Mood Indigo (festival)

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Mood Indigo
Type Student Run, non-Profit Organization
Genre Cultural
Founded 1971
Place Mumbai, India
Institute Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Mood Indigo, also known as MoodI or MI, is the annual cultural festival of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. It is an event usually held towards the end of December every year. The 2015 edition of Mood Indigo witnessed a footfall of more than 1,31,000 students from over 1650 colleges from across the country. Started in 1971 by a group of enthusiastic IITians, Mood Indigo,[1] now in its 46th edition, has become the largest college cultural festival in the country.[2][3] Over the years, MI has also attracted considerable media attention and numerous well-known sponsors.


Asha Bhosle and R D Burman at Mood Indigo 1981
The Core Group Members of Mood Indigo 1976 (with Nandan Nilekani)

Mood Indigo was started back in 1971, with a budget of 5,000, contributed partly by the IIT Bombay Gymkhana and partly by advertisements. In 1971, it was set up as a student-run non-profit organization. Since then, the students of the institute have been organising the fest, making it the biggest completely student-run festival with no outside help.

A group of the first Mood Indigo enthusiastic foursome organizers - Ramesh Advani, V.V. Chari, Nandu Mugve and Basabi Mukherji (Runi Ratnam) gave the festival its name from Frank Sinatra's Jazz song 'Mood Indigo', as Jazz music was trending in the 70's in Mumbai. And it was the appeal of Indigo - the combination of the colors - Red - Energy and Vitality, Blue - Trust & Peace relating to physical and mental relaxation giving Indigo - the color of Intuition and Idealism.

Mood Indigo has had a legacy of organisers that include names like Nandan Nilekani,[4] Adil Zainulbhai, Atul Kanagat, Anand Sivakumaran, Amit Jain, Gautam Kollu and many more.

The Core Group Members of Mood Indigo 2013

In 1976, MI went bigger than before, and outperformed previous editions by a distance. The 1981 edition of MI saw the widely celebrated duo of music stalwarts Asha Bhosle and R D Burman perform at the Indian Music Night. Classical Concerts, Rock Shows, Bonfires and Jamming that went on till dawn were amongst the other highlights of MI'81.

In 1991, Kumar Sanu was the star attraction of MI. By 1997, MI was considerably bigger than other college festivals of the city. From a sponsorship of around Rs. 5 lakhs in 1993, the budget was now around Rs. 24 lakhs in 1997. In 1998, Indian classical music aficionados got to listen to the likes of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Ustad Zakir Hussain. Amongst other major events that took place at MI'98 were a workshop by Annu Kapoor and by eminent cartoonists like Unny and Sabu and a pyrotechnics display.

Pirate Ship from Mood Indigo 2009

2008 saw the first international night of Mood Indigo in the form of an Ensiferum concert. In 2009, the renowned band Porcupine Tree came to India for the first time to perform at MI.[5] It also had performances by Parikrama, Alms for Shanti and concerts by the trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Manna Dey. This edition also showcased Victor Rubilar, French band Moriarty and Swedish performer Meja. Other highlights included the sand sculptor Sudarshan Patnaik and the social drive of Khoon Chala.

In 2010, MI saw India's first ever Sumo Wrestling[6] match, between three-time world sumo champion Byambajav Ulambayar and former world champion Naranbat Gankhuyag. Swedish metal band Katatonia[7] had its first Asian performance in MI, and Livewire went national.[8] Apart from them, MI 2010 also witnessed performances by Asha Bhosle, Indus Creed, Amit Trivedi as well as interactive sessions with Ramchandra Guha and a Harley Davidson Bike exhibition. The International Music Festival had the Indo-German rock band Fire On Dawson, French percussionist Minino Garay, Glass harp musicians Glass Duo and the fusion band KarmetiK.

