A Comprehensive Guide To Music Festivals In India

A Comprehensive Guide To Music Festivals In India

23 October 2019

Over the last decade or so, new music festivals of all styles and formats have sprung out of India’s transforming cultural landscape. To help you navigate your way through the country’s festival circuit, we have compiled a list (in alphabetical order) of (most) music festivals in India.

We will regularly be updating this page to bring you the latest information and updates, so remember to bookmark the link. If you want us to feature your festival in this guide, you can email the relevant information to music@thewildcity.com

Bacardi NH7 Weekender

Location: Multiple cities (Flagship event: Pune)

Date: Pune: November 29 - December 1; Meghalaya: November 1-2

One of the biggest music festivals in India, the event is bringing heavyweights like Opeth, Koniac Net, Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker), Kokoroko, Earthgang, Karnivool and TesseracT alongside a bulk of homegrown indie acts. While consolidating the bulk of its bookings to Pune and then Meghalaya, NH7 Weekender has hosted editions in Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, Lucknow, Mysore Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Jaipur.

Head to the festival’s website for updates.

BASS CAMP Festival

Location: Various cities across India

Date: 8-9 November 2019 in New Delhi and Mumbai; throughout November in other cities

Organised by Mumbai-based promoters KRUNK, BASS CAMP is India’s first bass heavy festival. Hosting international names alongside local DJs at various clubs throughout the country, the festival has previously hosted the likes of Jazzsteppa, Concord Dawn, London Elektricity and Symbiz Sound.

Further information here.


Image: BASS CAMP

Bira91 April Fools’ Festival

Location: NSIC Ground, New Delhi

Date: Around 1 April 2020

Celebrating its message of ‘Make Play’, the festival curates a lineup of hip-hop music acts – which in the past have included DIVINE, Naezy, Raja Kumari, Monica Dogra and Prabh Deep – as well as stand-up comedians like Kunal Kamra, Atul Khatri and Aditi Mittal, alongside a range of other related light-hearted offerings.

Head here for further updates.

Boxout Weekender

Location: Venues across New Delhi

Date: Early April 2020

Since its inception in 2017, New Delhi-based online community radio boxout.fm celebrates its anniversary each year with consecutive days of performances from an extensive lineup of homegrown artists – which pretty much means the who’s who of India’s underground electronic scene.

For future updates, watch the space here.


Image: Boxout Weekender by Its Gltch

BUDx

Location: Multiple cities

Date: Multiple dates across the year

BUDx is Budweiser’s concert series which aims to push the boundaries of urban culture across music, art, fashion, and lifestyle. Functioning as a pop-up event, BUDx has brought the Boiler Room parties to India, alongside featuring panels and discussions, and performances from the likes of DJ Pierre, DIVINE, Madame Gandhi, Sub Focus, Foreign Beggars, Detroit In Effect and Mor Elian.

Head here for further updates.


Image: BUDxMumbai by gltch

ChandiGaah

Location: Chandigarh

Date: February 2020

Chandigarh’s pivotal music festival takes place over 2 days, bringing some of the leading acts from country’s hip-hop and hip-hop-inspired electronic circuit, including DIVINE, Sapta, Laxmi Bomb, Oceantied, Tarqeeb and Profound, and pairing them up with an array of stand-up comedians.

Head to ChandiGaah's Facebook for further updates.

Control ALT Delete

Location: Roaring Farms, Mumbai

Date: Late January 2020

As India’s largest crowdfunded festival, Control ALT Delete asks attendees to pay what they want at the entrance or in advance through online campaigns. Any proceeds left over after production costs are distributed equally among artists irrespective of size, seniority or popularity. The transparent formula has produced 11 successful editions featuring artists across the genres of metal, hip-hop, acoustic, electronica and dance, with the likes of acts from Bhayanak Maut, Peter Cat Recording Co., Blackstratblues and aswekeepsearching to Plastic Parvati, Spryk and Swadesi.

Head to the festival’s website for updates.


Image: Control ALT Delete by Sarang Naik from Control ALT Delete's Facebook

Delhi International Jazz Festival

Location: Nehru Park, New Delhi

Date: TBA

Organised by Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Delhi International Jazz festival celebrates jazz with three consecutive free-for-all evenings of performances by artists from India and beyond.

Further information here.

DGTL

Location: Bangalore

Date: 11-12 January, 2020

Globally prominent event DGTL will make its India debut in 2020. Known for bringing a mix of global acts to innovative settings, and for its sustainability programs, the Bangalore edition includes Sven Väth, HVOB, Red Axes, Roza Terenzi, Red Axes, Molly, Sandunes and Adam Rahman.

