Will travel for music? Nine cool Indian music festivals to attend

Hindustan Times | BySomya Singh, New Delhi
May 22, 2015 04:07 PM IST

A list of some of the most exotic and authentic music festivals in India, so you can mark your calendars in advance.

Music festivals are magical, combine them with an exciting travel experience and you have the best holiday package.

With the Indie music scene growing rapidly in India, music festivals are getting bigger and better. From lit up stages, campsites in the lap of nature, jamming sessions in midst of a desert to adventure sports, these festivals have everything that makes for a perfect getaway.

So, don’t miss the chance of catching your favorite artists perform in the most beautiful settings. We've listed some of the most exotic and authentic music festivals, so you can mark your calendars in advance.

Magnetic Fields festivals

A magical musical carnival where the festivities never end – set within one of the world’s most beautiful festival venue - the historical Alsisar Mahal, in Rajasthan, India. Magnetic Fields demonstrates India’s vibrant and forward thinking creative community. Last year, all their guest artists fell in love with the music, the people, the space, the concept and most importantly contemporary and ancient India nestled side by side in this little oasis of magic in the heart of the Rajasthani desert.

Venue: Alsisar Mahal, Shekhawati in Rajasthan

Dates: 18-2- December 2015

Getting there: Daily trains from Sarai Rohilla, New Delhi to Sadulpur Junction – just under 4 hours followed by 45 min taxi from Sadulpur to Alsisar. 6 hour drive from Delhi and 4 hour drive from Jaipur. Closest Airport is in Jaipur.

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(All photos: Facebook and official websites for the music festival)

Parvati Peaking

The Parvati peaking Festival is just two editions old and is already considered as one of the biggest psy trance festivals in India. With a line-up that comprises of some of the biggest names from the genre, this festival is a must attend for psy trance fans across the country.

Venue: Choch ,Parvati Valley , Himachal Pradesh, India

Dates: May 29 - 1 June 2015

Getting there: Nearest airport is in Kullu. Ahuj Railway station is the nearest railhead from the Parvati Valley. Volvo buses are available from Delhi to Bhunter, It is a 500 km journey.

Enchanted Valley Carnival

This glamorous music festival is a three-day carnival which is held at the breathtaking beautiful Amby Valley City near the popular hill station of Lonavala. This one-of-a-kind music festival pays ode to the cutting-edge music genres like House, Techno, Trance, Drum and Bass .The Enchanted Valley Carnival is popularly regarded as an adventure in music because it has several camping, adventure activities and an experience of different genres of music all in one festival.

Venue: Amby Valley City, Maharashtra

Dates: 18th, 19th, 20th December 2015

Getting there: 122 km away from Mumbai, It is a two and a half hour long drive. You can also drive down from Pune covering a distance of 105 Km in one and a half hours.

Ziro Festival of Music

The Ziro Festival of Music is the most fun outdoor music festival. It features some of the most talented musicians from India and abroad. In particular, this festival is a great event to showcase the most talented musicians in the North- East. This marvelous region is rich in rice fields and surrounded by mountain peaks that boast of pine trees as well as a wide range of flora and fauna that leaves your souls captivated.

Venue: Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh

Dates: 24, 25, 26, 27 September 2015

Getting there: The nearest airport is Tezpur. However, flights to Tezpur are often cancelled without reason. The best option is to fly to Guwahati and do the road journey. The nearest railhead is North Lakhimpur by Arunachal Express from New Bongaigaon. Direct buses are available from Guwahati, Itanagar and North Lakhimpur.

Hornbill Festival

The 10-day naga carnival is one of the best culture and music festivals in India. It celebrates tribal art, music ensembles and ethnic cuisine. You get to witness the biggest rock contest in the country as well as learn about the rich cultural heritage of the place all under one roof. This festival attracts backpackers and music lovers from across the country.

Venue: Kohima, Nagaland

Dates: 1 to 10 December 2015

Getting There: By Air: Nearest Airport is in Dimapur, Indian Airlines operate regular flights to this tiny airport. I’ts a two hour drive from Diampur to Kohima.Nearest railhead is in Guwahati. Before embarking on a journey to Nagaland, acquiring the entry permit is a must.


Ragasthan is another culturally diverse festival that pulls in hordes of people every year to the golden sand dunes of Jaisalmer, Ragjasthan. This authentic event entices music lovers as well as travelers due to its unique location and includes an experience of camping out on the sands under the star lit sky, exemplary music, outdoor activities, exotic local cuisines and art.

Venue: Jaiselmer, Rajasthan

Dates: 11th- 14th February 2016

Getting there: The nearest airport to Jaisalmer, is Jodhpur which is just about 300 kilometers away. There are 4 direct trains to Jaisalmer, one each from Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Jodhpur. There are also daily buses to Jaisalmer from Delhi, Ajmer, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Mount Abu, Ahmadabad and Bombay. However, most of these buses require a change at Jodhpur.

Sula Fest

This two-day annual event held in the Sula Vineyards in Nasik is a mix of Dubstep, Reggae, electronic music etc. with a healthy dose of wine, fashion, leisure and delight. This fascinating music experience of Sula Fest is quite the attraction for concert-starved Mumbai folk. This festival started out as a celebration of the wine company’s 10th harvest, has since grown with the inclusion of exciting music performances. Those visiting the fest also get the chance to camp at the beautiful Sula Vineyard.

Venue: Nasik, Maharashtra

Dates: 6th and 7th February 2016

Getting there: Nashik is 180 km from Mumbai and 210 km from Pune reachable by car, bus and train.

Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival

The hills of Kasauli – a sleepy, off-the-map town in Himachal Pradesh – come alive with the sound of music every year during this festival. This event has seen performances by some of Indian indie’s biggest exports. They perform in support of the critically ill, under-privileged and orphan children under the care of Genesis Foundation. Music aficionados can contribute for the cause by simply doing what they love – listening to music!

Venue: Baikunth Resort, Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh

Dates: March 25 – 27, 2016 (Easter weekend).

Getting there: Nearest airport is in Chandigarh and the nearest rail head is in Kalkaji, Harayana. Two hour long drive from Chandigarh and an hour from Kalkaji.

Storm Music Festival:

Started in 2013, this festival executes the idea of camping around the festival ground beautifully. It takes place in Coorg, Karnataka’s most green and mesmerizing destination. Apart from multiple genres of music, never-before never-after musical collaborations this festival includes a community campsite, music workshops on-the-go, yoga sessions, camp-jams and bonfires. They also have a strict "No Drugs" policy.

Venue: Coorg, Karnataka

Dates: No official dates announced yet for 2016, but usually takes place in end of Jan.

Getting there: 30 km away from Bangalore, It’s a two hour long drive from the city.

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