From folksy baul music to indie bands and euphoric trance fests, there’s a whole line-up of exciting music fests to attend in 2019. So, pack your bags and head out. Not just for the music, but to try local food, meet new people and even indulge in adventure sports!
7 Music Festivals We’re Looking Forward to in 2019
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 is generally held at Nazrul Mancha in Rabindra Sarobar.
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. The festival has hosted Grammy award winners such as Nikita Koshin, Roland Dyens and David Russell.
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.
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 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.
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.
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. We saw Yngwie Malmsteem (Swedish heavy-metal guitarist) play live so we’re just waiting with bated breath for 2019’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. 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.