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Travel worthy Music Festivals in India – A Peek into Musical Retreat

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Travelling for music festivals have become a craze among youngsters these days. People travel to different places across the globe to attend music festivals to get inspired and achieve musical nirvana. Music festivals are a great way to meet new people, explore the local surrounding, discover the local culture, creating fresh sounds, and most importantly to uplift mood.  

For any true music lovers, these music festivals are like a pilgrimage. Listening to music is like a solitary retreat where you get to experience a whole new perspective on things and life in general. While some music festivals are meant for a specific audience with a specific taste in music, the best are those which ventures into uncharted musical journeys.

There are all kinds of music festivals in India that are worth your time and every dime. If you are a music junky who hasn’t yet attended any of these groovy music festivals in India, you must pack your bags and start this memorable journey. Even if you are not much into music, but love to meet people and make friends, these music festivals are a great way to achieve that. Let’s dive into this journey and immerse ourselves in the best things these festivals have to offer.

Sunburn Festival, Maharashtra

Previously organized in Goa, Sunburn festival is India’s premier electronic music festival that lures music lovers and aspiring singers from all over the country. From 2016 onwards, the festival is organized in Pune spreading over three spectacular days. It is one of the mammoth events held in India attracting a dynamic crowd to this breathtaking location with stupefying performances by famed artists and bands. If you want to get a wholesome experience of music, dance, travel, meetups, then attending sunburn should be on your bucket list for this year.

This massive music festival is also popular for its mix of Indian and international DJs joined by some of the big names in the music industry. You can bask in the electrifying performances by various artists and bands. Sunburn caters to all genres of dance music be it a house, dubstep, psy trance etc. Another best part about this upbeat music festival is- huge stage, variety of drinks and food, after-parties, class-apart acoustics, sensational and vibrant surroundings that can turn your dull day upside down. Not only this, if you are tired of the pulsating music and all that head banging, then you can also explore flea markets, sunset cruises, and opt for adventure sports like Zorbing, bungee jumping and stunt biking to have a good time in the city.

Ziro Valley Music Festival, Arunachal Pradesh

Ziro music festival is one of the most sought-after music festivals in the country promoting the indigenous culture of the state. It provides a platform for musicians and bands to interact in cultural exchange. Organized in September spanning over 3 days of fun and frolic, Ziro music festival not only highlights the vibrant culture of Arunachal Pradesh but also provide you the experience of quaint village life of the valley, scrumptious and lip-smacking food, meeting new people, exploring India’s most untouched and beautiful countryside.

Ziro music festival can truly be called the hippiest music festival in India where famous musicians and artists like Indus Creed, Peter Cat Recording Co Lee Ranaldo, Menwhopause, Steve Shelley, Lou Majaw, Shaa’ir n Func, and Guru Rewben Mashangva among others performs. What makes Ziro different from the rest of travel-worthy music festival destinations is its commitment to promote local tourism and that of the state which is done in an eco-friendly way. Before you plan to attend this swanky event, you need to obtain official permission whether in the form of inline permit or protected area permit. If you are a domestic traveler, then it is mandatory to get inline permit from the government authorities. Foreigners must obtain protected area permit or PAP to enter the state.

Enchanted Valley Carnival, Maharashtra

If you are a fan of music such as trance, drum, bass, techno, house, fusion, indie and other experimental music, then enchanted valley carnival in lonavala is not going to disappoint you. You can find varied mutant strains of dance music that are interestingly unique yet equally powerful. Enchanted valley carnival has so much to offer to music lovers. You can finish off with futuristic-themed production for a dynamic electronic dance experience alongside adventure sports activities. Otherwise known as the enchanted village, this music and dance carnival is held annually in December amidst the picturesque Aamby valley luring tourists, aspiring singers, budding artists and music lovers of all ages.

Over the years, the many world-famous artists and musicians have performed in this carnival. Some of them are- Martin Garrix, Fatboy slim, tiesto, David Guetta, Oliver heldens, etc. This groovy music festival is a three-day carnival which must be attended once in a lifetime.  The enchanted valley carnival is itself an adventure in music because it covers the options like camping, adventure activities, street food and an experience of different genres of music all rolled into one festival. If you are beaten by the head throbbing music and electrifying surroundings, then you can always visit the neighboring hill station of Lonavala to get some peace of mind.

Hornbill Festival, Nagaland

The “land of festivals” Nagaland is popular for hosting a week-long Hornbill festival (held in December) to commemorate the culture and traditions of the Nagas. Hornbill festival has got its name from the bird enshrined in the cultural ethos of the Nagas to promote the spirit of unity in diversity. Being a perfect fusion of color, food, dance, music and cultural activities, the festival attracts crowd from across the country and the world. If you wish to experience the unique culture of Nagaland involving war dances, head-hunting rituals, local games, folk songs, the sound of drum beats and other fun activities, then attending this festival is a must thing to do.