Graffiti by German artists at the Open Air Theatre for MI 2011

Karnivool, the Australian progressive rock band performed in India for the first time at Mood Indigo 2011. The festival also witnessed concerts by Agnee, Raghu Dixit and KK while Worldfest was initiated. MI '11 also made into the Limca Book of Records for most number of international artists in a college festival. Other performances included Gamblerz and Gong Myoung from Korea. The 2012 Mood Indigo promoted tribal culture and tribal practices and included a social initiative called 'Hakuna Matata -Spread a Smile'. Simple Plan, the Canadian punk rock band headlined Mood Indigo, 2012.[9][10] MI 2012 also hosted India's first international carnival and had Bollywood actors like Anushka Sharma, Imran Khan, Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada Singh. The concerts saw performances by Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Talavya, Karsh Kale collective and Salim Sulaiman, and DJ Lloyd. Mood Indigo 2013 with Oriental East as its theme saw a unique display of 3000 Korean lanterns. Mike Portnoy, regarded as the world's best drummer performed alongside Neal Morse band for the first time in Asia in MI 2013. Mood Indigo 2014 took everybody to the vintage era with its theme "A Vintage Affair". With numerous installations including a vintage car, gramophones, typewriters and cassette film art, the entire campus transformed into a 'Vintageous' carnival. Renowned EDM artist Sander Van Doorn, Dutch symphonic metal band Epica, Adnan Sami and Bollywood hearththrobs Vishal-Shekhar performed in the concerts at Mood Indigo 2014. In 2015, the theme being ''A Hawaiian Escapade'', the campus had been decorated spectacularly in perfect consonance with its theme with a gigantic 10-ft sand castle, tikkis, beachballs and surfboards.


Pronites at Mood Indigo are one of the major attractions for youth all over the nation


‘Pronites’ or ‘Pro-shows’ feature well known national and international artists from various fields of music, like Rock, Sufi, Classical and Bollywood. Mood Indigo Pronites have staged international bands like Epica (band), the Neal Morse band featuring Mike Portnoy[11] in 2013, Simple Plan[12] in 2012, Karnivool[13] in 2011, Katatonia[14] in 2010, Porcupine Tree[15] in 2009 and Ensiferumin 2008. Mood Indigo also played host to its first ever EDM concert with DJ Lange performing here in 2013. This was followed by a concert featuring Sander van Doorn in 2014 and Borgeous in Mood Indigo 2015.

Pronites has also hosted performers like music legend Asha Bhosle[16] (once with music director R D Burman in 1981 and again in 2010), Jagjit Singh, Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy, Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Amit Trivedi, Kailash Kher, Salim-Sulaiman, Mohit Chauhan, Vishal–Shekhar, Pritam, Adnan Sami, Raghu Dixit, KK, Lucky Ali, Amit Kumar, Kavita Seth, Pankaj Udhas, Raghav Sachar, Agnee- the band and Javed Ali. Classical artists like Pt.Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Zakir Hussain, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pt.Jasraj, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pt. Vikku Vinayakram, Pt. Rajan and Sajan Mishra, sitar maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangash, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Manna Dey and Taufiq Qureshi have performed here as well.

Mood Indigo has also hosted a number of Indian rock and fusion bands like Indus Creed,[17] Euphoria, Indian Ocean, Parikrama, Thermal and a Quarter, Sceptre, Antaragni and Zero, and international bands like Canadian band Q.E.D.

Artists of the Fusion genre like Louis Banks, Niladri Kumar, Sivamani and Alms for Shanti have also performed at Mood Indigo. Pronites also organises Livewire,[18] which is India's biggest rock band competition[19] and has been a launchpad for bands such as Parikrama, Zero, Vayu and various others. Headliner events in the past have included Motherjane, Indus Creed and Sceptre. In Mood Indigo 2012 over 200 bands from across the country participated in the competition, with preliminary rounds being held in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata.


Competitions at Mood Indigo have been the stage for college contingents from across the country. Competitions cover all the genres of art - Dramatics, Lifestyle, Literary arts, Fine arts, Music, Dance, Visual arts and Film and Media.

