A ris­ing travel trend! he in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of T mu­si­cal events, live mu­sic fes­ti­vals and his­tory is grow­ing in leaps and bounds and it is dif­fi­cult for the travel in­dus­try to just ig­nore it. With the travel in­dus­try gear­ing up for an­other ex­cit­ing y

Woman's Era - - Con­tents - By Sudha Chan­drasekaran

peo­ple are trav­el­ling across lo­ca­tions, cities, coun­tries and time zones for the love of mu­sic. It was un­known to many just a few years ago, but has now be­come a cliché in In­dia, top­ping all the travel trends.

If you are un­fa­mil­iar with the term Mu­sic Tourism, but have trav­elled to Mumbai to lis­ten to Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber or Cold­play, then surely you have in­dulged in mu­sic tourism. Thanks to a thriv­ing mu­sic scene, the indulgence of young peo­ple and trav­ellers has given a boost to this in­dus­try. It also proves the point that young In­di­ans and mil­len­nial trav­ellers are now will­ing to travel in huge num­bers for con­certs of their favourite in­ter­na­tional mu­sic artistes.

Mu­sic tourism and fes­ti­vals are not only a great way for in­de­pen­dent artistes and am­a­teurs as well from across the globe to show­case their ta­lents, but it boosts lo­cal em­ploy­ment and gives a chance to the cities to bring upon their cul­ture, ethos and her­itage. Such fests make way for a lot of jobs and tourism in the fest city.

Com­ment­ing on mu­sic tourism, Varun Gupta, CEO, Goomo, said, "A num­ber of events boast­ing fa­mous in­ter­na­tional artistes have de­buted in In­dia over the past few years, pro­duc­ing a year-long packed sched­ule of mu­sic fes­ti­vals across the coun­try. With more and more state gov­ern­ments look­ing to boost tourism through mu­si­cal and cul­tural events, we have wit­nessed peo­ple from all over the coun­try trav­el­ling to var­i­ous places just to at­tend th­ese fes­ti­vals and en­joy the lo­cal mu­sic, art and cul­ture."

Some of the sought-af­ter and ma­jor lead­ing mu­sic fes­ti­vals in In­dia in­clude NH7 week­ender (Multi-city fest), Sun­burn (EDM fest Pune), Horn­bill In­ter­na­tional Mu­sic Fes­ti­val (Ko­hima, Na­ga­land), Ziro Fes­ti­val of Mu­sic (Arunachal Pradesh), The Great In­dian Oc­to­ber Fest (Bengaluru) and Ra­gasthan (Ra­jasthan). Th­ese are but a few.

In­dia is home to al­most 20-25 big ticket mu­sic and food fes­ti­vals. And if in­dus­try num­bers are re­ferred, around 1.5 mil­lion unique at­ten­dees are likely buy­ers for th­ese fests. In the year 2015, Sun­burn ob­served an an­nual foot­fall of 350,000, which clearly proved that mu­sic tourism is no longer new and un­heard of in In­dia.

And while you might as­sume that it is only the big, in­ter­na­tional mu­sic stars that at­tract crowds in In­dia, there has been an in­crease in the in­ter­est in other gen­res too. One such ex­am­ple is Ra­gasthan, a desert camp­ing fes­ti­val held in the ex­pan­sive dunes of the Thar Desert. It is a cor­nu­copia of shared ex­pe­ri­ences, tra­di­tion, cul­ture and mu­sic, draw­ing an over­whelm­ing num­ber of travel and mu­sic and travel afi­ciona­dos from the far­thest cor­ners of In­dia. Artistes ex­ceed­ing 50 in num­ber, a dozen film screen­ings un­der the open sky, bars and res­tau­rants, art in­stal­la­tions, a so­cia­ble camp­ing space, morn­ing yoga ses­sions, and foot­ball on the soft­est play­ground are all part of the itin­er­ary at the fes­ti­val, promis­ing vis­i­tors three days of un­in­hib­ited ex­cite­ment. An­other ex­am­ple is the Dhru­pad Mela in Be­naras. This an­nual, five-day-long mu­sic fes­ti­val cel­e­brates the Dhru­pad genre of Hin­dus­tani clas­si­cal mu­sic and is held at the Tulsi Ghat of this an­cient city. Th­ese mu­sic fes­ti­vals do not just at­tract In­dian tourists, but also give for­eign tourists a chance to ex­plore In­dian mu­sic, cul­ture and art in the very re­gion to where it be­longs. “Mu­sic is a great uni­fier and mu­sic fes­ti­vals of­fer abun­dant en­ter­tain­ment even as they bring to­gether a var­ied range of in­di­vid­u­als, help­ing to make the des­ti­na­tion a land­mark for fun.” Some of the most fa­mous mu­sic fes­ti­vals in the world have put the des­ti­na­tions they are based in on a global mu­sic map. “The Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Fes­ti­val by Genesis Foun­da­tion has done the same for Kasauli,” says Prema Sa­gar, founder trustee of Genesis Foun­da­tion. The fes­ti­vals also act as grounds for bud­ding part­ner­ships. The fes­ti­vals en­thrall the peo­ple with a num­ber of un­der­ground artistes and new gen­res of mu­sic that in­clude rock, pop, EDM (elec­tronic dance mu­sic), and blues to name a few.


