Waves (festival)

Last updated

Genre Cultural
DatesOctober/ November
Venue Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – K K Birla Goa Campus
Location(s) Goa, India
Inaugurated2006 (2006)
Organised by BITS Pilani K K Birla Goa Campus
Website https://www.bitswaves.org/

Waves is the annual cultural festival of BITS Pilani, K K Birla Goa Campus. [1] [2] [3] It is a three-day-long festival held in the late October – early November period. It is a cultural festival that is held annually to celebrate music, dance and art. It is an inter college festival with students coming in to participate in events and competitions from across the country. With a footfall of over 1,000,000 recorded in recent editions, it is one of the leading college festivals in the country.[ citation needed ]

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – Goa Campus

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – Goa Campus, officially Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani - K. K. Birla Goa Campus and known in short as BITS Pilani, Goa Campus is a technical and science institute for higher education located in Goa, India. Established in 2004, it is one of the four campuses of the BITS Pilani. The Aditya Birla Group privately supports the residential features of the institute.


The first edition of Waves was in 2006. In spite of being a relatively new festival, it has attracted considerable media attention and many prominent sponsors over the years. The fest, very much in the spirits of Goa, holds a spectacular bonanza with a blend of fun and frolic, devotion, dedication and lots of happiness. There are many events in various categories like Dance, Drama, Literature, Comedy, Fashion and Music. There are usually elimination rounds to many of these events that are held across various cities in India preceding the months before the fest.

The Professional Nights, often called "Nites" in the college lingo, are a major attraction, with every night in the three night festival dedicated to a different genre. Waves celebrates talent, creativity and the spirit to party. These nites have witnessed big named in the music industry come and perform with both Indian and International artists having performed in past editions.


Pre-Sunburn Event at Waves'12 Waves12 sunburn.jpg
Pre-Sunburn Event at Waves'12

Waves has evolved into one of the leading cultural fests in India. Waves actually sees its roots in an intra-college festival organised in 2005. Waves as an inter-college festival was first organised in 2006, which was then seen as a prominent regional cultural festival in Goa. Many colleges from Goa and Mumbai participated in Waves in the subsequent years and Waves became the biggest and most coveted cultural festival in Goa. Waves then reached another milestone in 2008 when it entered the mainstream and came to be known as a popular National Cultural Festival in India, which had a theme suiting the culture of Goa- "Nirvana". This edition of Waves was such a big success that the year 2009 saw two editions of this festival. The fame and glamour of Waves attracted participants from all over India, and the festival exponentially grew in terms of participation and number of events. Waves 2014 saw an international act, The WorldFest, a Coke Studio performance for the Indie Nite as well as the Searock event which had become one of India's biggest semi-professional rock band hunt contests.

Today Waves is counted among the top 10 Cultural festivals in India. Celebrities like Farhan Akhtar, Amit Trivedi, Neeti Mohan, Vishal–Shekhar, Priyanka Chopra, Kalki Koechlin, Kailash Kher, Karsh Kale and musical acts like Nucleya, Ritviz, Quintino, Marnik, Lost Stories, have performed at Waves in recent years. Popular comedy houses like All India Bakchod, TVF, Being Indian and others have also performed at Waves. Popular events like Sunburn and Femina Miss India eliminations have been hosted by Waves.

Farhan Akhtar Indian director and actor

Farhan Akhtar is an Indian film director, screenwriter, actor, playback singer, producer, and television host. Born in Mumbai to screenwriters Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, he grew up under the influence of the Hindi film industry. He began his career in Bollywood by working as an assistant director in Lamhe (1991) and Himalay Putra (1997).

Amit Trivedi Indian film score composer, music director, singer and lyricist

Amit Trivedi is an Indian music director,

Neeti Mohan Indian singer

Neeti Mohan is an Indian singer. She sings mainly in Hindi films, but has also done songs in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, and English. Born in Delhi, she was one of the winners of the Channel V's reality show Popstars, subsequently being chosen for Aasma, with other winners of the show. She rose to prominence after recording "Ishq Wala Love" from Student of the Year (2012), ultimately winning the Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent and was nominated for the Best Female Playback Singer for "Jiya Re" from Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012).

Waves celebrated its 10-year anniversary this year from 4–6 November and has therefore came up with the theme Waves 2016– "Tides of Time".



The events and competitions at Waves belong to a variety of cultural categories such as Music, Dance, Literary, Quiz, Drama, Fine Arts, Film, and many more. Here participants get to showcase their talents and win laurels for their respective colleges. Some of the popular competitions include Step-Up, Indian Rock, Jukebox, Contention, Moot Court, Nukkad Naatak, Word Games, and JAM. Over the years, the number of events has increased with several new competitions like "Sizzle" and "Vices Quiz" becoming very popular among the participants. There are more than 40 competitions in total.[4]

The concept of mini-fests was initiated in 2017 edition of Waves.The competitions and events are grouped into four mini-fests. Florence, the performing arts festival. Beau Vista, the design festival. Carpe Dictum, the literary arts festival. Specials, includes interesting line-up of Quiz, Film and Photography events.

