Even a decade ago, music tourism was an alien term. In fact, music festivals were not as massive a phenomenon as they are today, in India. But people’s changing tastes and accessibility to alternative music from different countries has led to a spurt in such events. As their popularity increases, Indians are not only lining up to attend them in their own country, but are also travelling around the world to experience such gigs.
“Music tourism has gained prominence over the years. We have seen the youth’s interest in activity-based travel rise, and attending music festivals are among those. Our recent Summer Trend Survey suggested that 11% of Indians are interested in travelling to music festivals,” says Manmeet Ahluwalia of Expedia India.
Not just Indian music festivals held across Goa, Shillong, Kolkata, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Arunachal Pradesh, among others, several international festivals, including Tomorrowland (Belgium), Coachella (California, USA) and Rock In Rio (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) attract visitors from other cities and countries.
Music to the ears
“There has been an ­impressive demand from domestic travellers, who indulge in music festivals; whether a traveller’s passion lies in EDM, grindcore, house, rock, folk or techno genres of music, there is something for everyone,” says Rajeev Kale of Thomas Cook, India. Average age group for these travellers is usually between 20 to 35 years. But, according to experts, a lot of couples and DINK (Dual Income, No Kids) above 35, also attend these festivals. Vaibhav Kohli, an advertising ­professional, who is an EDM fan, has already planned his first Tomorrowland visit (July 24 to 26). “I have ­attended a couple of Indian music festivals. I love live music, and the whole atmosphere at an event like this is quite an experience,” says the 30-year-old, adding, “Usually, we travel to places for sightseeing, but a trip like this is something that one ­remembers forever.”
Money mattersHowever, experts say that such trips might not be very cheap. “Music tourism is not very affordable. Fans travelling to these festivals understand the pressure on supply situation, and generally book themselves much in advance, also because most of the ­international festivals announce their dates way earlier, for fans to plan,” says Ahluwalia
He also informs that tickets are an expensive affair, and those, too, if bought months in advance, come cheaper as opposed to closer to date. “Typically, consumers book their entry tickets much earlier as the entire itinerary hinges on the event. In terms of ­accommodation, there are multiple options, from hotels to guest houses and ­homestays to camping,” adds Ahluwalia.
Also, several tourists plan extended trips that carry on even after the festival is over, which increases the cost. Vicki Parris of tourism website Flight Shop, says, “Tourists generally look for extended trips around the festivals, in order to spend time exploring the destinations as well.”
The cost for such trips can go up to Rs 24,000 per person (only for a 3N/4D on twin ­sharing basis).