Imagine barely sleeping for four days yet having all the energy in the world to run around all day. From food stalls to various crowds from various colleges, Revels is full of bustling activities. The four days of the cultural fest promise to be the most memorable time of the year as it allows you to not only make new memories but awaken the creative human being who has been suppressed by the daily dose of academics and monotony. However, legacy isn’t built in a day and hallmarks are not set with a twitch. It takes years of refinement, implementation of novice ideas and a fair share of unsuccessful attempts to carve a procedure and define a benchmark to stand up to every year. Ever wondered how Revels came to become what it today is?
We decided to unearth from the pages of history the story that is Revels. What we went on to discover was a range of interesting anecdotes, facts and tidbits about the fest that will leave you just as enthralled as we were.
A graduate of the year 1982, Mr. Vineet Kumar is bestowed upon with the title of being the curator of Revels. He is an important protagonist in this story. The college had felt the need for a cultural fest for a long time when Mr. Vineet and his team came along with the idea of what we now call Revels. He and his team listed down as many as 30 names and submitted it to the college union only for the document to get lost. The president of the union then merely recollected the name and that is how Revel became ‘Revels’. To know more about this story, read it here.
The years that followed:
Back then, the fest used to last only for three days and used to be held in various locations. The initial events spanned an entertaining skit, a day’s sport extravaganza and culminated with a western musical event called LIVE WIRE that eventually came to be called The Battle of Bands. It was in 1988 that various events like the press cons, cartooning and eastern musical night were introduced. All in all, the fiesta left the crowd asking for more.
The info desk routine has been omnipresent in all the fests and has been of prime importance ever since. During these years, the fest included JAM sessions, extempore and Mock Press. With slow expansion but rapid growth in the horizon, the year of 1992 witnessed the use of computers for the first time. The highlight was the introduction of ‘A la Mode’, the catwalk show’s Manipal version.
The year of 1996 was a sad one with no Revels. What or rather who is to blame we still don’t know. However, with the speed of a whale, Revels compensated for the same by postponing the prelims and organizing the fest with the same gusto in the following year. 1998-1999 turned out to be a rather eventful year. A host of national and state level fests INSIGHT, CHEMINAR, DESI DARPAN and Revels spiced up the co-curricular space of MIT.
It was during these years that Revels grew into a full blown inter college fest. The fest become more compact, exponentially improving over its organizational skills and catered to a large audience. With the introduction of day wise themes like “Ethnic Day” and “All Black” for the fest and having a mascot(Bulldog) for each day, Revels 2002 set a new benchmark.
2004 saw the introduction of a theme for the fest. From ‘Ancient Rome’ to the theme of ‘Carnaval’ it’s been a long road. 2004 didn’t have a celebrity show, but made up with a brilliant band, Synapse that came to judge ‘Battle of the Bands’ and left the crowd enthralled with their performance after. Revels started experiencing great Outstation participation in these years and became the nationwide popular fest it is now.
Publicity, with development of a website and posters started off during these years. However, it wasn’t well done, with the website taking too long to load and the posters being what they referred to as ‘lackluster’. But the highlight of the fest was the new events that the then Student Council came up with, like Roadies, Gaming Events and Business Plans.
Another new introduction in the year 2008 was the Revels Cup. Revels Cup is a National level inter-collegiate sporting event and it has maximum outstation participation till date.
2009 saw the entry of ‘Street Dancing’ in Revels. Pro Show headliners put up a performance in KMC Greens and it looks like this concept is older than we think it is. The Fashion Show of the year ’09 was titled “Color Couture”.
Revels 2011 and 2012 had unique themes that focused of constancy and change. 2013 brought in a new theme ‘Beyond the Degrees of Separation’. Battle of the Bands had become one of the most popular events, with Agnee and Pentagram at Pro Show. Revels 2014 was about celebrating ‘Uniqueness’. Anish Sood graced the stage in 2014, along with the band ‘Lost Stories’. Anyone who’s been to Manipal once, has to come back again- such is the aura of this place. With Shilpa Rao, Parikrama and Hard Rock, music was taken to a whole new level in 2014. We hope the gig by Anish Sood this year is even bigger and better.
Revels 2015 brought perhaps the biggest Pro Show nights MIT had witnessed in recent times. With the performance of Farhan Live, the crowd went crazy that day. 2016, brought with it a beautiful theme “Dastaan”. These couple of years took the Pro Show headliner events of the fest to a whole new level. With performers right from Day 0 like Sorabh Pant, Terence Lewis, The Local train and Ground Zero performers like Nucleya and Papon, Revels 2016 was a whole new experience.
There is indeed a lot of expectation from Revels 2017, both in terms of performances and Pro Show. The Student Council has worked day and night for months to make the fest what it is. We hope that this year, history is written again and new stories are made.
Compiled by Prattusha Mukhopadhyay and Shravani Vyakarnam for MTTN
Sources- College Magazines, Yearbooks ’82 to ’16 by The Magazine Committee and The Editorial Board.