9 Music Festivals We’re Looking Forward to in 2018

Devanjali posted on 08 January

There’s a whole line-up of exciting music festivals and fairs to attend in 2018.


Held annually as a musical appetiser along with the mélange of literary events of the Apeejay Literary Festival 2018, Plug-In is a relaxed open-air festival right in the middle of St. Pauls Cathedral grounds! This year we’re lucky to have No Strings Attached, a group that purports to be India’s first bluesgrass outfit {blues & folk}. So come January 15, get ready to groove to a Bob Dylan tribute gig with an  hour-long set of popular bluesgrass, folk, country and jazz.

Tourist Attractions

1-A, Cathedral Road, Kolkata

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Dover Lane Music Festival

This is one of the largest Indian classical music events in the country. It’s also one of the oldest — launched almost five decades back, the festival is the initiative of a group of music lovers in South Kolkata who started this on a small scale way back in 1952.

Showcasing both vocal and instrumental Hindustani and Carnatic music, this six-day event will be held at Nazrul Mancha in Rabindra Sarobar {Southern Avenue}.


Near Kolkata Sports Association, Southern Avenue, Southern Park, Dhakuria, Kolkata

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    Calcutta International Classical Guitar Festival

    Taking place in December, the Calcutta International Classical Guitar Festival promises to be a great musical end to the year. This year will be the 8th edition of the festival which has hosted Grammy award winners such as Nikita Koshin, Roland Dyens and David Russell.

    Government Offices

    9-A, Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Kankaria Estates, Park Street Area, Kolkata

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    Joydev Kenduli Mela

    Best known for its gathering of Baul musicians, the Joydev Kenduli Mela is a melting pot of Bengali culture. Kenduli — in Birbhum district of West Bengal — happens to be the birthplace of famous Bengal poet, Joydev. Baul singers {mystic minstrels known for their distinctive saffron robes and instruments} congregate in Birbhum in mid-January, around the time of Makar Sankranti.


    Joydev Kenduli, Distt. Birbhum, West Bengal

      Baul Music Festival

      Held approximately three weeks before the Joydev Kenduli Mela, the Baul gathering in Shantiniketan is a must-see and must-hear for any Baul music enthusiast. The festival is held on the seventh day of the Bengali month of Poush {December-January} to commemorate the foundation day of Shantiniketan. It’s a wonderful way to connect with rural handicraft workers, singers and villagers of the area. Be sure to stop by the wonderful campus of Viswa Bharati University, Shantiniketan.

      NH7 Weekender

      Perhaps one of the biggest indie music festivals on the Indian scene, having drawn international bigwigs like Steven Wilson, Megadeth and Mutemath as well as Indian acts like Amit Trivedi, The Blackstratblues and others, NH7 Weekender has always been up there on the list of must-do music fests.

      Conceptualised by Only Much Louder (OML), the festival will be held on October 27 and 28 in Meghalaya.

      Orange Music Festival

      Usually held in end-December in Dambuk {Arunachal Pradesh}, Orange Music Festival touts itself as India’s first music and adventure festival. Last year saw Yngwie Malmsteem {Swedish heavy-metal guitarist} play live so we’re just waiting with bated breath for 2018’s line-up! And if you need a break from the music, there are umpteen adventure activities to choose from — including archery, ziplining, and a mud run.

      Ziro Music Festival

      When the road to a music festival is paved with both good intentions and a good trek, you know you’re in for a great time! Ziro Music Festival is an annual indie music festival located in the picturesque  Ziro Valley {Arunachal Pradesh, again}. Usually slated for September, expect chilly hill station weather coupled with gorgeous landscapes and foot-tapping music acts. Ziro aims to offer its attendees a lovely mix of both indie and folk music.

      Also, guess what? You get to camp on the festival grounds for the four days of the event! This outdoor festival also helps you get in touch with your sense of nature.

      Music Malt Indian Music Video Awards

      Although dates haven’t been announced for 2018 {it’s usually held between October to January}, Malt Music Video Awards organises a number of music festivals and competitions in order to cast around for new indie talent. Organised by Eastern Fare, a music organisation with various Indian branches, the festival also hosts several art installations, merchandise, performance art and social activities during the festivals. The most recent edition of Malt was Euphony — A Winter Nocturne held in Guwahati in 2016. It was a rock competition with performances by Voodoo Child, a well-known North-eastern rock and roll outfit.