Waves, being a popular national cultural festival, also holds the elimination rounds of certain competitions outside the campus in various cities. The event "Show Me The Funny", where Stand-up Comedians from all over India compete, held its elimination rounds in various cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad for Waves 2016. These elimination rounds have seen overwhelming response in these cities in terms of participants and crowd.

Big 4

Natyanjali - Waves'14 Waves14 natyanjali.jpg
Natyanjali – Waves'14

These are the biggest competitions in Waves, which attract the maximum crowd and see a tough tussle between the finest performers from all over India. Teams from various notable colleges all over India enthusiastically participate in these three prestigious and highly coveted events. The Big 3 events are namely:

1) Natyanjali:

Natyanjali is the most popular competition in Waves. It is a group dance competition in which participants show-off their dancing skills to enthrall and amaze the audience. A variety of dance forms and even a blend of Classical and western dance forms can be seen at Natyanjali. The event is judged by famous people from prestigious dance and choreography academies in India.

2) Mr. And Ms. Waves:

This event is the Talent Hunt event of Waves. Participants showcase their varied talents like music, dance, acting etc. Then in the next round they are asked tricky questions to judge their overall personality and attitude.

In Waves 2019, this event was judged by Raghu Ram from the hit show MTV Roadies.

3) FashP:

FashP or Fashion Parade is the prestigious Fashion event of Waves. Thematic ramp walks, new concepts and trends of fashion are showcased in this event. The event has been judged by biggies from fashion training academies like Femina in the past editions of Waves.

This event was judged by Meghna Kaur in the 2019 edition of Waves.

4) SeaRock:

SeaRock - Waves'13 Waves13 searock2.jpg
SeaRock – Waves'13

Tagline: Where Music breathes Life.

"SeaRock" is a national semi-professional band competition and is held in several cities. Searock gives participants the opportunity to make it big in the music Industry. With eliminations in 12 cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Goa, Searock gives contestants the chance to bring out their thoughts and music, and showcase it to the world. SeaRock also hosted Kathmandu elims, Nepal in 2018 for the first time as a part of its expansion process. The winners receive cash prizes, scholarships at the best music academies of the nation and a feature in leading media publications. The top three bands also get to open for the headlining artists on Waves main stage. Searock is one of the highlights of Waves, and attracts a large audience every year.

Lex Omnia Moot Court

A Moot Court Event by the name “Lex Omnia” is another speciality of Waves. Participants from various Law schools all over India participate in this event. In 2015, Waves organised this event in association with NALSAR, Hyderabad, one of India’s leading law school. It received an overwhelming response and was a big hit. The event has shown phenomenal growth since its emancipation.


The Specials at Waves encompass a variety of unconventional events and competitions. Previous editions have included paintball, blackjack, poker, donut eating competition, Limca Book of Records attempt, Guinness World Record attempt, Housie, All Night Treasure Hunt and Last Entrepreneur standing, Wallstreet fete, Ratatouille etc.

Limca Book of Records is an annual reference book published in India documenting human and natural world records. The world records achieved by humans are further categorised in education, literature, agriculture, medical science, business, sports, nature, adventure, radio, and cinema with Limca book of Records rules.

<i>Guinness World Records</i> Reference book listing world records

Guinness World Records, known from its inception from 1955 until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records and in previous United States editions as The Guinness Book of World Records, is a reference book published annually, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. The brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver, the book was co-founded by twin brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter in Fleet Street, London, in August 1954.

Creative works

Zorb Soccer - Waves'14 Waves14 zorbsoccer.jpg
Zorb Soccer – Waves'14
Waves Ball

BITS Goa hosts The Waves Ball, to which couples from all participant colleges are invited. The highlights of the Ball include the elaborate cuisine, a live-band, and a number of fun couple events and games.

Waves Ball at Waves 2015 had a theme "A Midnight in Paris", wherein a very romantic and ecstatic setup was organised for the participants.


Waves hosts a number of workshops, including Belly Dancing, Origami, Skate-Boarding, Beat-boxing, Canvas shoe Painting, Latin dance, Pottery etc. Besides the on-fest workshops, Waves organizes a pre-fest Dance Workshop a month before the fest. This dance workshop gives an opportunity to explore various dance styles taught by professionals from reputed dance academies.

Adventure zone

Waves also organizes a lot of fun loaded adventure events during the three days. Previous editions of Waves had exciting events like Zorb Soccer, Laser tag, Paintball, Bungee Run, Slip soccer, Sumo Wrestling and many more.


Waves organizes informal events to keep people occupied throughout the fest. People can participate in these off beat events and win prizes. Some events in the past include Campus Roadies, Game of Scrolls, flash photography, beg-borrow-steal, Vasco amazing race, twister, limbo, pillow fight, quizzes and many more mobile informals.

Waves associated with NBA in 2015 to conduct a NBA Jam during Waves.

