With everybody wanting to write but nobody wanting to read, the festival hopes to get young people back on the reading habit

Now Bengaluru has a lit fest for readers under 25
news Lit Fest Friday, June 17, 2016 - 19:41

By Kalpana Meena

Even with gloomy predictions about shrinking reading populations, interest in literary events is burgeoning in Bengaluru. Joining the growing list of such events is the Under-25 Lit Fest 2016, which is being held on June 19 at The Humming Tree in Indiranagar.

The U25 Lit Fest, as its name suggests, is aimed at young people under the age of 25. Its first edition is being dedicated to APJ Abdul Kalam.

Surya HK, the curator of U25LF, who is also involved in the organising committee of the Bangalore Literature Festival, says of the event, “The problem seems to be today, that everyone seems to be writing or wanting to write, but nobody is reading or wants to read. So we hope the platform of Under 25 Lit Fest can create a healthy balance between writing and reading, and encourage the youth to cultivate these joyous habits.”

Surya has been a member with the Under 25 Club, a platform that has been conducting the Under 25 Summit focused on the start-up culture for three years now. It was the enthusiastic response to these summits that sparked the idea for the U25LF. “The enthusiasm of everyone in the club along with my experience with Bangalore Lit Fest just happened to click over a few chats on Whatsapp and Facebook and we were on!”

Key speakers that have been lined up for the event include Shekhar Gupta,  Akkai Padmashali, Aakar Patel, Durjoy Datta, Dr.Shyam Bhat, Karishma Mehta, Zui Reddy, Nandita Bose, Jeet Thayil, Madhuri Banerjee, Rachna Singh, Vasanthi Hariprakash, Jaishree Misra, Anuja Chandramouli, Sanjay Koppikar, V Ravichander and Roshan Abbas among others.  

The day-long festival will have sessions on business, gender issues, mythology, poetry, politics, social media, history, and journalism, among others.

It will also feature workshops, stand-up comedy acts, open mic sessions, a pop-up library (with reader-supplied books), a bring-your-own-book (BYOB) book exchange, and a human library (with stories told by festival attendees).

Faced with a paucity of funds, the festival is charging an entry fee (Rs 500 for participants under 25 and Rs 1,000 for those over 25), but says that the response has been enthusiastic despite this. “The response has been amazing and seats are almost sold out. I don't think we will be able to have on the spot entry, as we have a packed audience,” says Surya.