Head to the festival’s Facebook event for updates.

Disrupt

Location: antiSOCIAL, Mumbai

Date: 23-24 November 2019

Though only two editions old, Mixtape’s Disrupt has earned a reputation for celebrating forward thinking electronic artists through bookings like Clap! Clap!, Zero 7 and Lefto, alongside homegrown forces including BLOT!, _RHL, Zokhuma and Kaleekarma. In its 2019 edition, the urban music festival is bringing a tight lineup, which includes the likes of DJ EZ, Machinedrum, Sarah Farina and Acid Arab.

For future updates, follow the Facebook event here.


Image: Disrupt by Abhishek Shukla

Echoes of Earth Festival

Location: Embassy International Riding School, Bangalore

Date: 7-8 December 2019

With multiple stages, workshops and installations spread over acres of space, Echoes of Earth is India’s first “ecologically-crafted” music festival. The imposing stages of the festival, this year, will see the likes of Acid Pauli, Shigeto Live Ensemble, Fakear, Sarathy Korwar, Natasha Diggs, Garden City Movement, Lifafa, Prabh Deep and Gauley Bhai.

Head here for further updates.


Image: Echoes of Earth

Far Out Left

Location: Great Eastern Mills, Mumbai

Date: 16-17 November 2019

Last year, Mumbai-based promoters Regenerate and Social Offline joined forces for the inaugural edition of Far Out Left, a 2-day electronic music festival that hosted the likes of Steffi, Aurora Halal, and the notorious Berlin party African Acid Is The Future alongside Indian acts such as FILM, Kohra and Tasnneem, at Mumbai’s Great Eastern Mills in Byculla. Returning for its second edition, Far Out Left is bringing Tapefeed, DVS1, UMFANG, Octave One and Roman Flügel, among others.

For more information, follow Far Out Left 2019 here.

Goa Sunsplash

Location: Mandrem Beach, Goa

Date: 10-12 January, 2020

Founded as a celebration of reggae music and culture, the festival focuses on creating a holistic lifestyle experience through music, art, dance, wellness programs and social forums. Past headliners of the festival have included Mad Professor, Johnny Osbourne, Zion Train, General Levy, Naaman, Manudigital, Skarra Mucci and Cali P.

Further information here.


Image: Goa Sunsplash by RC Photography

Go:Madras Electronic Music Festival

Location: Four Points By Sheraton, Mahabalipuram

Date: Late February or early March 2020

With 10 editions behind it, Go:Madras is one of India’s longest running dance music festivals. Usually taking place around Chennai’s beachfront, the 2-day festival has hosted the likes of Perfect Stranger, GMS, Adrian Hour, Matt Minimal, Hidden Empire, Arjun Vagale, BLOT! and Tuhin Mehta, in its previous editions.

For future updates, watch the space here.

Hornbill Festival

Location: Naga Heritage Village, Kisama (12km from Kohima)

Date: 1-10 December, 2019

Organised by Nagaland’s State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments to promote Naga heritage and traditions, Hornbill Festival hosts food fairs, art displays, indigenuous games, music concerts, ceremonies and a lot more.

Further information here.


Image: Hornbill Festival by Vikramjit Kakati

Jodhpur RIFF

Location: Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Date: October 2020

Jodhpur’s Rajasthan International Folk Festival or Jodhpur RIFF intends to celebrate traditional folk music and arts by providing an open stage to artists from India and beyond. Timed to coincide with the full moon of each year, the long-running festival has hosted the likes of Manu Chao, Dilshad Khan, Wouter Kellerman and Yossi Fine, in the past.

Check out the festival’s website for more information.

Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Festival

Location: Baikunth Resort, Kasauli

Date: Spring 2020

Nestled in the scenic settings of Himachal Pradesh, the town of Kasauli hosts established Indian names from the live music scene at Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Festival. Running strong for 8 editions now, the event has featured the likes Parikrama, Shubhangi Joshi Collective, Rabbi Shergill, Parvaaz and Kutle Khan Sufi Collective.

Head here for further updates.

Kolkata Jazz Festival

Location: Dalhousie Institute, Kolkata

Date: 29 November - 1 December, 2019

Continuing Kolkata’s long history with jazz, the much-awaited 3-day festival returns to the city every year to host international names associated with the genre, with previous highlights being appearances from MND FLO, Urban 5, Tubes and Wires, World Service project and Kai Eckhardt.

