Move over Glastonbury: Home-grown music festivals to electrify the gig circuit

Move over Glastonbury: Home-grown music festivals to electrify the gig circuit

By PREETI SINGH | | 3 September, 2016
Bacardi NH7 Weekender, Shillong. Photo: Himanshu Rohilla
Many thousands of people in India regularly attend big music festivals every year. Despite the ready availability of  music and albums on the internet, live music is something which has always caught the frenzy of the young and old alike. It is in demand and growing all these years. From bands like Indian Ocean, Parikrama, Pentagram to Euphoria, listening to your favourite singers live is a must-have experience for serious music enthusiasts. Many companies have now started collaborating with these bands and music genres like electronic dance music (EDM) is leading the bandwagon.

The goods news is that some of the biggest music festivals of the year are lined up to be held in the coming few months in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune. Here’s a guide to help you plan your event calendar. 

Bollywood Music Project (BMP)

It’s time for all Bollywood music lovers to get ready as the festival is curated for an inimitable and unparalleled experience in the form of a state-of- the-art destination that will give an impetus to Bollywood music as a standalone genre. Touted as Asia’s largest Bollywood music festival, Bollywood Music Project (BMP) will ensure devout music enthusiasts get up close and personal with their favorite B-Town hit-makers.

The festival is expected to attract over 30,000 music lovers over two days.  Some of the leading artistes in the space of Bollywood music will be playing at the festival. With artists spread across genres like Sufi, Folk, Bhangra, Classical, Fusion and Commercial, every music lover will have something to look forward to at the Bollywood Music Project.   Speaking about the upcoming event, singer Amit Trivedi says, “This festival is special because singers have an advantage to sing for different artists/bands for the same festival since this festival features most Bollywood composers on the same platform. It is the biggest Bollywood festival and the first one and I am excited to be a part of it.”

The mega festival will play host to over 30 artistes across multiple stages over 2 days at the Jio Garden, BKC in Mumbai from 30 September to 1 October 2016.

BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender

The festival returns again with its seventh edition and with massive new plans. The seventh edition will present some of the most prominent global names including Steven Wilson, DJ Premier, Jose Gonzalez, Vertical Horizon, RAC (DJ Set) and Anoushka Shankar. Among the Indian contingent, Shankar Mahadevan, Papon, Indian Ocean, Farhan Akhtar, Prateek Kuhad and Nucleya will lead the way. 

Vijay Nair, CEO of Only Much Louder, one of the sponsors of the fest says, “Keeping the line up of the festival fresh every year is one of the most interesting challenges we have while putting together the BACARDI NH7 Weekender. The line up is curated individually for every place the festival visits, and this year, we’re bringing fans some of our strongest line ups yet. We know that music fans aren’t defined by their love for just one genre, which is why we design our line ups with the hope that not only will you find something you love already, you’ll also discover your new favourites for the next few years.”

The festival is at multiple venues. The Scotland of the East, beautiful hill town Shillong once again kicks off the festival on 21-22 October, before the festival heads for its maiden presentation at Hyderabad on 5-6 November. For the seventh consecutive year, the festival will culminate at its home city, Pune, on 2-4 December, thus redefining the whole Weekender experience.

Electric Daisy Carnival

November will be a historic month for electronic music lovers in the country as Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world arrives in India. A multi-dimensional music experience, EDC combines the world’s most renowned electronic music talent with mesmerizing production and sound design that is sure to overwhelm fans with its sheer scale, creativity and overall immersive experience.

Since its inception in 1996, EDC has traveled to various venues across the United States (California, Florida, Nevada, New York) as well as other countries including Mexico, the UK, and Brazil. Over the past 20 years, EDC has grown into a global phenomenon, hosting over 400,000 fans over three days in Las Vegas this past June.

“I finally get to share the news that EDC will find a new home in Delhi, India, this fall,” said Pasquale Rotella, founder and CEO of Insomniac. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by the country’s colorful and exotic culture. I know it’s a place where the magic of EDC can come alive in a truly unique way, and we’ve got amazing partners in Only Much Louder (OML) and Budweiser who can help make that happen.”

The first-ever edition of the Vegas-style festival will be held in Delhi on the 12_13 November, with one of the largest line-ups of International and Indian artists ever witnessed in the country.

Magnetic Fields 2016

2015 saw the biggest-ever turnout for Magnetic Fields and the festival has caught the attention of fans and artists around the world. Time Out London mentioned it as one of “50 best music festivals in the world”.  Featuring alternative electronica, live music and future facing dance music acts like techno, disco, house, bass, the festival is one of its kind. Everything from the location, the mashup of local Rajasthani heritage culture and hospitality muddled with contemporary Indian and global underground sounds make it pretty unique.

Sarah Chawla, co-founder Wild City and one of the five partners behind Magnetic Fields, says, “Every year we take it on ourselves to develop and grow the festival in terms of content and experience. We need to be challenged, engaged and excited by what we’re doing and the diversity of the 5 partners behind the festival is the key to this. Keeping Magnetic Fields unique is definitely a combined effort between the festival organisers, our wonderful partners and the amazing people that come to the festival! We also actively encourage people to participate and engage directly with us — every year we’ve given away free tickets to people that want to do something interesting over the weekend.”

The three-day arts and music festival will take place from 9 -11 December at Alsisar Mahal, the 17th century palace-turned-hotel that provides the perfect backdrop for Magnetic Fields’ handpicked showcase of music and the arts.

So gear up, all you music lovers!


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