From the Rajasthan International Folk Festival to Electric Daisy Carnival India, your guide to the country’s best music destinations
While technology can livestream almost any major music event from across the world to your gadget, nothing compares to the rush and vibe of being there yourself. Get a slice of the action this season as there’s no dearth of live music events in India. Now, despite the Goan authorities mulling about not permitting massive music festivals during its peak season—VH1 Supersonic is slated for February 10-12 in Pune and Sunburn is yet to announce a venue for its December 27-30 event—there are still close to 18 mainstream and underground music extravaganzas charted across the nation, from October till February. Here’s a list of the most exciting and eclectic ones.
Electric Daisy Carnival India,
One of the world’s most popular music festivals, US-based Electric Daisy Carnival makes its Indian debut. With a mix of international and regional EDM heavyweights, including Ferry Corsten, Arjun Vagale, Afrojack, Pearl, Steve Aoki and Nucleya on the bill, almost every sub-genre of electronic music will be featured at the two-day event. Festival goers will also get to witness massive art installations and experience world-class venue productions across its various stages. On November 12-13. At Buddh International Circuit. `4,500 onwards. Details: insider.in
Ever watched a meteor shower atop a 17th-century Rajasthani palace in the wee hours of the morning? Try and catch the Geminid shower at the fourth edition of Magnetic Fields. One of the most eclectic festivals in the country, it showcases a unique contingent of local favourites and international electronic acts, like Daisuke Tanabe (Japan), Roman Flügel (Germany) and Sarathy Korwar (UK). Don’t forget to make your way into the Alsisar Mahal’s dungeons, for one of their infamous after parties. On December 9-11. Tickets: `8,500 onwards. Details: magneticfields.in
India’s largest camping festival takes the multi-genre route and opens its gates to music fanatics of all ages. At the fourth edition of the Enchanted Valley Carnival (EVC), the idyllic Aamby Valley airstrip will feature headliners from across the musical spectrum—think international pop, EDM and Bollywood, including Farhan Akhtar. Besides great music, campers will also get to sample fare from a curated 24-hour, multi-cuisine food fiesta and experience hi-octane activities like bungee jumping. On December 17-18. Pre-sale tickets from `2,750 onwards. Details: bookmyshow.com
India Surf Festival, Puri
The white sands of Ramachandi beach on the Puri-Konark marine drive coast is the ideal setting for the fifth edition of India Surf Festival. At this two-day event, you can learn to conquer the broad board under the watchful eye of surfing experts, participate in water yoga workshops, shop for organic décor products (think bamboo lampshades) or just soak in the sun and swing in a hammock as you chillout to the downtempo sounds of international artistes like SitarSonic (Greece). On November 12-14. Details: indiasurffestival.org
Hill Top Festival, Goa
Every February for the past five years, psychedelic trance enthusiasts from across the nation have been flocking to Vagator beach to attend HillTop’s annual bash. With the 2017 edition already boasting international bigwigs like Astrix, Avalon, Zen Mechanics and Burn in Noise, it looks like the vibe tribe will gather in full force beneath the famous UV-painted coconut grove, to dance till the sun comes up. On February 10-13. Details: facebook.com/HillTopFestival
For the past decade, the Rajasthan International Folk Festival has been a confluence of indigenous Rajasthani and world music. Endorsed by UNESCO, this not-for-profit event unfolds at the gorgeous Mehrangarh Fort—cited by Time magazine as Asia’s Best Fortress—with the blue city as its stunning backdrop. Besides regional doyens like Lakha Khan Mangainyar and Kader Khan Langa (Sindhi sarangi/vocals), fans can also expect performances by world music artistes including DJ Dolphin Boy (Scotland), Söndörgö (Hungary) and Maru Tarang (Australia) at this four-day-long festival. Donor passes from `5,000 onwards.On October 13-17.
NH7 Weekender, multiple cities
Widely considered to be one of the best-curated music festivals in the country, this year’s 2016 Bacardi NH7 Weekender will leave you spoilt for choice. If quirky flea markets and sinful cocktail counters don’t excite you, the artiste roster certainly will. While progressive rock torchbearer Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree fame) headlines Shillong (October 21-22), homegrown bass music guru Nucleya takes over Hyderabad (November 5-6) and legendary hip-hop artiste DJ Premier will spin his tunes in Pune (December 2-4). Tickets from `2,000. Details: insider.in/nh7-weekender