There are festivals like Storm in Coorg, Escape in Uttarakhand and NH-7 in Pune and Bangalore, but the GoMAD festival, which successfully debuted in Ooty last year, has elated fans describing it as the ‘Woodstock of India’. Set around the famous Fern Hill Palace, GoMAD is back on October 25 to 27 with a louder bang, over 400 acts, and something special for the ladies.
Electronic and art
“It is an annual festival spanning three days of music, arts, dance and camping out in the wilderness of the Nilgiris, dedicated to an eclectic motley of creative arts,” says Vikram Sampath of Cobalt, the organisers. The acts span the cultural spectrum, from electronica and pop to swirling dancers and art installations. This travelling festival changes its location every two years giving audiences a fresh, new experience each time. Last year, performers like Indian Ocean, Agam and the Isha Sharvani Dance Company, kept audiences enthralled, and this year promises to be no different. Some of the must-watch performances include, the Shobana Dance Company, Noori from Pakistan, Jeremiah Ferrari from UK, Prem Joshua, Veronica Nunes and Blot,” Sampath tells us.
Music in wonderland
GoMAD brings together professional artistes from around the world with no strings attached. “We like to present music that is excellent, passionate and original, regardless of genre or geographical origin — from whirling dancers and installation artistes to folk musicians, jazz and reggae acts, there is plenty of variety,” Sampath elaborates, adding that with musical genres merging, this format is proving to be hugely popular. And few can resist the opportunity to travel entirely for fun. “A festival like this works on multiple levels. It is a great platform for musicians, dancers and artistes while audiences love the experience of being in a wondrous outdoor setting,” says Sampath.
This year, there is an exclusive camping facility for women within the premises. The ladies-only camping site, Camp G, is set away from the bustling arenas and main campsite but close enough for convenient access with ample security and all the comforts you can hope for at a camp. Sampath calls it, “simply a zone for girls to have fun while feeling safe”.
Daily pass: Rs 1,500; Camp package : Rs 10,000; Palace package: Rs 50,000. Available at bookmyshow.com
— Susanna Chandy