The Definitive ATMOS Review

Guidelines:

  • Credit where it’s due
  • Honesty where it’s necessary

[Note to self: Mention the ridiculous extra guy in the inaug that nobody acknowledged the existence of.]

From TRW to the finance major, from the manifestos of the SU to the new Bru – we have reviewed them all. Nothing escapes the scrutiny of TDB’s zealous jury – every flaw, every mishap demands the Iron price. Oh, and we praise the good parts too ( we’re a really nice bunch of people, here).

So it’s time for the first fest since TDB’s inception to submit to our Judgment (yes, the swagger of that statement is simply undeniable). On a serious note, though, our technical fest really was a great experience, beating its predecessors hollow in sheer quality and quantity of participation alone, and while mishaps did occur, that is to be expected in a fest of this magnitude. So here’s an attempt to weigh out the glories and glitches of the fest on a just balance.

We bring to you, The Daily BITSian‘s review of ATMOS 2014…

PART I: BEFORE DAY ZERO

THE WEBSITE

What worked: It was up early. Someone actually started working on it. It was pretty.

What didn’t: The process of uploading event details was poorly coordinated; so for a long time, it was a good website with a “coming soon” in most places. The biggest problem, though, was just how goddamn long it took for the website to load. (Try keeping a basic HTML version as well, next time. Please.)

PUBLICITY

What worked: Oh man, the number of people. Amazing damn work. More people in one day than the sum total of the people last year, as I heard someone mutter whilst they struggled for space in the LTC atrium.

What didn’t: Events weren’t publicized as aggressively as the flashier stuff. This probably stems from the website issue. Another unforeseen problem was the extended Bathukamma-Navaratri holidays that was declared as ‘Telangana’s first holiday’, which put a severe damper on our door-to-door publicity.

***

PART II: DAY ZERO (INAUGURATION)

THE FORMAL SECTION

What worked: We’ve got our job easy here – the first open event in the Auditorium! Every moment was worth it. Another pleasant surprise was the fact that BoSM winners were felicitated: amidst the loud cheers of all BITSians, the Chief Guest of the evening, Mr. K. Tarak Rama Rao, awarded them with their certificates.

What didn’t: Let’s be honest, the hosts could have been better. But the sad part was the fact that we were utterly unprepared for the extra guest who was invited (to be or not to be), which meant the Technical Convenor couldn’t sit in the seat of honour. The mispronunciation of names and the unaccounted speech by the Guest of Honour, further added to the woes, and Murphy’s law seemed hell bent on playing the devil.

THE CULTURAL PART

What worked: Terrific performances. Each performing club left an indelible mark with their first ever Audi performance, and they performed their hearts out on the best stage this campus can offer. The swag, the mood, the humour, the moves and the shades (pun intended) – Perfection itself couldn’t craft it out better.

What didn’t: The acoustics in the auditorium screamed of cheap engineering. The Lights and Sounds Department had absolutely no way to anticipate this, which means that we seriously need to rethink a way of resolving the sound engineering and acoustics of the auditorium. A source in the music club, though, says that the Engineering Services Department is working on this. On a different note, the Audi was booked only till 11PM. After continuous pleading with the incharge and the technicians, the timings were extended. Nevertheless, the hosts had to shorten their roles and the movie club could not proceed with their plans. The Quiz Club’s dreams of having their first Auditorium Quiz were quashed too. The impatient and sometimes immature audience was another peeve: if some performance is beyond your comprehension powers, resorting to booing performances is not the best course of action. This lack of respect for performers is fast transforming into a serious issue that needs to be pondered upon.

***

PART III: DAY ONE

WHILE THE SUN SHONE

What worked: The LTC. The first look at the atrium was beautiful. People flocked everywhere. Almost every event complained of too many people. The numbers just brought a smile to the weary faces of people like us, who have desired and dreamed of such traffic for 2 years now. BITSian time changed from T+0400 hours to T+0030 – a much-awaited relief for the campus participants. Both, ControlZ and the organisers deserve credit for this.

