10 Festivals to Highlight 2016

Music Festivals 2016

As 2016 comes to an end, we’ve had an uncountable number of festivals that defined this year’s music scene for us. Looking back, here’s some of the absolutely unforgettable ones that can help you prepare for a musically fulfilling 2017.

Covelong Point Music Festival

If you’re looking for a surf and beach getaway, there’s nothing better than to double up with some music to fit the mood. Chennai’s Covelong Point festival boasted a myriad mix of genres from international acts like Natalia to tribal music and regional favourites like Thaikkudam Bridge. The lineups are categorized into the simplified and intimate Acoustic stage, the massive and energetic Beach stage, and the soulful and heartwarming Yoga Shala Stage.

Considering all of this, we’re definitely looking forward to a colourful August next year, with tentative dates scheduled as 26th to 28th.

IndiEarth XChange

Indie events that comprise of something entertaining for everybody aren’t easy to come by. Chennai’s XChange, however, provides not just for a stunning live concert experience, but also a platform for the public and professionals alike to conduct workshops, showcase their products and enjoy live screenings. This year’s lineup comprised of artists from across the country, along with crowd-pleasing favorites like Nucleya and Vidya Shah. Classical, folk, roots, electronic and world music dominated this year’s vibe. We’re definitely looking forward to November of next year to experience this again.

Rajasthan International Folk Festival

You know you’re in for something special when you attend a festival endorsed by UNESCO as a “People’s Platform For Creativity and Sustainable Development”. This not-for-profit partnership has lead to one of the most popular folk festivals in India. Artists from countries like Yemen, France, Africa, and Scotland along with our very own iconic folk musicians from Jodhpur collectively created a mindboggling array of experiences. This year’s lineup included world famous icons like Fazal Qureshi, Dilshad Khan, Yemeni Blues, James Mackintosh and Joseph Tawadros. Next year will see this festival emerge from 5th to 9th October, so book your calendars soon.

Sunburn

Anyone who knows anything about the electronic music scene knows of Sunburn’s popularity on an international scale. This year marks the 10th edition of this festival, and to say they aren’t disappointing would be saying far too little. EDM pioneers like Armin van Buuren, Axwell, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike are headlining the event along with supporting acts like Nucleya, Angerfist and Haywyre. Complete with 40 plus experience zones, flea markets, courts, fan villages, after parties and a massive 90 acre campsite near Pune to accommodate it all. 28th to 31st December makes for a fantastic experience, and we’re hoping for the same next year.

Mahindra Blues Festival

Blues seems to be a binding factor for pretty much every music lover out there, and Asia’s largest blues festival is a melting pot for all of these individuals from across the country. This year’s line up included some stellar performances by the Heritage Blues orchestra, King King, Melina Moyes, Joss Stone and three time Grammy award-winner Keb’ Mo’. MBF also nurtures rising talent, which was evident from their band-hunt for upcoming musical artists and a dedicated stage for students from the True School of Music. We’re hoping for an eclectic start to 2017 with next year’s dates scheduled as 11th and 12th February.

NH7 Weekender

Arguably the most popular weekender in India, NH7 is also called the world’s happiest music festival and for good reason, considering the raw energy, enthusiasm and vigor that both the artists and audience bring to it every time. With a turn out of upto 60,000 at the Pune leg, this year’s biggest highlight was probably Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson’s performances at Shillong and Pune. Pretty much every artist in the line-up managed to put up such surreal performances that we’re convinced that the vibe at this festival is infectious. Look forward to an explosive few weeks in November and December of next year and make sure you witness them all.

Echoes of the Earth

A celebration of music and our planet, this ecologically-crafted festival had it’s debut in November this year. The purpose of this festival was to promote and celebrate sustainability, and it took place in 150 acres of nature and bliss with a perfect balance between international acts and Indian bands. The lineup included Submotion Orchestra, Susheela Raman, Sitarsonic, Nicholson and the F16s, among others. Roshan Netalkar, the Director of the festival, said, “Echoes of Earth is a celebration of music, nature, and design. A festival that celebrates music from around the world with a focus on the environment and sustainable living.” We’re looking forward to another edition of Echoes of the Earth probably in November next year.

Ziro Music Festival

Travellers, trekkers and music lovers can all be satiated at this outdoor camping experience at the Ziro valley in Arunachal Pradesh where music marries nature’s space. The tribals and villagers of the valley with their infinite hospitality, along with acts and artists from countries like Israel and Italy. The independent scene seemed to be emphasized in particular through the lack of corporations taking over with their sponsorships, along with the local bamboo stalls and their traditional food. Look forward to September next year and plan a trip to this four day life-changing experience.

Electric Daisy Carnival

EDC is one of the largest electronic festivals in the world, dubbed as the “American Ibiza”. Since it’s conception it has spread across the globe, including India where it took place in September this year. The lineup included massive artists in the scene, such as Steve Aoki, Afrojack, Alesso along with Indian artists like Anish Sood, Nucleya and more. The larger-than-life stages, enchanting performances and party vibes made for a beyond successful debut in India, and we’re hoping for a similar experience next year.

Enchanted Valley Carnival

Nested in Aambey Valley City was another EDM festival that was as diverse in its line-up as it was in its audience. From Alan Walker and Flo Rida to Farhan Akthar and Arijit Singh, there were vastly colourful artists spread across five stages. There was also the notably interesting jam sessions that were held at the venue, for aspiring artists and fans alike. Artists both national and international defined genres ranging from house to electronica. If you missed it this year, you’d definitely want to book your December for 2017.