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Genre Cultural
Frequency Annual
Location(s) Tiruchirappalli, India
Founded 1975 (1975)
Most recent 2015 (2015)
Attendance 500+ Colleges
Organised by National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli
Fest To Remember

Festember is the annual cultural festival of the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli (NITT).[1] It is a 4-day event held annually in the third week of September. Founded by NITT students in 1975, Festember has now evolved to become one of the largest festivals in South India.[2] Festember through the years has had an annual participant strength of more than 15,000 students from over 500 colleges across India. Festember '15 was the first time more than 60 events were conducted.[3]


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.[citation needed]

Since the first Festember in 1975, participating colleges compete to win possession of the Festember Rolling Trophy (famously called the Ilayaraja Trophy). Several celebrities and dignitaries have graced the festival, including Illaiyaraja, Javed Ali, Naresh Iyer, Anuradha Sriram and Ganesh-Kumaresh amongst others.[4]

'Festember', a term coined by one of the then REC-T students, stands for a “Fest to Remember”. It started as a zero budget fest, in a little town called Thuvakudi, and every department of the college pitched in within the area of their expertise. For the first editions, design and ambience 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 "Ilayaraja Trophy" after the maestro himself performed at Festember in 1978.[5] The Festember' X Rolling Trophy was won by Vellore Institute of Technology,[6] while the Festember '11 Rolling Trophy was won by Sastra University. Sastra University won it again in 2012,[7] and managed to maintain their streak for three consecutive years, when they took the trophy in 2013.

Festember '12 and '13 saw the ProShows being conducted in a temporary open-air theatre, a first for Trichy. Festember '14 was the first edition to host the ProShows in a newly constructed open-air theatre with a capacity of more than 5000 people.


Festember has had a number of themes in the past.

Year Theme Tagline Pro Show Artists
2015 Les Automatistes Break the Monotony Rukmini Vijayakumar, Kash Trivedi , Alvar and Millas, Mushroom Lake, The Family Cheese, The Black Letters, Skrat, Shakthisree Gopalan, Pritam Chakraborty, Abhijeet Sawant, Antara Mitra, Nakash Aziz, Aditi Singh Sharma
2014 Hawaii Ride the Hawaiian Tide Vishal-Shekhar, Candice Redding, Karthick Iyer, Avial, Shakthisree Gopalan
2013 Halloween Be There But Beware Salim-Sulaiman, Shakthisree Gopalan, R. Prasanna, Baiju Dharmajan Syndicate, Benny Dayal, Shraddha Pandit
2012 Retro It's Playback Time Andrea Jeremiah, Suraj Jagan, Benny Dayal,Groove #3, Agam, Punya Srinivas, Robo Shankar, Evam
2011 Las Vegas Get lucky Javed Ali, Suchitra, Vijay Prakash, Motherjane , Ganesh and Kumaresh , Crazy Mohan
2010 Wild West Ride the Extreme Naresh Iyer, Srinivas, Anuradha Sriram Suchitra
2009 - Rewind...Press Play...Unwind Kadri Gopalnath, Benny Dayal, Bandish
2008 - Tune In Drop Out Sivamani, Karthik


'ProNites' or 'ProShows', Festember's most anticipated events, usually form the grand finale after the valediction ceremony. Festember has played host to numerous celebrities and dignitaries in the past, including Kadri Gopalnath,[8] Ganesh-Kumaresh,[9] Silk Route,[10] Euphoria, Motherjane, Drums Sivamani,[11] Javed Ali, KK,[12] Benny Dayal, Naresh Iyer and Karthik.

2009 witnessed, for the first time in Festember, a classical performance, by - Sax Kadri Gopalnath on Day 0; Benny Dayal and Bandish mesmerized the audience on the last day. In 2010 - Ghatam Karthik on Day 0, and Anuradha Sriram, Naresh Iyer and Srinivas on Day 3 overwhelmed the crowds. The next year, Ganesh-Kumaresh did their turn with their violin performance on Day 0, followed by a show by Crazy Mohan on Day 1 and Motherjane[13] on Day 2. Suresh Peters, Suchitra and Javed Ali gave heart-rending performances on Day 3.[14]

In Festember '12, Punya Srinivas, the vainika prodigy enthralled the crowds on Day 0, followed by Benny Dayal's band Groove#3 on Day 2. The final day performance was by Andrea Jeremiah, Suraj Jagan and Agam.[15]

Festember 2013's ProShow roster started off with Guitar Prasanna, the Carnatic guitarist. This was followed by riveting concerts by Shakthisree Gopalan, Salim-Sulaiman and another famed guitarist Baiju Dharmajan.

