Soledition, India’s first sneaker festival, promises to bring together everything associated with street culture under one roof. You don’t have to be a gamer, a sneakerhead, a graffiti artist, a beatboxer or a rap musician – even if you’re just mildly intrigued by any of these, this festival will showcase the fledgling, underground subculture that is finally coming into its own. Hit the turf and catch it finally getting the recognition it deserves.
Heart Of It
Sneaker culture grew alongside the hip hop movement on the streets of Los Angeles and New York in the 80s and the 90s. It eventually trickled down to India, where only the moneyed could afford to ask their relatives or friends in the US to bring them the latest Nike Air Jordans. (The rest of us made do with Bata and Action and pretended they were the coolest thing ever.)
Hip Hop and sneakers have been near-synonymous since those days, but in India, hiphop gained recognition earlier, with many artists and celebrities promoting the culture. Sneaker culture though, has finally caught on and the sneakerheads who spent money and time collecting unique and epic sneakers from all over the world are now considered connoisseurs of everything hip. Celebrities such as Badshah and Ranbir Singh, both self-confessed sneakerheads and collectors, have helped to bring this underground culture into the spotlight while brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma and Vans are enabling it to become mainstream.
Soledition is a celebration of this very culture. The festival is the brainchild of Siddharth Pal, an advertising professional, ex-Adidas employee and a sneakerhead. Rannvijay Singh, of MTV Roadies fame, is the co-curator of the fest. Siddharth and Rannvijay connected over their shared passion for sneakers and Soledition is testimony to their dedication. This is the first edition of this festival and they eventually plan to take it to cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru, too.
Soledition is India’s first sneaker festival. Although there are a couple of other such festivals planned for later in the year, what sets Soledition apart is its intense immersion into street culture.
The focus is definitely sneakers, and for avid fans, there will be a Sneaker Swap zone where attendees can buy, sell or swap sneakers. A Sneaker Museum – showcasing the history of iconic sneakers – will be alongside. The highlight will be SoleID, a DIY customization zone where streetwear and sneakers will be customized into an avatar of your choice. This zone will feature traditional block-printing artists, who will add a custom, ethnic touch to streetwear. This inclusion is a brilliant CSR move, and the organizers plan to eventually promote traditional Indian arts as well from this platform.
Graffiti Alley will showcase graffiti artists and offer a blank canvas for attendees to doodle upon, guided by artist Harsh Raman.
Adding to the vibe will be a dance showcase, featuring hip hop performances by dancers from Big Dance Center. Flash mob performances are also planned at the venue. And of course, there will be music. With performances by Sureal, DJ SA and DJ Ishani, and a zone where rappers will battle for glory, the festival assures a rocking time.
Apart from these, Soledition also showcases sports/activities that have been associated with street culture.There will be a basketball zone and a skateboarding zone where attendees can watch talent at play or even participate. A vintage arcade zone, featuring 90s style arcade games, will take you back to a time where games like Pacman, Contra and Tekken ruled.
And if that is not enough, there will be panel talks at the venue, where industry leaders will explore the evolution of street culture and its relevance in India.
Soledition guarantees a unique experience, and if you’re curious or even slightly interested in anything that is on offer, we suggest that you make a day of it and spend it amongst enthusiasts who are supremely excited about the recognition of their passion.
The free event already has 2,000 registrations and at least another 1,500 walk-ins are expected. So if you’re planning to visit, we would recommend registering online ahead of time.
When: 25th February, 2018, 2pm – 10pm
Where: Eros Multi Level Parking, Nehru Place, Delhi