Music festivals are one of the most talked about events in India. In a vibrant country as ours where festivals and weddings are family reunions that we look forward to, music festivals are packed with pure enthusiasm, diverse music ethos and the coming together of music lovers from across the country, and even the world. It displays diversity through the essence of music and how different genres can resonate with the likes of so many people.
In the last decade or so, the music festival scenario has really altered the manner in which we perceive events. More often than we can imagine, people do look forward to these festivals. We’ve curated a list of music festivals that are not only the most talked about, but also uphold the spirit of its unique nature of presentation and artist ensemble.
1. Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
Popularly known as ‘The Festival of Festivals’, Hornbill Festival is held between December 1st-December 10th in Nagaland. It exudes Nagaland’s rich cultural heritage through traditional songs and dances performed by each Naga tribe.
Every year, Kohima attracts thousands of tourists to attend this huge festival that comprises music competitions, handicraft and art galores, and popular delicacies of the state. The list can just go on with several events that turn this city into one big extravagant party.
2. Magnetic Fields Festival, Rajasthan
This 3-day music festival is held in the majestic atrium of Alsisar Mahal, Rajasthan. The lively festival houses local and international underground music artists, sumptuous traditional rajasthani food and a display of the city’s vibrant culture and traditions. This extravagant affair is definitely an experience to watch out for with it’s rooftop parties, lengthy row of tents for visitors and watching the sun set in the dreamy deserts of Rajasthan.
3. Sunburn Festival
Ranked as the 3rd largest dance festival in the world, Sunburn festival is a name that very few are oblivious to. With artists and visitors playing and attending from across the world, Sunburn introduced India to electronic music- a genre that was not very popular among most Indians. Started in the 80’s in Goa, Sunburn finally found its new home in Pune in 2016.
4. Echoes Of Earth, Bangalore
Echoes of Earth is India’s greenest music festival. Artists perform and visitors enjoy the spirit of music among the lush greenery of Embassy International Riding School in Bangalore. This music festival is an event with a purpose that not only entertains people, but also educates about sustainability, waste management and maintaining a greener world in the truest sense. This festival is strictly a no plastic zone.
5. Rajasthan International Folk Festival, Jodhpur
Endorsed by UNESCO as a ‘People’s Platform for Creativity and Sustainable Development’, this 5-day festival is held in October in the gigantic Mehrangarh Fort area. The festival encapsulates the many colors of local rajasthani folk talent that stunningly marries the likes of jazz and other genres. A symbolic event that tells us that music knows no boundaries.
6. Kasauli Rhythms and Blues Festival, Himachal Pradesh
Good music, picturesque valleys and electrifying energy is what Kasauli Rhythms and Blues festival is all about. What a brilliant way of celebrating music in a place like Kasauli in the presence of friends or family. This music festival is held every year in the month of April with Indie-pop, Sufi to Bolly Jazz music bands entertaining people. This music festival has our heart.
7. Sulafest, Nasik
Sulafest is India’s biggest vineyard festival that takes place every year in the month of February in Nasik. Apart from tasting a wide range of curated wines, Sulafest is more like a carnival that attracts thousands of people to celebrate the essence of good music, wine and food.
8. Ziro Music Festival , Arunachal Pradesh
Hosted by the members of the Apatani tribe in Ziro, this outdoor music festival opened its gates to music lovers in 2012. Apart from encouraging music lovers across the country, this festival provides a platform for local artists to showcase their potential. This 4-day festival has staged artists like Lee Ronaldo, Steve Shelley, Indus Creed, Barmer Boys and many more.
9. NH7 Weekender
This multi-city and multi-genre music festival is known to many for its diversity of artists and music genres. Every year thousands throng the festival with sheer excitement just to witness this stellar show that has had artists like Nucleya, Shubha Mudgal, Thaikkudam Bridge, Steven Wilson and Indian Ocean perform.
10. Mood Indigo, IIT Mumbai
Mood Indigo is one of the largest college cultural festivals in the country. This festival by IIT Mumbai brings forth a global culture through performances by established and upcoming artists, giving students across various institutes an experience of a kind. Over the years, this festival has garnered immense attention among the young adults of India.
From traveling through the stunning valleys of Arunachal Pradesh to tasting the finest wines in Nasik, these music festivals not only take you through a musical voyage but also opens doors to a realm of cultures and enthusiasm immersed in celebrations We can only hope that once the world gets back to normal, you may be able to travel and bask in the glory of these spectacular music festivals in these scenic locations.
One Page Spotlight has a thriving community of artists that are doing an incredible work of creating good music and we urge you to take a look at several groups like High Note to understand and enjoy established as well emerging music.