Did you ever think that a music festival in such a remote location would get so popular? In its fifth edition, the Ziro Festival of Music is touted as India’s greatest outdoor music festival. Of course, getting there is a challenge and requires proper planning, but trust us, it’s worth the trek. Especially if you like exploring upcoming regional bands, and have an urge to travel to undiscovered locales.
Akummika, a two-piece indietronica band based in Nagaland
Dimapur-based folk fusion band Abiogenesis
The now popular Shillong-based blues band Soulmate
What: Zero Festival of Music
When: 22 – 25 September
Where: Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
When you have a music festival that travels around the country with one of the best entourage of Indian and international artists, it’s bound to be tagged as the happiest music festival. The Bacardi NH7 Weekender is one of the most sought-after festivals in the country’s musical calendar. This year it comprises of a weekend of music in three major cities — Shillong, Hyderabad and Pune — and a one-day express edition in five cities — Kolkata, Mysore, Puducherry, Nagpur and Jaipur.
Director, actor, musician Farhan Akhtar in Shillong
Rock band Dinosaur Pile-up in Hyderabad
Rock artist Steven Wilson in Pune
What: Bacardi NH7 Weekender
When: September 24 — 4 December
Where: Multiple cities
This one is debuting this year, with a line-up of Indian and international DJs in the electronic music space. If beach music festivals are your thing, and the other popular ones seem to have become too crowded for your liking, head to the French-inspired coast town of Puducherry for Electro Storm.
Romanian DJ Edward Maya when he gets opens his act at midnight
The ‘King of Bollywood and House Music’, DJ Whosane
Ma Faiza, one of the most notable names in EDM in India
What: Electro Storm
When: 7 – 8 October
Where: The Ashok Beach Resort, Puducherry
Held at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, the Rajasthan International Folk Festival celebrates folk music and art. Not just the ones of the state, but also those from across the world. So you can expect to hear the doyens of Rajasthani music welcome the first rays of the sun, and later blend their traditional style with a jazz band. Promoted by HH Gaj Singh of Mewar and with Sir Mick Jagger as the international patron, expect top-notch concerts and events.
Maru Tarang, the band that seamlessly blends ancient Rajasthani songs with Australian blues
Lakha Khan Manganiyar, one of the greatest exponents of Sindhi sarangi
Davy Sicard, vocals in Maloya and French with rouleur, guitar, traditional percussion
What: Jodhpur RIFF
When: 13 — 17 October
Where: Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
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