For future updates, watch the space here.


Image: Kolkata Jazz Festival by Littlei India's Facebook

Lemonade Festival

Location: Riva Beach Resort, Goa

Date: 31 December, 2019

In 2018, Skillbox celebrated New Year’s Eve with the inaugural edition of Lemonade Festival. The 1-day festival featured a curated lineup with a weight toward dub and reggae through acts like Earl Gateshead, Jah Wine, NinjahDread, Cisco Kid and Sanyas-I, alongside some broader selections like vinayak^a, Abhi Meer, Sindhi Curry, Vridian and Chhabb.

Further information here.

Locals DISTRICT

Location: Castle Kalwar, Jaipur

Date: End of February 2020

The two-editions-old Locals DISTRICT carved its niche by bringing a focused lineup to the scenic settings of Castle Kalwar. Having featured the likes of Kevin Saunderson, Rodgriguez Jr., Arjun Vagale, Kohra, BLOT! and Tasnneem, the event is a marked occasion for techno and house heads.

For more information, head to Locals DISTRICT’s website.

Magnetic Fields Festival

Location: Alsisar Mahal, Rajasthan

Date: 13-15 December, 2019

The 3-day contemporary arts and music festival promises to be an immersive, sensorial adventure as it juxtaposes the backdrop of Alsisar’s stately 17th-century palace and the experience of glamping, with a handpicked showcase of contemporary music and arts. The seventh edition will include the likes of Maribou State, Daniel Avery, Karenn, Blawan, The Black Madonna, Ross From Friends, Deena Abdelwahed, Spryk, Yung.Raj, Pulpy Shilpy and Corridors to the list of talents the festival has championed.

Head to the festival’s website for updates.


Image: Magnetic Fields Festival by Mohit Mukhi

MYSA

Location: Forest Hills, Tala

Date: November 2020

In 2018, the team behind the Nariyal Pani festival joined hands with Gently Altered to host the inaugural edition of this 2-day festival which aimed to celebrate the beauty of nature. MYSA offered a wholesome experience of camping in nature, organic living, curated travel and music from the likes of Matteo (Chinese Man), Passenger, Burudu, Owlist, M.Mat, Shri and Fatema.

For future updates, watch the space here.

Mahindra Blues Festival

Location: Mehboob Studio, Mumbai

Date: 2nd week of February

A special highlight in the calendar of blues aficionados in India, Mahindra Blues Festival is known to bring legends of the genre like John Mayall, The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Jimmie Vaughan and Doyle Bramhall II, while also supporting homegrown acts like Soulmate, The SkaVengers and Big Bang Blues.

Head here for further updates.


Image: Mahindra Blues Festival by theconcertphotographer from Mahindra Blues Festival's Facebook

NCPA Jazz Festival

Location: NCPA, Mumbai

Date: TBC

Mumbai’s prime traditional culture upholder National Centre for the Performing Arts is known for bringing international talents in jazz and classical (both Western and Indian) to its stage, alongside housing the Symphony Orchestra of India. Annually, the cultural institute consolidates shows from global jazz names like Ari Rolan Quartet, Round Midnight Orchestra, The Clifford Brown Legacy Band and Yuval Cohen text into a single weekend for NCPA Jazz Festival.

Check NCPA’s website for updates.

NEON EAST FEST

Location: TBA

Date: TBA

2019 saw the inaugural edition of Mumbai-based promoter Third Culture’s 2-day festival NEON EAST FEST. Aimed at the urban cosmopolitan audience, the festival featured both live and DJ sets in the heart of Mumbai at Reliance JIO Gardens – featuring acts like Mura Masa, Little Dragon, Fatima, Mr. Carmack, The F16s, DJ MoCity, chrms and more.

Head to the festival’s website for updates.


Image: Neon East Fest by The Moneta

OnePlus Music Festival

Location: DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai

Date: 16 November, 2019

This year, OnePlus is foraying into the country’s music scene with a 1-day festival. OnePlus Music Festival will feature global chart-topping acts Katy Perry and Dua Lipa alongside Amit Trivedi, The Local Train, Ritviz and aswekeepsearching.

For more details, check out to the festival’s website here.

Orange Festival

Location: Lower Dibang Valley, Dambuk

Date: 12-15 December, 2019

Nestled in the valleys of Arunachal Pradesh, Orange Festival is a multi-day event that combines adventure sports and music. Alongside activities like parasailing, ATV rides and scuba diving, the festival will bring American alternative hip-hop group Flipsyde and American reggae act Big Mountain in its lineup.

