With the spurt in music festivals in India in recent years, organisers have started coming up with quirky and interesting ways to spice up the festival experience. Being part of the music scene for the last 5 years and having performed in all kinds of unique locations and funky stages, I can tell you one thing: if music runs in your veins, you need to absolutely visit these fabulous music festivals across India:
1. Ziro Festival - Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
Going to Ziro village in Arunachal Pradesh was an adventure in itself, with crazy roads and almost no connectivity lending the place an otherworldly feel. Here, music lovers can enjoy gigs by performers from all over the country in one of the most stunning and overwhelmingly beautiful locations in India. It was also one of the best gigs that I have ever played. The people are warm and so are the nightly bonfires.
2. Hornbill Festival - Kohima, Nagaland
This festival is a combination of music, art, dance and culture culminating in a magnificent rock contest between bands from all over the country. Kohima, Nagaland, has a Government-sponsored music task force which supports music learning in school really sorted me out with whatever i needed, apart from making me feel at home. I definitely got a Woodstock/Burning Man vibe from the place, with ample availability of rice beer and the presence of all kinds of hippies, bikers and other funky characters.
3. India Surf Festival - Puri, Orissa
Held in Puri, Orissa, this festival combines surfing, music and art. The music and the beach complement each other perfectly, with mellow rock and folk music drifting over the sandy shores through the day. Pretty much all my favorite things in one place.
4. New Wave Festival - Goa
Placed to be held in Goa for the first time ever in November, this punk and indie festival has over 60 acts playing including artists like Shonen Knife who were personal favorites of Kurt Cobain himself! This is a festival I am personally looking forward to as the beaches and hills of Goa are the perfect backdrop to a 2 day party of punk raging.
5. Bacardi NH7 Weekender
A yearly festival that started out in Pune, NH7 Weekender has expanded into a multi-city event attracting international bands such as Megadeth and Mutemath. Every Weekender that I have attended, both as a performer and as a part of the audience, has been a thrilling experience where I have gotten to witness acts that are at the cutting edge of hip-hop, reggae and rock. I also danced my socks off.