These competitions have had well known personalities associated with them over the years. Finalists of the dance competition 'Dancing with the Stars' performed for an audience of 3500 and were judged by Shahid Kapoor[20] and Rajiv Surty. The finalists of the music event 'Singing with the Stars' were judged by singers Kavita Seth, Meiyang Chang and Shibani Kashyap. Over 50 bands perform in Mantra, the Hindi band competition, for an audience of over 8000. The Western acoustic band competition sees participation of over 50 bands from all over India. Aagaaz the street play competition, in its third edition, in Mood Indigo 2012, gave the winners getting a chance to perform at the National Center for Performing Arts.[21]

The performing arts competition (One Act) called 'Third Bell' has a history of judges like Anupam Kher, Himani Shivpuri, Shobha Khote, Amit Behl, Piyush Mishra and Lalit Parimoo. It consists of events like Situational acting, Narrative Mime, Stand-Up comedy and Short Skit. The winners of this competition are also given a chance to perform at the National Center of Performing Arts. Its stage has played the good host to legends like Amjad Khan and Mani Ratnam.

Khalsa college in finals of third bell - the theatre competition at Mood Indigo

For people proficient at Speaking and expressing their views, events like National Debate were held giving them the opportunity to compete with the best. Speaking events like Jam and Extempore have participation consisting of people who are more proficient at informal speaking.

Omniscience, the quizzing competition of the festival has quizzing events based on Entertainment, General Awareness, Business and Sports. In 2012, Omniscience had preliminary rounds in Kolkata, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai. Fine arts and Creative also sees a variety of events and workshops such as 3-D surfacing, soap carving, vegetable carving, sponge modelling, painting on a canvas, book cover designing, Rangoli art, wax carving and charcoal drawing etc.

In 2012, the film making event, 'Director's cut' saw the director of the top two entries being given a chance to produce a short film each with Bejoy Nambiar along with best 2 actors of the top two movies with professional crew.

In 2013, the winners of the SGTL event received a direct entry into the Femina Miss India Elims and won a photoshoot with India's leading fashion photographer Dabboo Ratnani.

Fine Arts competitions get the best of participants from across the nation. In 2010, an innovative book cover design competition was organised in association with celebrated national author, Anita Nair.

In 2015, the Hindi Poetry event witnessed Swanand Kirkire as a judge whwereas MI Idol, the singing competition was judged by Papon.


Started in 1988, Horizons is a department of Mood Indigo which plans, conceptualizes and executes various unique and unconventional events, shows, exhibitions and workshops. Through its events, Horizons covers genres like Theatre, Music, Dance, Fashion and Literature.

In 2012, Mood Indigo hosted more than 150 foreign artists from all over the world. It includes Canadian comedian Michel Lauzière,[22] Irish sword swallower Murray Molloy,[23] American fire artist Jason Divad,[24] Monsieur Gusto, The Chancy Brothers, Wacky Chad and others.

Mood Indigo 2012 had many globally reckoned artists to entertain spectators.

The International Music Festival,[25] started in 2009, has brought to MI performers like the French group Moriarty, Fire On Dawson from Germany, Norwegian band Indian Core,[26] Swedish performer Meja[27] and the Glass Duo from Poland. Mood Indigo 2011 saw well known bands like Akasha from Malaysia and Caladh Nua from Ireland performwhile the other shows included a performance by Gamblerz crew from South Korea and Jean Francois from Las Vegas. Vogue, the fashion competition has also been associated with prestigious names like Wendell Rodricks, Neeta Lulla, Marc Robinson, Kulraj Randhawa. 2010 also saw two world champions showcasing the sumo wrestling[28][29] at Mood Indigo.

