If you meet someone at a gig and they say “tis the season” they’re talking about music festivals that roll out in the next three to five months — when it’s (apparently) the most pleasant to be outdoors and coinciding with the big-spending religious festivals like Dusshera, Diwali and Christmas.
And if you haven’t done this before, don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. After having attended a bunch of festivals over the years, we can tell you exactly which one is the right fit for you, no judgments, save for a few tongue-in-cheek ones.
Bacardi NH7 Weekender
Dates: 27-28 October (venue TBA, Meghalaya), 8-10 December (venue TBA, Pune)
You’ll Fit in Because: It’s been in the running for eight years now and it’s definitely become the biggest music festival in the country by curating something for everyone. Whether you dig metal, rock, Bollywood, electronic or hip-hop (or hell, even all of the above), Weekender’s got you covered across three or two days featuring everyone from American mathcore stalwarts Dillinger Escape Plan to axeman Steve Vai to hip-hop trio Swet Shop Boys and an exclusive performance by director/composer Vishal Bhardwaj, well worth the travel from wherever you are.
But you may run into: A lot of under-21s who want you to buy them a bucket or two, way too many of the let-me-take-a-selfie types and standing next to people who have no idea who they’re watching.
Bonus: You get to hear bands like Dillinger Escape Plan and Dutch metallers Textures on their final run of shows before calling time on their respective bands.
Tickets for Meghalaya and Pune, available here.
Magnetic Fields Festival
Dates: 15-17 December (Alsisar Mahal, Rajasthan)
You’ll Fit in Because: You like to party and you like some form of heritage-related education along the way. More importantly, you like to attend an intelligent, well-curated party, which will (so far) feature sets by future garage artist Sandunes, UK electronic artist Actress and more, including a very special audio-visual set called Different Trains 1947.
But you may run into: People don’t really care about what kind of party it is — they’re out there in a majestic palace and probably searching for substance, just to heighten the already awesome sensory experience that Mag Fields always promises. Know who to avoid.
Bonus: When they say it’s about music and arts, Magnetic Fields carefully curate everything from visual artists to writers and poets to electronic producers and bands. So even if you don’t dig the music, there’ll be plenty more to do.
For tickets and additional details, click here.
Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF)
Dates: 5-9 October (Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur)
You’ll Fit in Because: You’re a real connoisseur (maybe even a snob) for folk, fusion and world music that is not bound by instrument or genres. If you like a dawn concert delivered by the best Rajasthani folk singers. This time, there’s even a dawn session with Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna on one day, and another featuring Manipuri vocalist Mangka and Nagaland-bred blues veteran Rewben Mashangva. The rest of the day, you can sit in courtyards and listen to the best in the business, including Gypsy jazz by Nicotine Swing and Scottish composer Ross Ainslie.
But you may run into: The wrong kind of snob. The one who thinks if you don’t anything about the tradition of Manganiyars or the raag that’s been rendered, then you have no place at a festival. What do you mean you’re trying to learn?
Bonus: If you stay up late enough (or wake up early enough), you’ll get to witness once-in-a-lifetime performances in a setting that can’t be beat.
Donor passes on jodhpurriff.org
Wonderflip — A Magical Circus
Dates: 9-12 November (Ravla Khempur Haveli, near Udaipur)
You’ll Fit in Because: You really dig dance music, hardcore electronic music and you think India might finally have a reputable enough answer to a crazy immersive festival that actually wants to involve you in creating an experience, by surrounding you with stilt walkers, the classic well of death, clowns and yes, even funky music by the likes of reggae band The Fanculos, dreamy electronic sets by GRAIN, Komorebi, Atmos and high-energy performances by seasoned producers such as Gaudi and Ankytrixx.
But you may run into: People who are probably way too into wearing masks, dressing up or just behaving in a way that creates a separate identity for themselves, which the festival encourages a la Burning Man.
Bonus: There’s probably tons of intentionally hidden secret passageways or even stages where artists will perform and for its first edition, it seems massively focussed on creating an experiential festival through and through.
Ziro Festival of Music
Dates: 28 September to 1 October (Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh)
You’ll Fit in Because: You’ve travelled an incredible number of hours not just to see artists like Damo Suzuki (of pioneering krautrock act Can), Barmer Boys, post-rock band Aswekeepsearching and Reggae Rajahs bring the party, but also because you can experience nature at its best, with your head nearly in the clouds.
But you may run into: A lot of loud-mouth, insensitive festival-goers who are just there to load on the apong (rice beer) and stumble around while shouting whatever they want into the air and pick a few fights while they’re at it. It’s one way to experience a festival, we suppose.
Bonus: The local stalls that set up at Ziro are your best bet for food. Considering vendors come in from fairly far distances to serve food, this is a must for any gastronome.
Tickets and details available here.
Goa International Jazz Live Festival
Dates: 9-10 December (Stone Water Eco Resort, Bogmalo)
You’ll Fit in Because: You’re going to watch the most mind-bending kind of music and collaborations in India this year at a chilled-out resort festival in the country. You’re either a music geek, a music student or an intense jazz fan who’s seen a lot and are now ready to have their mind-blown moments courtesy of artists such as Jojo Mayer/Nerve, trumpeter Erik Truffaz’s collaboration with Mumbai ambient artist Riatsu and more.
But you may run into: Probably a few more jazz snobs and maybe the occasional guy in a chair who’s asking you to sit down and enjoy the music, which is nowhere near as bad as the things that may or may not happen at the above-listed festivals.
Bonus: You’re in Goa, in December, before any electronic music festivals (what’s left of them, anyway) take over.
More details here.
Published Date: Sep 03, 2017 09:28 am | Updated Date: Sep 03, 2017 09:28 am