Head to the festival’s website for updates.


Image: Orange Festival Dambuk's Facebook

Ragasthan

Location: Jaisalmer

Date: TBA

In 2018, Ragasthan returned to the dunes of Jaisalmer after a 4-year hiatus. A contemporary desert camping festival, the event curates a stylistically diverse lineup which has previously featured the likes of Prabh Deep, Reggae Rajahs, Tritha Electric, Midival Punditz, Jalebee Cartel, Sky Rabbit, Dhruv Visvanath and Negra Pradera.

Head here for further updates.

RSJ Massive

Location: Shillong

Date: TBA

The festival is hosted by one of India’s oldest music publications, Rock Street Journal, in collaboration with Sterling Reserve Music Project. Aiming to highlight acts across multiple genres, the event has previously hosted the likes of Rudy Wallang Band, Dewdrops, DIVINE, Rectified Spirits and Bipul Chettri.

Further information here.

Sound Reasons

Location: Various venues across the world, main installations in New Delhi

Date: 1-30 November 2019

With sound installations, performances, presentations and workshops, Sound Reasons aims to bring inter-media intersections to help listeners explore and experience the world through the dynamic nature of sound. In its 7th edition, the festival will spread itself with performances in cities across India and beyond, while consolidating the main installations in New Delhi.

Head to Sound Reasons’ website for more information.


Image: Sound Reason's Facebook

SulaFest

Location: Sula Vineyards, Nashik

Date: 1-2 February, 2020

Taking place at the Sula Vineyards, the most prominent vineyards in the country, SulaFest marries a “world music” lineup with the experience of camping at the country’s prime wine-producing hub. Returning for its 13th edition, the festival allows attendees to engage with the wine manufacturing process and tasting, while enjoying music from the likes of Jungle, Hallouminati, Lucille Crew, Nikhil Chinnappa, Shankar Mahadevan and Paraphoniks.

Check out the festival’s website for updates.

Sunburn Festival

Location: Vagator Beach, Goa

Date: 27-29 December, 2019

As Asia’s largest electronic dance music festival, Sunburn has brought globally prominent acts like Seth Troxler, Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren, Above & Beyond and Axwell. In 2019, the EDM festival will return to its home turf of Vagator Beach with The Chainsmokers and Martin Garrix as headliners.

Check out the festival’s website for updates.

Terminal 1

Location: Famous Studios, Mumbai

Date: 17-19 January, 2020

In 2019, Mumbai-based promoter Milkman showcased a diverse mix of local bands, producers and DJs alongside pioneering international electronic acts with the first edition of their festival Terminal 1. Returning again in 2020, the festival will be following up an inaugural lineup that featured Mount Kimbie, Aux 88, Roi Perez and Alienata, alongside domestic names like Peter Cat Recording Co., Sid Vashi, Kumail, Lifafa, Zokhuma, Spacejams and Manaalina.

Head here for further updates.


Image: Terminal 1

The BiG BANG!

Location: Haflong

Date: TBC

Organised by political activist and musician Mr India in the Tribal areas of Assam, The BiG BANG! aims to unite the various communities in the area that are recovering from the communal insurgency in the area. The 1-day event features acts like BFR Sound System, Prabh Deep, Seedhe Maut and Plastic Parvati alongside a mix of emerging and grassroot local musicians.

Head to the The BiG BANG!’s Facebook for more information.

Udaipur World Music Festival

Location: Udaipur

Date: 7-9 February, 2020

Celebrating world and fusion music in the scenic settings of Udaipur’s famous lakes, Udaipur World Music Festival brings a plethora of acts from around the globe, which have previously included Spain’s Els Catarres, Greece’s Udopia, Brazil’s Flavia Coelho, American-Indian Shubh Saran, Thailand’s Asia 7, alongside Indian acts like Karsh Kale, The Local Train, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Maati-Baani.

Watch space at the festival’s website for updates.


Image: Udaipur World Music Festival by Seher India's Facebook

Vh1 Supersonic

Location: Mahalaxmi Lawns, Pune

Date: Mid-February, 2020

Off-shooting from Sunburn, Vh1 Supersonic has emerged as India’s second biggest EDM festival. What sets it apart is its effort to introduce underground acts and alternative genres, apart from more popular headliners, to its ever-appreciated lineups, which have featured the likes of Bonobo, Zedd, Major Lazer, Jaden Smith, Marshmello, Alt-J, Two Door Cinema Club, Nucleya, Above & Beyond and Paul Van Dyke.