Attendees of Festember 2015 witnessed a great number of ProShow artists, starting with actress and classical dancer Rukmini Vijaykumar. 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, Popular Nite saw the GJCC 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.

Cultural events[edit]

Festember's cultural events include:



The Flagship event of Festember, ChoreoNite sets the stage for the best dancers of various colleges to showcase their talent.[16] 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.



Shruthilaya is the classical music competition for vocals 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. The uniqueness of Shruthilaya lies in its Carnatic Quiz, which represents a touch of the avant-garde.


Tarangini, the singing competition of Festember, regularly attracts droves of budding artists, who bring the audience to life with their peppy, feet-tapping playlists of Tamil and Hindi songs.


Gig-a-hertz is the semi-pro rock band event that draws enormous crowds. This event is for those who prefer their music to be loud, raw and ferocious. It is famous for running late into the night and still maintaining its audience. It is also considered to be the most selective event, with only 10 out of 150 total entries being selected to perform.

The band Saturn Night Sky won Gigahertz in Festmeber '15. Gluee, a semi-pro band, took home the first place in Festember '13. The Down Troddence, or TDT, as they are known to fans, won it in 2012.


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.



Take-One is the short-movie making competition of Festember. Movies with any theme or genre are permitted, with a duration of up to ten minutes. With eminent judges from the movie industry and themes ranging from fantasy to social messages, Take-One remains the 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.

Artistic events[edit]


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 Get[edit]

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.

Literary Events[edit]

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 quick-wittedness.

English Lits[edit]

Around 13 events are conducted each year, including quizzes, debates, JAM, DumbC, Crossword, and many others. Winners in the past have been from IITM, Sastra, VIT, SVCE, and SRM, amongst others.

Tamil Lits[edit]

14 literary events consisting of crowd-favorites like Kalakkal Galatta, Sakalakala Attam, Uyarthini Semmozhi, etc. bring out the importance and pride of the Tamil language. A new online event called Tamil Labyrinth was also recently introduced. DG Vaishnav, Kumaraguru, MEPCO, JJCET, Sastra, SRM and EBET have regularly topped these events in the past.

Hindi Lits[edit]

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 been proven to be the best till date.


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.

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Photography Archery Photography Break Dance Solo Beat Boxing Hip Hop Screenplay Writing DJ
Crossword Solving Cartooning Ventriloquism Fencing Skateboarding Party Dance Pyrography Caricature
Creative Writing Independent Film-Making Photo Gene Flair Bartending Popping Archery Pottery Sound Design
Western Dance Hypnotism Dance Jive Salsa Glassblowing Couple Dance Crime Scene Investigation
Overall Styling Dance & Theater DJ Illusions Frisbee Photography Parkour Lyrical Hip Hop and Salsa
Freestyle Football

Festember Social Responsibility[edit]

FSR Logo

Festember Social Responsibility (FSR) is the social responsibility wing of Festember. Initially started as a social initiative by the National Cadet Corps (NCC) of NIT Trichy, FSR has evolved into an organization that gives back to the not-so-fortunate sections of society. Since its inception in 2012, FSR has embarked upon various endeavors to benefit the masses through many events, known for their creative names. Due to the efforts of a group of hardworking and inspired students, FSR has managed to go beyond the college boundaries to various orphanages, schools, and cities. The flagship initiatives of FSR are:

Gold Dustbin[edit]

The FSR team at Synthika Trust

The Gold Dustbin event, usually held at the end of the academic year, is the first event in the FSR calendar. Student volunteers collect items from hostels on campus, and after thorough segregation, these items are sold. The money acquired by selling these items is 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 in an event called 'Pages'.

Coadunate. Act. Nominate. (CAN)[edit]

Festember Social Responsibility launched a clean-up drive around the NIT Trichy campus as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan campaign which was initiated by Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The nearby village of Vaazhavanthaankotai was chosen for this purpose. The event took place on August 1st, 2015, when the team cleaned up the accumulation of wastes on either side of the road starting from Thuvakudi to Sidco and leading right to the village. Enthusiastic villagers soon decided to join the act and give the students a helping hand.

