The last decade has witnessed a sea of change in festival and concert venues for the Indian music fan. From forests and hills to fortresses and palaces, concert organisers have inspired a new wave of locations. The latest venue to emerge is the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat that will host Into The Void — a three-day music festival. The fiesta on the white desert, comprising over 20 acts, is making its debut on the Indian gig calendar starting February 10.

Local to national
The idea of the concert originated inside Mississippi Café in Ahmedabad. “Many local artistes would perform there. Since Gujarat is a dry state, it is difficult to hold people inside a venue only for music. But this café would pay every artiste for their gig, before they would eventually head out to Mumbai or Pune for better opportunities.

The festival is the brainchild of the café’s owner, Mehul Mittra,” reveals Abhishek Narayanan, Mittra’s colleague. Narayanan is helping to promote the festival in a big way.

“We have been planning the festival for two years. The idea was to spot an exotic location,” says Narayanan, speaking on behalf of Mittra, who is busy preparing the logistics for the event.

They had to tie up with Gujarat Tourism to lock the venue. “Initially, our concert was supposed to be held during Rann Utsav, but that would have limited the number of acts. The collaboration with the state tourism board helped us secure a space, beside the venue of the Rann Utsav,” he informs.

Artistes’ talk
Yohan Marshall, drummer and vocalist of The Family Cheese, was one of the first musicians to get a call from Mittra’s team. “We wanted to be a part of it because of the location. We heard the line-up, and it sounded fantastic. It is an event where we’d like to rub shoulders with good bands, as well as discover ourselves musically,” says Marshall, who believes it will be a challenge to play in the desert. “There are going to be tents, it is a vast expanse, now imagine music in such a beautiful setting. I can already see good vibes,” he adds.

Singer-songwriter Dhruv Visvanath, who is also part of the line-up, has never performed in Kutch. “It will be my first. I am excited to see the Rann of Kutch. I am keeping my expectations low because I like surprises as fantastic as this,” admits the musician who is just back from a pan India tour to promote his original music.

There will be no alcohol served at the venue; visitors can either rent a tent or pitch your own.

On February 10 to 12, 5 am onwards
At Dhordo Kutch, White Rann of Kutch. LOG ON TO www.insider.in
Cost Rs 3,000 onwards