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Company : Levi Strauss 
Thursday, February 21, 2002 2:15PM IST (8:45AM GMT)
The Levis Great Indian Rock hunt is on for Festival 2002
Undiscovered talent will get opportunities for concerts and videos in India and abroad
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

The Levis® Great Indian Rock (GIR) Project is upon us again! In its sixth consecutive active year, the GIR is set to be bigger and better than ever as Levis® and the Rock Street Journal (RSJ) together expand the scale of the GIR search for original Indian talent in rock music. The 2001-2002 avatar of the Levis® GIR will see a heightened frenzy in the country's biggest such talent search.

All bands and artistes with a new song to sing, and a desire to be heard are invited to send in their demos to RSJ. The cut-off date for receipt of entries is February 20th, 2002. Eight of the bands selected will have their offerings produced on a compilation CD, to be given away free with the February issue of RSJ. Moreover, they will be given the opportunity to play at the biggest Indian Rock Music Festival, in New Delhi on March 9th – March 10th, 2002. The top talent will also be sponsored by Levis® to play in the USA.

Bombay Black, the Mumbai-based group of musicians, was selected at the 2000-2001 GIR for a US foray and performed, to great acclaim, the opening slot at an Aerosmith concert in Los Angeles. Huge crowds of over 30,000 people got a taste of Indian rock music talent the best way possible – live and up-front!

"In keeping with our tradition of encouraging original youthful talent, Levis® has been proud and honoured to be associated with the RSJ initiative in this nationwide talent search project," said Levis® Suman Jaya Chatterjee, General Manager – Marketing, Levi's Strauss India Pvt. Ltd., "And we are particularly proud to have been instrumental in presenting such talent as Bombay Black to the world."

The idea behind the project is to provide a platform for original music, rather than letting bands and audiences in India stagnate in the uninspiring safety net of cover versions and cheap imitations. Amit Saigal, editor/publisher of RSJ, said, "India is a land of great musical talent. In spite of the fact that rock & roll is not inherently associated with Indian culture, there have been practitioners of the art form who have created music comparable to the best in the world. But, undeniable as the wealth of Indian rock music may be, it has always been scattered all over the place. Too fragmented to create any sort of significant impression, counterculture music in India needed a unified movement to take it to the position it rightfully deserved."

He further added, "The Levi's® Great Indian Rock project has been a step towards that unification. The GIR Festival, which has been in no small measure instrumental in encouraging this talent, has become increasingly successful since Levis® lent its support from 1998. We believe there's a lot more talent out there, and are expanding the initiative this year."

An important aspect of the Great Indian Rock Project is the continuing efforts of the organizers, promoters and the artistes themselves in raising a common voice against the scourge of HIV/AIDS. Carrying on from last year, RSJ and Levis® have joined hands with Population Services International (PSI) in using the GIR project as a vibrant, youth-oriented platform for increasing the awareness and understanding of the fight against HIV/AIDS.

A documentary on The Levis® Great Indian Rock will be shot on location, and will be taken on a showing tour in schools and colleges around the country. AIDS awareness literature will also be distributed during this tour, which increases the scale and reach of the campaign against AIDS.

Grown to be recognized as India's biggest music festival and a celebration of original talent, the Levis® Great Indian Rock Festival conducts the talent search over a period of roughly four months, identifying and digging out talent from all corners of the country. After culling out the best from the demos submitted, the project gathers momentum with build up events in colleges and youth hangouts in towns and the major metros and culminates in a grand two-day national music festival. GIR's association with AIDS Awareness is brought into focus at each and every stage of the project, which makes for a very effective campaign. The top choice is sponsored by Levis® to demonstrate their talent at a concert in the US, alongside some of the biggest names in contemporary rock music circles.

Mumbai's Bombay Black performed not only alongside Aerosmith at Los Angeles, but also at Levis® Inland Invasion Festival at San Bernardino, Los Angeles, where they shared the stage with well known entertainers, like Offspring, Blink-182, Weezer, Puddle Of Mudd, Incubus, Pennywise and Mike D of the Beastie Boys.


Levi Strauss (India) Pvt. Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Levi Strauss & Co, San Francisco, established in India in 1994, forayed into western wear for the youth by launching its products under the iconic brand name of Levi's. It has since built a strong retail and distribution network, backed up by an equally strong sourcing base. Levi's range of products, today, is retailed in 35 cities and includes a range spanning the classic legendary 501 jeans to contemporary products like Cargoes. Woven shirts, knitted tops and accessories support the wide range of bottoms.

The company with a staff of 48 employees is headquartered in Bangalore, with a sourcing base in Chennai, engaged in the exports of Levi®, Dockers® and Slates® range of products for the US, Canada, Mexico and Asian countries.

For News Release background on Levi Strauss click here
Media Contact Details
Shena, Rock Street Journal, +91 (11) 651-7933, rsj@nde.vsnl.net.in
Surekha Pillai, IPAN, +91 (11) 332-6200, surekha@ipan.com
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