CHAnelled ClaRITY towards Charity (CCC)[edit]

CCC is an event that caters to over 200 young students from 20 schools across Trichy. Fun-filled events are organized for students, giving them a platform to display their budding talents. Funds are raised in order to benefit the Kangaroo Trust, a home to the destitute, aged, blind, and handicapped. In 2013, CCC was held at Bishop Heber School, Teppakulam. In 2015, it was held at the PSG Sarvajana Higher Secondary School, Coimbatore, where the young kids showcased the best of their skills in events revolving around the theme of ‘Change’; with the aim being to educate the young children about various social issues in the present world.


With the idea of reviving the lost art form of Street Play or "Therukoothu", Festember Social Responsibility visited two schools in Tiruchirapalli – Kamakoti Vidyalaya and Bishop Heber Higher secondary school during the week before Festember. In true therukoothu style, the team brought out the importance of physical activity for children of the current generation, complete with meaningful songs, relatable characters, and humorous wordplay.


The FSR team during the Metrole rally in Trichy

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.


Udaan is the annual talent festival consisting of arts and sports for children from orphanages. What Festember is to college students across South India, Udaan is to children in orphanages. It gives the feel of a fest to the less-fortunate children of our society. Udaan helps bring a smile to children’s faces and increases their self-confidence by engaging them in art and sports competitions, workshops, games, as well as a science exhibition. At the conclusion of the event, several useful gifts such as induction stoves, emergency lamps and mosquito bats are gifted.


In September 2012, for the first time in Festember history, the FSR team took to the sandy shores of Marina Beach in Chennai, and held a rally to raise awareness about the environment, in an attempt to spread the message of 'Go Green'. Students from NIT-Trichy were joined by NCC cadets from Dr. Ambedkar Law University, and locals and foreign tourists too. A mime was presented at the end of the rally, leaving all passers-by awe-struck.

Gift a Birthday[edit]

The FSR stall during Festember '12 at NIT Trichy

In 2012, the FSR team visited Synthika Trust in Lalgudi, Trichy, home to orphaned, as well as physically and mentally disabled children, and organised "Gift a Birthday", an event to give the children the feel of celebrating a birthday. Money obtained through sponsors was used to buy gifts like a carrom board, balloons, football, cricket bats and other playthings, and also a cake. Students with birthdays falling in the month of September, who wanted to celebrate their birthdays by helping the children, also contributed to the event.

No Plastic Festember[edit]

Festember '15 saw an initiative that promised to avoid plastic where possible during the four-day extravaganza. Official T-shirts for the fest were packaged in recycled handmade newspaper bags, instead of plastic covers. Plastic recycling bins were placed at crucial locations.

Apart from these events, FSR also sets up a stall during Festember, the proceeds of which are donated to charity.


Festember was initially conducted on a shoestring budget. Over time, the event's reputation has strengthened substantially and various corporate sponsors including Adobe, Nimbuzz and Aircel have contributed funding.

Major corporate sponsorship[17] in Festember includes (but is not limited to) the following sponsors:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.nitt.edu/home/students/events/festember/
  2. ^ The New Indian Express (September 11, 2015). "Feast on Festember". 
  3. ^ "List of Events". 
  4. ^ The Hindu. "Festember opens on a high note". Chennai, India. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. 
  5. ^ "SASTRA". 
  6. ^ "Fan-tastic farewell to Festember". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 28 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "SASTRA University, Festember". 
  8. ^ "Festember '09: "There is something for everyone"". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 17 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Festember opens on a high note". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 23 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "NITT Archives". 
  11. ^ "Festember '08, packed for the show". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 18 September 2008. 
  12. ^ "Come September, it is 'Festember' for collegians". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 20 September 2007. 
  13. ^ "Diary of a Janiac, Motherjane live at Festember 11". 
  14. ^ "Festember ProShows". 
  15. ^ http://festember.com/12.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "Festember steps up temper". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 26 September 2010. 
  17. ^ "Rediff News". 
  18. ^ "Festember'11 Sponsors". 
  19. ^ "Festember'12 Sponsors". 
  20. ^ "Festember'13 Sponsors". 


External links[edit]