A Guide to Lesser-known Indian Music Festivals That Are Worth Attending

Arts and music lovers have witnessed a thriving music scene since recent years as more bands now have the opportunity to showcase their talent at festivals being organized around the country. Festival-goers and art lovers enjoy being around artists and musicians in picturesque settings, be it the hills or the desert, for a couple of days at least, to get away from the mundane and the routine.

Here is a list of top 4 not-so-known music festivals in India that will offer you an extra-ordinary experience just when you need it:

1. Ziro Music Festival

ZiroValley is a place in Arunachal that allows the musical acts to take place against lush green backdrops. It is simply an amazing experience as one of the best outdoor music festivals is organized for music-lovers and enthusiasts, up in the hills. 167 km away from Itanagar, Ziro is the district headquarters of lower Subansiri district which is situated 5500 ft above sea level. The third edition of the festival that will take place in September, 2014 is set to rock the stage as it will feature some of the best indie bands and musicians from around the world, along with a number of folk musicians and groups from the north-east itself. Generally spanning on to 4 days, Ziro festival 2014 is likely to exceed that limit this time. Tickets will be made available near the festival season. Look out for updates till then on their site.

To get to one of the oldest towns in Arunachal, all visitors, Indian and foreigners, need a special permit to enter the area. Although there are no arrangements for staying during the 4-day long festival, there are homestays that are offered by the locals.

How to get there: The nearest airport is Tezpur. One also has the option to fly to Guwahati, and then reach the location by road. If you’d like to travel by train, the nearest railway staton is North Lakhimpur. One can also reach the location by bus that travels from Guwhati, Itanagar and North Lakhimpur.

2. Magnetic Fields Festival

Fairly new in the scene, the Magnetic Fields Festival that clashed with NH7 Weekender dates last year has announced its dates for 2014 and the organizers were particularly careful while deciding them this time. Mostly focussing on the emerging electronic music in India, the team that’s working towards turning the event into a success story is busy preparing for a pre-launch party in London. The party is set to feature one of the headliners from last year V.I.V.E.K, along with Shaa’ir + Funk, London-based My Panda Shall Fly and Moniker, one of the organizers from The Wild City and a special guest yet to be announced. The festival takes place in Alsisar Mahal, in the heart of a Rajasthani desert. Tickets will be made available as the date of event arrives.

How to get there: Fying to Delhi or Jaipur are the closest options before boarding a local bus or a private taxi in Jaipur, to take you to the venue. If you’d like to travel by railways, then the Sadulpur Junction is the closest railway station to Alsisar which is exactly an hour away from there. And since it is only 5 hours from Delhi, 4 hours from Jaipur, is a bus service portal that provides private bus services to commute from Delhi to Alsisar.

3. Enchanted Valley Carnival

A festival that blends music and outdoor activities, tying them together in a single capsule that the festival itself represents, debuted last year in Aamby Valley in the month of December, which is like Spring for most fest organizers. Aamby Valley is a township that falls between Pune and Mumbai. Produced and promoted by Twisted Entertainment, EVC featured Indian artists like Indian Ocean and Dualist Enquiry alongside some of the most influential inetrnational musicians in the electronica scene like British producer Chicane and trance-duo Cosmic Gate. The festival is mostly centered around EDM since Pune and Mumbai harbor a lot its fans.

Picture this: A good number of musicians and artists from around the world playing live sets, fun gaming arenas, flea market, chill-out zones, multi-cuisine food stalls and adventure sports. The organizers are however yet to announce the dates for this year’s carnivalof awesomeness.

4. goMad Fest

Three days of celeberating arts, music and dance in the hills of Nilgiri, the festival has a unique concept that transcends the need for headlining acts. The festival’s first edition was held in 2012 that featured Indian artists like Sulk Station alongside international musicians like Ethiopia’s Krar Collective and Poland’s Indialucia. A bar in the woods and the endless food stalls kept the festgoers busy last year, however the dates for its third edition which will likely take place at Fernhills Palace, Ooty like last time, have not yet been announced.

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