Other shows include the Korean break dance troupe B-boyz,[30] circus performance by Europe’s Nofit State Circus, Tararam[31] Israeli trash band that performed at the Athens Olympics, Adam Winrich the whip-cracker, Sabri brothers[32] other renowned artists. Horizons has also hosted Victor Rubilar, street magician Chris Korn,[33] Cile the one-man-band, magic show by P C Sorcar, Sudarshan Patnaik’s sand sculptures, Hasya Kavi Sammelan, puppetry show, synchronized swimming and diving,[34] and Film Fest.

It also includes exhibitions of gramophones, photographs, famous newspaper archives and others. In 2010 an exhibition cum stunt show of the Harley Davidson bikes was also organised. Workshops conducted range from theatre, jazz, waltz, salsa, belly dancing, star gazing, kickboxing, lasso twirling, photography, latte art to eating with chopsticks.

Fringe events by artists from various countries such as Israel, Canada, Korea, United States are also part of the festival. These include drum circle, circus performers, jugglers, mime artists. The 2015 edition also included performances from the critically acclaimed Manganiyar Classroom, and Grammy winning musician Dhruba Ghosh.


Aamir Khan at Illuminati, Mood Indigo 2013

What started out as the Lit Fest in 2009 eventually evolved into the Illuminati by 2013. The Lit Fest was an event where eminent speakers held panel discussions on a range of topics and interacted with students. The Illuminati has carried forward this legacy with talks and panel discussions by a slew of successful individuals and celebrities.

Illuminati has played host to panelists and speakers like Prakash Jha, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Shankar Mahadevan, Mahesh Bhatt, Pankaj Pachauri, Ramachandra Guha, Rohit Shetty. The 2013 edition of Illuminati featured talks by Aamir Khan, LinkedIn CEO Nishant Rao, S. Hussain Zaidi, Mir Ranjan Negi.

In 2014, Illuminati was renamed as 'Litfest' and featured talks by Amish Tripathi, Rajdeep Sardesai and Subramanian Swamy.

In 2015, LitFest hosted Shashi Tharoor and Markandey Katju. 'Bollywood Panel' witnessed popular directors from the Indian film industry like Ramesh Sippy, Anurag Kashyap and Rajkumar Hirani.


Mood Indigo Worldfest 2012

Worldfest is an initiative to bring together folk dance troupes from the world. International groups visiting Worldfest conduct workshops to facilitate cultural exchange, participate in sightseeing tours, parties and journeys to various points in the host city of Mumbai.

Mood Indigo Worldfest 2011 brought together groups from Spain, Turkey, Poland and Indonesia to perform on a single platform to showcase their country’s rich cultural heritage. In 2012, Mood Indigo Worldfest turned even bigger when countries of Italy, Japan, Romania, Serbia and Sri Lanka exhibited their culture and food. Representatives from these countries participated in the Carnival.[35]


Informals is the department that organises unconventional and spontaneous events. A major part of Informals is the Adventure Zone. It includes activities such as Zorbing, Paintball, Quad Biking, Hot air ballooning, Aqua Games, Laser Tag,Sumo Suit Wrestling etc. Other events organised include Baraat Dance, Street Races and Treasure Hunt. Games such as Snooker Pool Table and Board Games as well as Crime Scene Investigation, Role Playing Games are organised by the department. In Mood Indigo 2013, Dragon Boat Racing, a maritime event, was held for the first time at Marine Drive, which was a huge success.

Informals also conducts, "GRIND" and brings DJs to perform. 'GRIND' also saw the performance of Romanian pop act Akcent. 'She’s Got The Look', the beauty pageant is also organised and a 4 km cross-country race and a 3x3 Basketball game are among other events organised.

Well known faces from the entertainment industry like Gul Panag, Purab Kohli, Pallavi Joshi, Sandeepa Dhar, Tanisha, RJ Mallishka have also been a part of the jury for personality hunts like "Mood Indigo’s Most Wackiest" and "Am I Talented? ". Film actors Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma, playback singer and actress Monali Thakur were present at the 'Mr. & Ms. Mood Indigo' in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Ayushmann Khurrana was a part of the jury for 'Mr & Ms. Mood Indigo 2014'.

