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With over 100 artistes, 30 dining options and some great wines to sample, SulaFest 2016 wants to make this weekend memorable

This year, SulaFest is taking things up a notch. With the tagline, Rhythm of the Vines, the ninth edition of the gourmet and world music festival is bigger and better. This weekend will see 100 international and Indian artistes performing at the vineyards in Nashik—including headliners The Cat Empire, the Australian ska and jazz band, which is making its Indian début—while the likes of Social, The Bombay Food Truck, and Olive Bar & Kitchen will serve up great dishes. “SulaFest is about offering the freshest of everything. This time, there is more focus on quality than quantity, so we are not looking for more people (last year saw over 12,000). Rather, we are making the experience more special,” says Cecilia Oldne, VP marketing, elaborating how guests can sample limited-edition wines in the revamped and extended Tasting Room, sip on beer and other liquors (curated by their import portfolio, Sula Selections), and enjoy a sit-down organic gourmet meal at Soleil by La Plage. “It’s tomato season, so you can expect plenty of them in Chef Morgan Rainforth’s menu, along with fresh produce like asparagus, free range chicken, and more,” she adds. There is also Vero Moda launching its Spring/Summer 2016 collection in an exclusive fashion show. Read on to find out what else awaits you.

Tomorrow and Sunday, from 12.30 pm. Rs 2,200 for a one-day pass.
Details: in.bookmyshow.com/sulafest.net

Sweet note
Meanwhile, at London Dairy’s Indulgence Zone, besides a special ice cream and wine pairing (by invite only), guests can try fresh creations from the chefs, combining Honeybell cakes and red velvet muffins with their range of flavours. “We will also let consumers create their own combinations to make the experience more indulgent, at a cost of Rs 200 per serving,” says Shweta Shrivastava, head of marketing of the premium ice cream brand.

By the beat
Don’t miss the action on the two music stages. “While curating the festival, I’ve tried to cover as many genres as possible,” explains Jehan Johar, head of Ra Music. “The Sula vibe is a happy, positive one, so we’ve selected all the artists based on the vibe of their music,” he adds. Don’t miss: Kailasa, Balkan Beat Box, Madboy/Mink, Bono Goldbaum, and the others. There will also be a tribute to Bob Marley tomorrow.

Of red and white
Wine tastings are a must-do. Take a tour of the wine cellar, along with a wine tasting, for Rs 400 per person. The tasting will include five wines—the Brut Tropicale, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Dindori Reserve Shiraz and Late Harvest Chenin Blanc.

At the bazaar
There’s plenty on offer at this flea market, with both local and Mumbai brands. Expect names like Tressesory (handcrafted hair accessories), Grapes (leather bags), Be Bajrang (men’s accessories) and OnuOru (boho clothing). There will also be other offerings like foot massages and tarot reading.

App check
Sula has tied up with food delivery app Swiggy. So order from any stall and get your food delivered to right where you are. Also, a tie up with Airtel Money means you can enjoy cashless payments at the fest.

Purple crush
Since they are harvesting the cabernet sauvignon and shiraz grapes at the moment, expect to crush these deep purple fruit when you get into the two big wooden vats at the event, for a spot of grape stomping. “It’s one of our most popular activities and it gives guests an opportunity to be a part of how things were done in the earlier days,” says Oldne. From 12.30-7 pm. Rs 300 per person.

Delhi 2 Dublin
Expect sheer madness when Delhi 2 Dublin, the final act at SulaFest take over the Main Stage, to unleash their ‘desi-bass music’. This five-member Vancouver-based band has been fusing bhangra and funky electronica with dub-reggae basslines—as heard on their previous hi-octane albums including Turn Up The Stereo—since 2006. “Partygoers can expect folksy-yet-electronic tunes from our brand new album, We’re All Desi,” shares tablist Tarun Nayar (of Beats without Borders fame), adding that the band is headed to Arizona (USA) next week, to play at the Gem and Jam Festival.

The Cat EmpireCatEmpire
For nearly two decades, this Australia-based sextet has been defying genre lines by crafting six chart topping albums that merge jazz, reggae, funk, Latin, gypsy and hip-hop. Now, The Cat Empire are headlining on the Main Stage, prior to the release of their much-awaited seventh artist album, titled Rising with the Sun. Besides providing jazz/ska enthusiasts with a sneak peak at what to expect from the upcoming album, the ARIA Award-winning artistes may showcase a few of their all-time hits including Sly, Two Shoes and No Longer There.

Edu Imbernon
This Valencia-based artiste, who rose to fame circa 2009 by remixing The XX’s Crystalised, is one of the most in-demand electronic music artistes right now. One look at this underground DJ-producer’s tour schedule—with gigs lined up in UAE, India, Israel, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey and Spain just in February—will convince all nay-sayers. “SulaFest will be treated to my melodic, intense and dreamy soundscapes. Best heard on my latest track, Fixing Fires, as it captures my combination of live instrumentation and vocals combined with electronics,” shares the house-techno artiste, who’s headlining the Atmasphere stage.

—Surya Praphulla Kumar and Anoop Menon

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