Professional Nites

Waves gained popularity far and wide due to the euphoria and ecstasy it creates in its Professional Nights or Pro-Nites as they are called. Popular national as well as international artists perform every year at Pro Nites. Waves has previously featured the likes of Vishal–Shekhar, Priyanka Chopra, Karsh Kale, Blackstratblues, Kailash Kher, [5] Shafqat Amanat Ali, Shankar Mahadevan, Strings, Indian Ocean, Parikrama (band), Thermal and a Quarter,[6] Pakistani Rock act Raeth (band), Carnatic Rock band Agam (band), Dead Letter Circus, Candice Redding, DJ NYK, DJ Suketu etc.

The Pro-Nites of Waves are divided into 3 Nites, to cater to varied tastes of the audience:

Priyanka Chopra, Vishal-Shekhar at Waves'13 Waves13 vishalshekharpriyanka.jpg
Priyanka Chopra, Vishal-Shekhar at Waves'13
EDM Nite

The EDM Nite is usually held on the last night during which an Electronic musician performs. Previous editions of Waves have seen performances by renowned electronic music artists like Nucleya, Quintino, Marnik, Diego Miranda, Ritviz, etc. This is the biggest musical act of the whole fest and draws the largest crowd.

EDM Nite also hosted an official Pre-Sunburn event in previous editions of Waves.

There are usually two to three acts on EDM night, with the opening acts performing initially followed by the main artist.

Indie Nite

Indie Nite is one of the major nites having performances by renowned Indie Music Artists. In the past the Indie Nite has seen performances by Dead Letter Circus, Blackstratblues, Anand Bhaskar Collective, The Yellow Diary,

Indian Ocean and Sifar among others.

Bollywood Nite

Bollywood Nite is a major crowd gatherer. It has witnessed performances by renowned bollywood such as Vishal–Shekhar, Kailash Kher, Salim Sulaiman and Farhan Akhtar among a lot of others.

Waves 2019

Tagline: En Voyage On Uncharted Ventures!

The 2019 edition of Waves is tipped to be bigger and better than all of its previous editions. The theme "En Voyage On Uncharted Ventures" promises to take the performers on an exhilarating and electrifying journey for the 3 days. The fest is to be held from the 1-3rd November,Though eliminations of different events such as SeaRock, Inverse and SMTF(Show Me The Funny) have already taken place in different cities across the country.

Waves 2018

Tagline: Embrace The Shadows!

Waves 2018 featured events organised by the various clubs of Music, Dance, Literary, Quiz, Drama, Moot Court and the Fine Arts. ‘The Big 4’ events of Waves, Natyanjali, Fashion Parade and Mr. And Ms. Waves and SeaRock attracted a huge crowd of cheering students. Specials, another segment, consisted of unconventional events like Treasure Hunt, Photography Competitions, Film making, Last Entrepreneur standing, etc. This edition of Waves attracted a footfall of over 50,000 with students from 150+ colleges taking part in the events. It was also the first edition of Waves in which a Youtube Conclave was held and many known Youtube celebrities like Meghna Kaur and youtube channel Filter Copy shared a stage and engaged in a fun round of games. The Pro Nites of Waves 2018 saw performances from Farhan Akhtar in the Bollywood Night and Quintino, one of the top 25 DJs in the world performed in the EDM night. The Indie Night saw a performance from music band Anand Bhaskar Collective.

Waves 2017

A Tale In Two Shades!

Waves 2017 came with a completely new concept of celebrating the abstract. It aimed at making the audience forget reality for those three days and take them onto another plane of euphoria. Apart from the Big 3, even the smaller events received overwhelming response. Photography events like ‘Montage’, ‘Mezzo-tint’, ‘Time Lapse’ and ‘Reverse flash’, ‘Waves Open Quiz’, ’Waves Debate Championship’, ‘Rubik’s Cube Challenge’,’Wallstreet Fete’ also saw phenomenal enthusiasm and success.Other events like Searock, Show Me The Funny also showed continued growth from the last edition of Waves. For the bollywood night, vishal-shekhar gave an unforgettable performance and ended the festival on a great note.

Sponsors and associations

Waves, with a footfall exceeding 40,000,witnesses participation from over 150 colleges from across India and thereby serves to provide the ideal target crowd for branding of numerous multinational corporations. Since its inception, Waves has attracted sponsorship associations from industrial giants like Coke Studio, LinkedIn, Cadbury, Britannia, TATA, ICICI Bank, Idea, Crompton Greaves, Reliance, Bharat Petroleum, Hero, Classmate, Redbull, Dell, LG, Reebok, AIRCEL, State Bank of India and Union Bank, T.I.M.E, Parle, Maruti Suzuki, ToneTag to name a few. The crowded sponsorship matrix, with a wide range of repeating sponsors every year, is indicative of the mutually beneficial and productive associations BITS Pilani fosters with its clients.

Waves has associations with some of the top academics of the country for the variety of events in their arsenal. Some of them include Indian Idol Academy, True School of Music(TSM), National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Indian Mime academy, Jogesh Mime Academy, Thespo, NALSAR Bangalore,Indian Institute of Photography, Terrence Lewis Academy, Saroj Khan Dance Academy, Shiamak Dawar International Dance Academy, Indian B-Boying Federation, Indian Institute of Art and Design, Style Fiesta, Chalta Hai Comedy, Old Delhi Films, and the list goes on.

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