Artists and Celebrities[edit]

Anushka Sharma and Imran Khan at Mood Indigo 2012

Mood Indigo has hosted numerous artists and famous personalities over the years with many big names and organisations being associated with it. Pronites has brought many renowned singers like Asha Bhosle, R D Burman, Jagjit Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonsa, Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Salim Sulaiman, Amit Trivedi, Kailash Kher, Mohit Chauhan, KK, Lucky Ali, Amit Kumar, Kavita Seth, Pankaj Udhas, Raghav Sachar, Javed Ali, Louis Banks, Niladri, Sivamani and Alms for Shanti. Notable names of the classical genre like Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pt.Bhimsen Joshi, Pt.Jasraj, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pt. Vikku Vinayakram, Pt. Rajan and Sajan Mishra, sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangashand, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Manna Dey and Taufiq Qureshi have also graced MI with their performances. Rock concerts and Livewire shows have staged International bands like Porcupine Tree, Simple Plan, Neal Morse band ft. Mike Portnoy, Ensiferum, Katatonia,[36] QED, Epica and Indian bands like Thermal and a Quarter, Agnee, Indus Creed, Euphoria, Indian Ocean, Parikrama, Antaragni, and Zero.

Various celebrities have come to Mood Indigo for promoting their upcoming projects. In 2012, Anushka Sharma and Imran Khan awarded the winners of Mr. & Ms. MI competition of the festival and promoted their the then upcoming movie Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola.[37] On the Bollywood nite of the festival Chitrangada Singh and Arjun Rampal came to promote Inkaar.[38]

Panel discussion Team for Mood Indigo 2010

The events and competitions of MI have also had the presence of eminent personalities like Fashion Designers Wendell Rodricks, Neeta Lulla and Marc Robinson, Dramatics stalwarts Anupam Kher, Himani Shivpuri, Shobha Khote, Dolly Thakore and Amit Bhel, Director Subhash Ghai, Dance masters Shiamak Davar and Terrence Lewis, and singers Kavita Seth, Shibani Kashyap and Meiyang Chang. Mood Indigo has also brought a variety of artists and entertainers both international and indigenous like Sumo Wrestlers, musicians Moriarty, Fire On Dawson, band Indian Core, Meja, the Glass Duo, break dance troupe Bboyz, Nofit state circus, Tararam(trash band), Adam Winrich whip-cracker,[39] Sabri brothers, Victor Rubilar, Chris Korn, Francesa Cassio, Moneybrother, Pandit Chitresh Das and Jadon Samples, Cile – One man band, Pedro Tochas, Muntaner Duo and Sudarshan Patnaik to Mumbai. The festival has also given platform to numerous talents like Nagesh Kukunoor, Ayushmann Khurrana, Hrishitaa Bhatt, and Parvathy Omanakuttan.

The festival has also had its fair share of celebrities in attendance with some names being actors Kabir Bedi, Shahid Kapoor, Hema Malini, Rani Mukherjee, Saroj Khan, Ram Gopal Varma, Raageshwari, Vidya Balan, Gul Panag,[40] Purab Kohli, Neha Dhupia, Sanjay Suri, Shankar Mahadevan, Kavita Seth, Harsha Bhogle and Lalit Parimoo.

Social Cause[edit]

Platelet Donation (Mood Indigo 2013)[edit]

Platelet do it! - was one of the most successful nationwide awareness campaigns under which a total of 30,000 students volunteered to register as platelet donors from over 1900 colleges across the nation.

Thalassemia (Mood Indigo 2012)[edit]

Students sporting their support for the cause.