Th­ese days the most epic way to ex­plore a tourist des­ti­na­tion is through its events and car­ni­vals. For en­thu­si­as­tic trav­ellers as well as pas­sion­ate mu­sic lovers, this as­sorted mix of the most awe­some­sauce mu­sic car­ni­vals whether held in the hills, or un­der a banyan tree or in­side a fort are worth trav­el­ling for. There are sev­eral mu­sic fi­es­tas for a life­time worth of ex­pe­ri­ence. To name a few we have the fol­low­ing : Horn­bill – Ko­hima, Na­ga­land; Mag­netic Fields – Al­sisar Ma­hal, Shekhawati, Ra­jasthan; En­chanted Val­ley Car­ni­val, Lon­avala, Ma­ha­rash­tra; Sun­burn – Pim­pri,pune; The Great In­dian Oc­to­ber Fest – Ban­galuru; Ziro Fes­ti­val – Ziro Val­ley, Arunachal Pradesh. On googling, we can find many mu­sic fes­ti­vals held dur­ing var­i­ous months of the year.

Hol­i­days now are no more limited to sea­sons as peo­ple take a hol­i­day com­bined with a mu­sic fes­ti­val. find that cer­tain cities are cul­tur­ally af­fil­i­ated with a par­tic­u­lar genre of mu­sic, which at­tract per­form­ers and fans alike on an al­most con­stant ba­sis.

Ex­perts opine that such trips might not be very cheap. “Mu­sic tourism is not very af­ford­able. Fans trav­el­ling to th­ese fes­ti­vals un­der­stand the pres­sure on the sup­ply sit­u­a­tion, and gen­er­ally book them­selves much in ad­vance, also be­cause most of the in­ter­na­tional fes­ti­vals an­nounce their dates way ear­lier, for fans to plan, ” says Man­meet Ah­luwalia of Ex­pe­dia In­dia. It is not just the In­dian mu­sic fes­ti­vals that are held across Goa, Shil­long, Kolkata, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Arunachal Pradesh, that at­tract vis­i­tors from all around the globe but sev­eral in­ter­na­tional fes­ti­vals, in­clud­ing To­mor­row­land (Bel­gium), Coachella (Cal­i­for­nia, USA) and Rock In Rio (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) at­tract mu­sic pa­trons from other cities and coun­tries. “There has been an im­pres­sive de­mand from do­mes­tic trav­ellers, who in­dulge in mu­sic fes­ti­vals; whether a trav­eller’s pas­sion lies in EDM, grind core, house, rock, folk or techno gen­res of mu­sic, there is some­thing for ev­ery­one,” says Ra­jeev Kale of Thomas Cook, In­dia. Vaib­hav Kohli, an ad­ver­tis­ing pro­fes­sional, who is an EDM fan, has al­ready planned his first visit to To­mor­row­land dur­ing July this year. To­mor­row­land is the big­gest elec­tronic mu­sic fes­ti­val in the world and the pro­gramme fea­tures sev­eral in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned DJS, daz­zling fire­work dis­plays, and mind-bog­gling stage de­signs: there's noth­ing else like To­mor­row­land. Usu­ally, we travel to places for sight­see­ing, but a trip like this is some­thing that one re­mem­bers for­ever. In­di­ans are not only lin­ing up to at­tend mu­sic fests in their own coun­try, but are also trav­el­ling around the world to ex­pe­ri­ence such gigs. With its di­verse cul­ture and his­tor­i­cally rich back­ground, In­dia is not only a trav­eller’s par­adise but also a fes­ti­val en­thu­si­ast’s sanc­tu­ary. The rich her­itage of In­dian clas­si­cal and folk mu­sic which are about to be­come ex­tinct due to fast, technological ad­vance­ments, ig­no­rance and lack of pa­tron­age, are be­ing re­vived, pro­tected and pro­jected by this type of tourism .


Mag­netic Fes­ti­val Fields To­mor­row­land main­stage Bel­gium. rfest Oc­tobe In­dian Great l. fes­tiva Su­fimu­sic World

Ko­hima. Horn­bill Fes­ti­val,

Ra­jasthan In­ter­na­tional Folk Fest.

Fes­ti­val. Mu­sic and Arts Coachella Val­ley

Ke­nil­worth Re­sort & Spa, Goa - Porch.

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