DJs Kash Trivedi, Aceaxe, and Belgian duo Alvar and Millas have enthralled crowds at the ProNites in the previous editions of Festember.
Festember makes it a point to encourage budding talents and provide them with a platform so that they can showcase their passions. To implement this, Festember organizes a vast number of cultural, artistic, and literary events. With dance events like ChoreoNite, and music events like Tarangini and Sruthilaya, Festember offers thousands of students a chance to emblazon their skills. Apart from this, Festember conducts outreach events such as Rolling Reels Film Festival, a short-film fest where some of the best shortlisted films battle it out to win the coveted title, and Gigahertz, a rock band competition for the independent artists to exhibit their prowess in rock music.
Festember has always believed in the students’ collective power to make this world a better place to live in. The Festember Social Responsibility wing has been very active through Online social media campaigning and Offline social activities. Over the past few months, FSR has conducted a lot of activities such as awareness on Blood Donation, promoting anti-child labour, conducting fund-raising events in schools partnering with child rights NGO- CRY,and setting up a library in REC middle school inside NIT through an event named “Gold Dustbin”.
Festember, being one of the few college festivals that have existed and grown through multiple generations, is steeped in tradition, but clearly, it is not the only factor that makes it unique. The events, workshops, ProShows, outreaches and social service drives together weave an intricate fabric that allows Festember to celebrate culture in a spectacular fashion. So much so, that all those visiting Festember this year and in the upcoming editions will find it to not only be a Fest to remember, but a fest to cherish as well.