The fifth edition of the Covelong Point Festival promises a huge party by the beach for Chennaiites.
The fishing village of Kovalam, south of Chennai on the ECR might not be famous for the molaga bajjis, horse rides or corn like Marina or Besant Nagar, but the beautiful beaches are an excellent spot for water activities. Home to a large number of talented surfers, the town grew to become popular for sea food and water sports.
Tapping the potential of the village, surfer Arun Vasu, yoga enthusiast Yotam Agam brought together a buzzing cultural exchange — the Covelong Point Festival.
Even after five years, the festival never fails to gather attention. With three major activities such as surfing, music and yoga, the organisers also bring something new every year. This edition will also have a lot of merchandise and food stalls, apart from surfing lessons and spa sessions!
Revealing more about how it all started, Yotam shares, “Arun and I met through a mutual friend. We wanted to build a community development programme which gathers a lot of people that is also fun. But, a mix of surfing, yoga and music was not planned! There is a huge growth in tourism for Kovalam.”
Adding that the people have equipped themselves to the changing needs, he says, “People are more hospitable; the villagers provide a homely atmosphere to all the visitors. We also give back to the community by uniting with them and setting up stalls.”
Stating that they expect a crowd of 20,000 people at Kovalam for the fest, the organisers also reveal, “People like it because there is diversity in the contents. There’s music ranging from classical to electronic, the newest styles of yoga and surfing lessons and an opportunity to explore the villages. We want to keep this going. When we cross the challenges like acquiring sponsorships and unpredictable weather, we’re good to go!”
Taking on the ocean!
Braving the waves and riding into the sunset, the surfers from across the globe are part of the surf competition conducted each year. More than just crashing into the water with your paddle, surfing is a sport that involves a lot of training and dedication. Techniques like maneuvering, how long you stay on a wave, your cut back skills and how you finish a wave with as many tricks as possible gets you the prize.
Two-time Covelong Surf winner, Suhasini Damian shares more about the competition, “The ocean was my home since childhood. Owing to the fact that I live in Auroville, I am surrounded by sea and sea-lovers. When my boyfriend introduced me to surfing, I fell in love with it. I have been surfing ever since and I will continue.” She adds, “The fest is a great platform for all surfers to meet and discuss. Our competition goes up to 4 pm or 5 pm and we relax and go together as a group to listen to the music at night!”
The 12-time national stand-up paddling champion Sekar Patchai and other local surfers will also take part in the event.”
Healing the body and soul
Meditating by the beach with different yoga poses is a great workout idea. Experts from various countries will perform live and teach you the yogic way of life. The four yogashalas also bring together renowned yoga and meditation teachers, sound therapists, alternative healers, masseuse specialists and martial artists for holistic wellness. Thai yoga massage, kalaripayattu, sunset meditation, blind fold yoga, chakra live yoga, yin yang yoga, sun salutations, detox and more are part of the yoga schedule.
Israeli yoga instructor Roni Friedman shares about her expectations of the festival saying, “This is the first time I will be part of the CP fest. Yoga has made a great difference to my life and I want to impart it to everyone. Meditation with dance is one of the unique yoga sessions that I would be conducting. We usually have a lot of things going on our mind and fully dedicated meditation is hard; that is why we use a mix of meditation and dance.” Adding that her experience with the locals of Kovalam was great, she says, “I stayed with an Indian village family and they treated me like one of their own. I love the culture here and I expect a great integration of artists from many countries.”
Getting high on music
With a huge acoustic stage set-up on the beach, the most famous bands from the country are at the ready to perform music in the evenings. The Raghu Dixit Project, Orlando & the Medium Rare Band, Divine, Skrat, Bemet and more popular music troupes will be performing for the large crowd till 10 pm. Sing in unison with the musicians and dance the night off in high energy!
Karthik from IndoSoul by Karthik Iyer shares about his band’s performance, stating, “Concerts are a great way to interact with the audience. We are launching our most-awaited album Two sides of Karma live in the CP fest. We are very excited about performing it live. Our performance will be a resonance were we the musicians express and the audience experience! The thrill of playing live concerts is much more fun.”
(The Covelong Point Festival will be held from August 25 to 27 at Kovalam. Visit covelongpoint.com/festival )