India's first alternative rock festival, the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, has announced its inaugural line-up, but few people outside of the subcontinent will recognize the majority of artists on the bill.

Set to take place Dec. 11-12 in the Western India city of Pune, domestic acts Pentagram, Indian Ocean, Midival Punditz and Bicycle Days are among the 40-plus Indian alt-rock groups confirmed to play the 2-day festival, which has a total capacity of 20,000.

The organizers' promise of "big name" artists from the United Kingdom and North America has not, however, materialized with British pop rock band the Magic Numbers the most high profile Western act confirmed to appear. Other U.K. acts set to the play NH7 include hip-hop act Asian Dub Foundation, indie dance band Reverend Soundsystem and London-based Tamil singer Susheela Raman, whose debut album "Salt Rain" (Narada/EMI) was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2001. BBC Radio 1 DJ Nihal will also perform at the festival.

Co-organizer Stephen Budd tells that he "is very happy with the line-up that we've got," but does concede that budget constraints and scheduling difficulties restricted the availability of booking big draw alt-rock groups.

"Schedule wise you've got a situation where it's running up to Christmas and if bands are on tour they're doing their European dates, so that was an issue. That made it quite challenging to try and find the right people," says Budd, co-founder of Supervision Management, now owned by U.K. entertainment retailer HMV, which handles Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs. The U.K.-based artist manager personally represents the Magic Numbers.

Vijay Nair, managing director of Mumbai-based promoters and artist management company Only Much Louder (OML), is also a co-organizer of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, named after the NH7 highway, which runs through the heart of India.

Budd would not disclose the names of international acts he approached to play NH7, but says that he was engaged in talks with a number of Canadian alt-rock groups, as well as one U.S.-based band but "time wise it didn't work for them."

"One has to be willing to work to a different level of budget and level of expectation when you're breaking a new market," Budd goes on to say, adding that he is open to the possibility of moving future editions of the NH7 festival to a different time in the year to attract a stronger international line up.

"This is a learning process for us so we'll see how it works. If it's going to make more sense to move it to January and tie it up with when The Big Day Out people are coming back from Australia so they can stop off in India we may consider that," he states.

Tickets for the inaugural event cost 1,500 Indian rupees ($32.70) for a full pass and go on sale in the next few days. In line with the organizers' past experience of promoting alt-rock gigs in India, Budd estimates that they will sell between 25% and 50% of tickets in advance with the remainder selling on the door. In December 2009 OML promoted six well-attended Indian shows by U.K. alt-folks Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling, who posted footage on her website, with venues ranging from the 200-capacity Pune High Spirits to the 700-capacity Mumbai Bandra Amphitheatre.

"It's quite a tense game for the promoter to see whether it's worked or not but people tend to turn up literally on the day. It's just not the culture of doing these things in advance in India," says Budd, who remains optimistic that NH7 will prove a big hit with Indian alternative rock fans.

"This first [NH7 festival] is all about proving the concept: does the Indian public respond to it? Do they like it?," continues Budd, who adds that if the debut Bacardi NH7 Weekender proves successful he will consider expanding the festival into a Lollapalooza-type event, where a fixed bill tours a number of different locations throughout India.

"There's a lot of bigger cities than Pune with larger populations who we think will respond to this," he adds. "There's a real willingness from everybody [in India] to make this work."