What didn’t: Either we need to improve the food tastes of the people who get the stalls, or we simply need more food stalls. The pay-and-eat in the messes calls for 12 meals that take a bite out of your wallet. And stalls with repetitive food at exorbitant prices do not make survival easier. Also, the fest is too concentrated in and around Academic Block. One might try and make better use of the vast lawns and SAC.

IN THE WEE DARK HOURS

What worked: (Disclaimer: Gujju reviewing, please evaluate accordingly) The unexpectedly delightful part of ATMOS ’14 has to be the Garba-Dandiya Night, that boasted of people, music and dance for a continuous three and half hours, taking Stage-2 Lawns by storm. The Gujarati Association of BPHC had a reason to rejoice, all visible in the energetic dances, that were fueled by the music of the live orchestra and the enthusiasm of people. It was indeed the “Sanedo” time, and kudos to the Gujarati Association for it. (That’s what the Gujju said. :3)

What didn’t: Basic facilities near a proshow. Continuous dancing demands a continuous supply of water and soft drinks to keep the crowd going, and its lack thereof calls for a solution to this issue the next time around. The dilemma over the in-time of the Bhawans was troublesome too (generally unheard of, during a fest), and an amicable reasoning needs to be worked out amongst the SU, the administration and the Chief Warden. Advance permissions and proper intimation to the rest of the campus, next time.

***

PART IV: DAY TWO

WHILE THE SUN SHONE

What worked: More people. Phase two of the fest had already made this the biggest ATMOS, till date, in terms of footfall (hell yeah!). Signature events of Robowars, Mini GP, etcetera, retained their rightful place in the headlines, and the quality of participation surpassed the previous editions as well. The workshops continued to witness surprisingly good participations, and the marvel of engineering coupled with entertainment garnered attention from one and all.

What didn’t: The much awaited Stark Expo ’14 was a major disappointment. Apart from poor organization and lack of coordination which was pretty evident, a 3D printer, non-Newtonian fluid, an SAE car and a Segway were the only attractions (besides the girl distributing free Red Bulls, that is). Also, the holographic lecture by the Director failed to arouse enough interest, and the football lawns were spotted with a mere 100 students interested to watch the show. However, Stark Expo’14 was a beautiful trial, that needs to be tackled better in the coming editions.

IN THE WEE DARK HOURS

What worked: The surprise element. True to the BITSian philosophy of pulling all-nighters, events were chalked up quick and unique, and conducted by club members and non-club junta alike. Gaming, charades, movie screenings (oh, Pablo) or just some time well spent with good old friends: this was definitely a night to remember.

What didn’t:  The preparations in the twelfth minute – though successful – was unnecessary: a prior intimation to the clubs could have quadrupled the effect. Also, the food stalls (and people) suffered from the lack of, well, food. One more thing which could have been rectified with advance planning.

***

PART V: DAY THREE

THE FINAL SUNRISE

What worked: That final lap of arranging of events – and ensuring the participation and audience – for the day of Grand Finales, is not easy. Especially when the two exhausting months of hard work, culminating in two sleepless days of almost flawless organizing comes crashing down to an ultimate end. Yet all’s well that ends well, and the concluding phase of events ended on a high note, with the finales fixing new benchmarks, and displaying the tremendous growth of talent and technology in ATMOS.

What didn’t: ATMOS ‘14 drew to a close. Other grievances don’t even rank.

TONIGHT. THE LAST NIGHT.

What worked: End it with a bang (that’s what she said :3) – and “Paradigm Shift” sure did. The “Roja” encore and the ceaseless headbanging were enough proof for how boisterous the crowd was. Honestly, this may not have been the best proshow on campus, but it was good enough for that final trumpet of ATMOS ‘14.

What didn’t: The acoustics were horrible, the lyrics (often) inaudible, and the speakers were nothing to write home about. Personal take, logistics for Agam’s performance was handled better. (Consider that the author has already seen Paradigm Shift performing, with better arrangements.) The in-time in the Bhawans was another pain to deal with – again – though reasons cited for it was a mishap earlier in the morning.

Arvind Badri and Sagar Shah

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