For further updates, check out the festival’s website.

Ziro Festival of Music

Location: Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

Date: TBC

Hosted by Arunachal’s state government and the local Apatani community, Ziro Festival of Music is a 4-day long festival showcasing India’s independent scene and offering an unparalleled experience of camping in the scenic settings of Ziro valley. The festival has featured headliners like Lee Ranaldo, Shye Ben Tzur and MONO in the past, but is more prominently known for highlighting homegrown talents like Indus Creed, DIVINE, Shaa’ir + Func, Menwhopause and Peter Cat Recording Co..

Further information here.


Image: Ziro Festival of Music by Shiv Ahuja

**There are also several multi-disciplinary festivals that offer music performances as part of their programming:**

EyeMyth Media Arts Festival

Location: Venues across Mumbai

Date: November 29-December 1, 2019

EyeMyth started out in 2011 to celebrate ‘visual music’ as part of UnBox Festival. Since then, the festival has grown into a Mumbai-based multi-day event exploring new wave of art, technology and media expressions, with a special focus on the future of immersive storytelling and its confluence in the Indian context. Attendees can expect activities like indie game arcades, visual music showcase and a futuristic brunched served alongside lo-fi music by the label Skip-A-Beat.

Head here for further updates.

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

Location: Kala Ghoda Precinct, South Mumbai

Date: 1-10 February, 2020

Popularly recognised as India’s premiere arts and culture festival, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival returns every year on the first Saturday of February to host 9 days of art exhibitions, cinema screenings, theatre plays, heritage walks, handicraft markets, food stalls and more. Bringing prominent names for all its performance-based offerings, the festival has covered large bases in its recent years by featuring classical, mainstream, contemporary and underground artists.

Head to the festival’s website for updates.

Jaipur Literature Festival

Location: Diggi Palace, Jaipur

Date: 23-27 January, 2020

One of the prime highlights in India’s cultural calendar, the annual event is the world’s largest free literary festival. Bringing together more than 300 speakers and world-renowned literary personalities, the festival hosts notable music performances and discussions.

For future updates, watch the space here.


Image: Jaipur Literature Festival's Facebook

Sandscape

Location: Across Jaisalmer-Khuri, Rajasthan

Date: 5-11 February, 2020

Sandscape is an Indo-European collective that celebrates the culture of the Thar desert and the cities and villages around Rajasthan through multimedia collaborations between folk and electronic artists. The upcoming edition is expected to feature panel discussions, projection mapping at Patwa Haveli and Jaisalmer Fort, audio-visual performances, film screenings and more.

For future updates, head to Sandscape’s Facebook page.

Serendipity Arts Festival

Location: Panaji, Goa

Date: 15-22 December, 2019

An interdisciplinary arts festival, Serendipity Arts Festival features a host of exhibitions from craft and photography displays to design installations and dance performances, alongside storytelling sessions, culinary arts experiences, theatre performances and a varied music programming that stretches from traditional to jazz to electro funk.

Head to the festival’s website for updates.


Photograph courtesy, Serendipity Arts Festival 2018.

Spanda Goa

Location: Inner Temple, Goa

Date: 14-24 February, 2020

With a belief in sound and music as a tool for promoting general well-being, several music therapists and artists came together to organise Spanda Goa 2019, a 10 day festival of immersive workshops and performances. The festival will return on World Sound Healing day i.e. February 14 in 2020 to provide a platform for healing and relaxation through activities ranging from meditation, gong baths to drumming workshops.

Further information here.

St+art India

Location: Multiple cities

Date: End of 2020

Non-profit organisation and collective St+art India Foundation rose to prominence after transforming New Delhi’s Lodhi Colony into India’s first open public art district. Over the years, the collective has organised acclaimed events showcasing their work. After the notable success of the 2-month-long Lodhi Art Festival 2019, the foundation is looking to cover multiple cities at its next big event near the end of 2020.

Head here for further updates.

UnBox Festival

Location: Bangalore International Centre, Bangalore (expected)

Date: End of 2020

Starting in 2011 as a multi-disciplinary and interactive event, UnBox Festival brings together emerging and disruptive ideas from those who are pushing the boundaries of their own practice. The festival comprises of workshops, labs, conference sessions and conversations over meals, along with performances and excursions into the city, which explore themes that range across technology, ecology, social innovation, design, new economies, culture, sustainability and more, by deep diving into stories of people, places, objects and ideas.

Further information here.

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