Packed with adventure rallies, fashion show, chilli eating contest, hornbill festival is a perfect example of old traditions and culture meeting the future. You can revel in the carnival-like atmosphere, shop jewelry and bamboo products, relish local delicacies such as rice beer. Some of the famous music artists/bands/musicians who have jammed here are- Adam’s apple, Underground authority, Gingerfeet, Helloween, Arrival,  Indigo children, Slain, Semper soul, Biuret. Nagaland is full of surprises and if you love feasts, music, games, dance, adventure, and panoramic views, then you are in for a remarkable treat. Nagaland Hornbill festival is bound to give you an unforgettable experience.

Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival, Himachal Pradesh

If you want to experience a “Woodstock-y” vibe amidst the mountains with a magnificent view and the blaring sound of music, then Kasauli rhythm and blues festival must be on top of your travel bucket list. Organized every year over Easter weekend in the stunning backdrop of Shivalik hills, this festival is loaded with music (blues, jazz and folk rock, classic rock, country and fusion), and dance.  Over the years, the festival has seen the presence of notable musicians and bands pulling the crowd.

Known personalities like Kutle Khan, Swarathma, Rabbi Shergill, Disparrows, Raghu Dixit, Barefaced Liar, Suneeta Rao, Ministry of Blues, Papon, Parikrama, Soulmate, and Indus creed have jammed there. Nestled in the magical surrounding of Himachal Pradesh, this festival is a paradise to the travelers, musicians, and artists. You can enjoy this festival in April and create everlasting memories. Moreover, you can also meet like-minded people and connect with them, plan camping, trekking tours, and much more. The place offers exciting ways and opportunities to explore life and find inspiration. 

Rann Utsav, Gujarat

Hosted in the shimmering white landscape of Kutch, Gujarat, Rann Utsav is the most happening event of the state which is held from October to February. The Rann of Kutch is not only a family holiday destination to have fun moments with loved ones, but also heaven to travelers and backpackers who are fascinated with the culture of Gujarat and want to experience the same. The festival is an interesting mix of folk music, dance and other adventurous activities including participation in golf cart, ATV ride, dirt bike, hot air ballooning, camel cart excursion, para motoring, meditation, yoga among others.  Apart from these, you can also shop traditional clothes and handicraft items, and savor the delicious local food the taste of which will never leave your tongue. There are desert tents on the outskirts of Dharod village in which you can enjoy your stay during this lively carnival. Animal lovers must visit the Indian wild ass sanctuary to capture the exotic birds and wild animals in action.

The Rann of Kutch is inhabited by tribal and nomadic communities boasting the dynamic culture of the state. This hauntingly beautiful barren land comes alive during the Rann Utsav celebrating the area’s people, history and culture. Local artisans can be seen working with famous Kutchi embroidery, hand block printing, wood carving, seashells and silver jewellery in the crafts bazaar. Promoting tourism in the state, Amitabh Bacchan has well quoted “If you haven’t seen Kutch, then you haven’t seen anything”. To experience this sparkling one-of-a-kind event, pack your bags and book your tickets before it gets sold out.

Magnetic Field Festival, Rajasthan

If you are an admirer of contemporary music and art, then the magnetic field festival should be on your “things-to-do” list of this year. Unrolled in dreamy settings of Alsisar Mahal with intricate carvings, centuries-old paintings, this festival provides a platform to artists from in and out of country forming a unique blend of Indian and international music. This three-day gala event includes night-long music sessions, animated parties, yoga sessions, demonstrations and workshops by local artisans, costume balls, food stalls serving mouthwatering delicacies.

Magnetic field festival is popular among youths for providing an experience of “boutique” festival in India. Here you get to curate an experience that is unmatchable and unparalleled. The festival focuses on the fresh sounds which are a delight to music composers and singers. You can capture unforgettable moments and involve yourself in a thrilling musical ride forming a union of contemporary culture with the heritage and culture of Rajasthan. Many known artists and bands have jammed in this festival from Robot Koch, V.I.V.E.K., Weval, Dream Koala, DJ Koze, Mumdance, and Palms Trax, to sulk station.

If you are up for vivacious and entertaining holidays, then you must consider the given travel-worthy music festivals in India to open the doors of adventure and fun. No matter you are a working professional seeking some fun in life or a musician looking for inspiration or a wanderlust, these festivals might make you hit the diamond in the rough.

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