To spread awareness about thalassemia, a social cause campaign was launched in MI 2012. Thalassemia testing camps were set up in various locations and colleges, and about 1400 people were tested .[41] Report 1 Report 2

Sparsh (Mood Indigo 2011)[edit]

Tying up with the Make A Difference NGO, the Mood Indigo core committee launched Sparsh for betterment of underprivileged children through campaigns and awareness drives. The organizers went to slums and interacted with slum children, understanding and trying to solve their problems.

Aagaaz (Mood Indigo 2010)[edit]

Aagaaz, Street Plays at Mood Indigo 2010

Aagaaz ("The beginning") was a countrywide social awareness campaign through street plays. The campaign raised awareness on issues like oppressed child workers, status of women in the society and corruption.

Khoon Chala (Mood Indigo 2008 and 2009)[edit]

Khoon Chala was the Mood Indigo blood donation drive,[42] started in 2008.[43] ' To also spread the awareness about blood donation, street plays were organised, and short films were screened in 30 colleges and 7 cineplexes respectively.[44] In the two editions of MI when the donation drive was held, more than 2500 units of blood were collected.[45]

Sponsors & Past Associates[edit]

Mood Indigo has attracted sponsorships from various corporations[46] due to huge participation of students from all over India. Many prominent names have been associated with many events in Mood Indigo including Tata Photon, Oreo, LinkedIn, Tata Docomo, Colgate, Parle, State Bank of India, Canara Bank, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, WWE, MTV, PVR, Inox, Fame, Levi's, Reliance, Nokia, BlackBerry, Cisco, Pantaloons Femina, Maybelline, Gatsby[disambiguation needed], McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, Subway (restaurant), Limca Book of Records, Go-Jiyo, Braingain Magazine.[47] Cadbury owned biscuit brand, Oreo, set a new Guinness World Record at Mood Indigo 2013 where all of 1,796 people simultaneously consumed Oreo biscuits in the brand's signature 'Twist, Lick, Dunk' style, breaking the previous record set by 1,503 people in Argentina.

The media sector has seen several names like Hindustan Times, Times of India, Bombay Times, MTV, UTV, Channel V, Channel VH1 Radio Mirchi, DSN media, DNA, Red FM, 9x. Also Mood Indigo has had associations with Wendell Rodricks, Shiamak Davar Dance Academy, Dance India Dance, NCPA, Whistling Woods, USA Sumo Association, the Israeli Embassy, Embassy of Canada, Poland, Korea, Ireland and The Swedish Institute . With a heavy footfall of over 1,04,000 in 4-days, association with Mood Indigo is a matter of prestige and is reflected in the range of sponsorships it attracts.

Media and Publicity[edit]

Mood Indigo is one of the most widely publicised and covered college festival in India, receiving extensive coverage by all sectors of media. In print media leading newspapers like The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, DNA, The Economic Times and also several local dailies cover Mood Indigo throughout the year. In electronic media, Mood Indigo is covered by Red Fm, Radio Mirchi and prominent TV networks like 9X Media, MTV India and Sony Mix. Over the years festival has been covered in several youth centric shows like MTV Wassup!,[48] UTV Campus Attack.[49] Some of the popular events covered on television were Sumo Wrestling On ESPN[50] and Sahara, Livewire by ZEE Music and Shahid Kapoor by NDTV. Through DSN media Mood Indigo's advertisements were shown throughout the country. In 2010, footage of Amit Trivedi’s Mood Indigo 2010 concert[51] was used in the DVD edition of Udaan (2010 film).[52]


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  9. ^ K.A. Dodhiya (12 October 2012). "A very Simple Plan for IIT's Mood Indigo". The Asian Age. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
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  37. ^'s%20New
  38. ^
  39. ^ DNA (24 Dec 2010). "Adam Winrich Performing @ Mood Indigo 2010". 
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  43. ^ Karmayog. "Blood Donation Drive by MOOD Indigo". 
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  51. ^ IITB Mood Indigo (23 December 2010). "Amit Trevide in MI 2010". 
  52. ^ "UDAAN Official DVD". 

External links[edit]