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Travel special: Music fests across India that you must attend

With the monsoon making a gradual retreat, several parts of the country are gearing up to host music festivals. So, pick your favourite destination and pack your bags for a trip down musical lane

Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh
The North-East section of India is a travel haven, which has not yet been explored to the hilt. And arts and music festivals are more than a good reason to get out there. One of the big names is the Hornbill Festival held in Kohima, Nagaland.

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It showcases performances by accomplished local artistes such as the traditional Naga dancers (in pic) and has even a chilli eating contest as a fun activity on the side! The highlight of the festival is the Rock contest that calls for both Indian and international entries and the best band slugs it out to win the trophy.

Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh

The entries to the contest are open till October 15.  Another festival that is set in the idyllic locales of Arunachal Pradesh is the Ziro Music Festival held in Ziro Valley. This outdoor music festival has seen a mix of talented Indian artistes such as Sky Rabbit, Whirling Kalapas, Peter Cat Recording Co and a mix of international artistes as well. It also serves as a great venue to taste local cuisines.

Hornbill Festival: December 1 to 10
Log on to: www.hornbillfestival.com
Ziro Music festival: September 25 to 28
Log on to: zirofestival.com

Rajasthan
The beauty of Rajasthan is such that its architecture, people and culture inspire you to immerse yourself in various forms of art. And other than government-organised festivals, the state hosts two very different music festivals (in addition to Ragasthan that happens at the beginning of the year) — Jodhpur RIFF and Magnetic Fields.

Rajasthan

While Magnetic Fields is a boutique festival that has limited entries and is held in the beautiful Alsisar Mahal, Jodhpur RIFF features a wide spectrum of artistes. The diversity can be seen in this year’s line-up that includes a talk by Nina Sabnani on the Kaavad tradition of storytelling to Bhanwari Devi of the Bhopa Bhopi tradition.

Jodhpur riff: October 8 to 12
Log on to: www.jodhpurriff.org
magnetic fields: December 12 to 14
Log on to: www.magneticfields.in

Aamby Valley
If you love camping out and Electronic Dance Music (EDM), the Enchanted Valley Carnival is the place to be. You can either bring your own tent or hire one and stay at the Enchanted Village, the capacity of which has been doubled this year, owing to last year’s response. And this year’s line-up includes EDM great, David Guetta.

Aamby Valley

Other international names include Ferry Corsten, Aly and Fila, SolarStone, Aruna and Markus Schulz. The Indian names include  Alien Chutney (Vir Das), Anish Sood, Dualist Inquiry, Lost Stories, Nucleya, Ash Roy, Reggae Rajahs, Nawed Khan, Bullzeye, Praveen Achary, Quiver and Calm Chor.

From: December 19 to 21
Log on to: www.evc.co.in

Goa
This is where the EDM craze hit India. Goa served as the  perfect destination for those raving to the electronic beats of  Indian and international DJs with its beer and sands. The biggest names are Sunburn music festival and Supersonic, which started last year at Candolim. Sometimes considered commercial, these festivals played an important role in popularising the concept of destination music festivals in India. “There’s something magical about Candolim beach in Goa: its golden sands, Arabian sea sunsets and the surge of euphoria as thousands of hands reach for the lasers simultaneously in December.

Albin-Myers-at-VH1-Supersonic-2
Albin Meyers at Supersonic

Adding to that sense of euphoria this year are a range of artistes that we’ve invited from across the globe, to perform at the second edition of the festival. If you’re a fan of Dance music, this is where you need to be,” says Nikhil Chinapa, the man behind Supersonic, about the venue which has been doing wonders for the festival. As for the names of the headliners, there are still rumours floating around. Confirmed names include legendary DJ Paul Van Dyk, and The Chainsmokers, who are behind the Selfie song. With their assured arrival, bring out the camera and take one while listening to the song Selfie in the party capital of India!

VH1 supersonic: December 27 to 30
Log on to: gosupersonic.com
Sunburn: December 27 to 29
Log on to: sunburn.in

Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore, Delhi
NH7 Weekender was supposed to be an Indie music festival that would attract those who truly love contemporary and local Indian acts with a sprinkling of international names. The festival received so much love that it is now held in four cities and the list of artistes has just become longer, but the festival still retains its charm. Vijay Nair,  co-founder and director of Only Much Louder, the organising company, tells us, “This year, we will have the festival back to back in all the cities in order to share the headlining acts.

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And 60% of the acts are first-time acts, with a mix of names such as Indian Ocean, Raghu Dixit and Pentagram.” Nair informs us that Dixit will have a special act which will combine dance and music while Pentagram will collaborate with artistes with whom they have worked on their latest album, including veteran singer Shubha Mudgal. And by popular demand, musician Amit Trivedi, who Nair says is “more Indie than Bollywood” will also be playing. Popular international artistes such as Foreign Beggars, Fear Factory and The Vaccines will also be a part of the fiesta. Art installations, which are an important part of the festival, are already being worked on currently, with chances of artist Shilo Shiv Suleman creating a piece, which she had made for the Burning Man Festival.

On: Starting November 1 in Kolkata, November 21 to 23 in Pune
Log on to: nh7.in/weekender

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