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|Type||Student-run Non-Profit Organization|
|Institute||Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur|
|Prize money||25 Lakhs|
|Guests||Salim-Sulaiman, KK, Shaan, Vishal–Shekhar, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shankar Mahadevan, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt|
|Slogan||The True Spirit of Youth|
Spring Fest, popularly known as SF, is the annual social & cultural festival of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur held during the month of January in the spring semester. Spring Fest is usually held for 3 days and 4 nights in the weekend closest to 26 January, India's Republic Day. The first edition was held in 1960 and since then it has grown to be one of the largest student run college fests in India. The 55th edition of Spring Fest is scheduled to be held from January 23 to January 26, 2014.
Inception and Growth
The first edition of Spring Fest was held in 1960, which makes it one of the oldest college fests in India. It was conceived as a platform for the students of IIT Kharagpur to showcase their extra academic skills. Over the years, it began to attract participants from the neighboring colleges of West Bengal. In the last decade or so, the fest grew manifold in scale, attracting participants from all over India and as well as abroad. The 2014 edition of the fest received a footfall of over 50,000 people.
During the fest, students from IIT Kharagpur and from different colleges all over the country participate in a multitude of social and cultural activities. The ambit of the events encompasses various genres like Dance, Music, Dramatics, Photography, Literature, Quizzing and Fine Arts.
Tremendous participation and aggressive competition are seen in all the events, especially the flagship events of SF, namely - Nukkad, Shuffle, Wildfire, Rangmanch, Centrifuge, Lake Side Dreams, etc. The preliminary rounds of Nukkad, Shuffle and Wildfire happen nationwide. Every city that Spring Fest visits to conduct prelims, the whole atmosphere turns festive and the creative lot throng to the venue to see the show of talent.
Other non-competition based events include Hard-Talk which involves talks/conferences by eminent personalities from a variety of fields and IIT KGP Model United Nations, one of the biggest MUNs that take place in Eastern India. The number of these events is particularly large and serves to cater to the very large number of participants — both local as well as from other colleges all over the country.
The hub for major activities during the fest is called the Arena, which has the Informals and Perpz stage. The informals stage hosts various fun filled casual activities, for which the participants can win numerous prizes. The Perpz stage is an all day dance floor with a DJ, that attracts huge crowds. Apart from this the arena also has numerous food and corporate stalls.
The evenings are notable for the "Pro-Nights", more commonly known as Star-Nites — the biggest events in Spring Fest which usually involve live concerts by some of the most famous musicians and bands of national and international acclaim. All the Star Nites are free to attend for any student of the institute and all registered participants. The genres of music are wide and varied and involve pop, rock and fusion bands. The venue for these events is the Tagore Open Air Theater (TOAT) and Jnan Ghosh Stadium which usually get packed to their full capacity during the Star-Nites, with crowds of up to 23,000 people. Famous Indian artistes like Salim-Sulaiman, Pritam, Kailash Kher, KK, S. P. Balasubramaniam, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal-Shekhar, Shweta Pandit, Shankar Mahadevan, Shivamani, Sukhwinder Singh and classical performers such as Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, L. Sriram, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pandit Divyang Vakil have performed here. Bands like Pentagram, Swarathma, Underground Authority, Kryptos, Parikrama, Euphoria, Indian Ocean, Strings , Spunk etc. have also been performing here.
Justifying its slogan, Spring Fest has always been ‘The True Spirit of Youth’ and encompasses aspirations and enthusiasm of college students across the nation. A plethora of more than 60 events ranging from varied genres provides a platform to the students where they can prove their mettle and caliber. With a myriad of fun and intellectually stimulating events, huge star nights every year and a versatile crowd profile, Spring Fest has gradually consolidated its position as the premier inter-collegiate fest. The fierce competitions, uninterrupted entertainment, breath-taking pro-shows, and something to suit everybody is what gives SF its magnificence.
The fest has three national level events- Wildfire- the national level rock band competition, Shuffle - the street dance competition and Nukkad- the street play competition. Wildfire attracts registrations from hundreds of bands and prizes in the 2014 edition were worth more than 4 lakh INR. Most of the socio-cultural activities are day events which involve dramatics, music, dance competitions, fine-arts contests, quizzes, gaming and other literary events. Judges of the competitions are reputed and famous personalities from different fields and organisations. One notable event isModel United Nations which is an academic simulation of the United Nations Organization where participants take on the role of representatives of countries/organizations in a UN council, discussing world issues. Centrifuge, the inter-collegiate dance event is arguably the most keenly followed event of the fest. The other notable events are Rangmanch, the inter-collegiate Dramatics event, Sargam, the eastern musical jamming competition and Mary Bucknell Trophy, the prestigious quiz competition.
Every year many esteemed personalities of different fields from around the country are invited as guests and judges for different events and competitions. Some of the prominent guests to participate in the festival are Rakesh Bedi, Purbayan Chatterjee, Makrand Deshpande, Gilad Dobrecky, Dr. Kumar Vishwas, Lilette Dubey, Pt. Debashish Bhattacharya, Kailash Kher, Jim Ankan Deka, Rahat Indori, Nagesh Bhosle, Divya Jagdale, Ankur Deka, Freddie Bryant, Dr. Ashok Viswanathan, Naseeruddin Saha etc.
International Carnival was conceived for the first time in Spring Fest 2014. It consisted of acts and performances from all around the globe. Among these were Chris Cheong , a magician and mentalist from Malaysia, Jack Glatzer, a violinist from Portugal, Murray Molloy, sword swallower extraordinaire from Ireland, Almost Trio, a juggling duo from Hungary and Jonathan Kay, an Indo-Jazz saxophonist from Canada.
Media and Publicity
SF is notable for being one of the largest student events in the country and is often cited as an example of the management skills of IITians in general. The fest has attracted a large amount of coverage from the electronic and print-media. MTV India and The Telegraph, Kolkata, have covered the fest extensively in the previous years. Numerous articles have appeared about Spring Fest in various newspapers all over India.
Structure of the Organization
The Spring Fest team is composed of the core team, the design team and the web team. The core-team consists of third years, called the core organizing team heads and second years who form the core organizing team members. The core team is responsible for getting sponsorship for the fest, handles publicity throughout India and organizes and executes the events. Pre-fest tasks, formulation of events, internal publicity, security, student accommodation, transportation, guest reception, and arena design etc. are distributed among the heads and members of the core organizing team.The previous years' core team heads are called Steering Committee Members. They provide guidance to the core-team over important issues. The design team and web team are responsible for designing the websites and various creatives used in publicity.
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