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30 Indian Music Festivals worth traveling to

Updated: Sep 12, 2019

30 Groovy Indian Music Festivals

In today’s age of exposure, the coming of the new indigenous music festivals has been drawing music lovers like a moth to its flame and everyone wants to be a part of them! These days the most epic way to explore a tourist destination is through its events and carnivals. What better than to have music accompany that! For travellers and music lovers alike, this eclectic mix of the most awesome-sauce music festivals whether on the beach, in the hills, under a banyan tree or inside a fort are worth travelling for.

1. Hornbill – Kohima, Nagaland

One of the biggest cultural tourism festivals in the country, the Hornbill Music Festival has been luring a plenitude of tourists over the years. This 7-day cultural fiesta is held amidst the scenic environs of Kohima in December where you can get to witness the biggest rock contest in the country as well as learn about the rich cultural heritage of the place all under one roof.

The fabulous state of Nagaland is known for its handloom and handicraft goods designed by the exotic Naga tribes along with the plenitude of natural attractions for tourists to indulge in. If you love your feasts, dances, games and music, all in good measure, you are in for a remarkable treat!

How to reach: Fly straight to the nearest Airport of Dimapur which is 74km from Kohima City.

2. Magnetic Fields – Alsisar Mahal, Shekhawati in Rajasthan

The newest epochal music event, Magnetic Fields is one meant for your visual as well as sensory delight comprising of three epic days of music, art, food and magic! The newest kitsch carnival to hit the music market, Magnetic lives true to its name pulling in hordes of contemporary acts and crowds to its spectacular venue.

This splendid festival takes you to the exotic paradise of Rajasthan and is a blast. Mostly so because of its fabulous location set in the regal magnificence of Alsisar Mahal in Shekhawati surrounded by the natural splendor of the triangle formed by Bikaner, Jaipur and Delhi. Be mesmerised by not just the freshest sounds in the country but also the royal ambience projecting from this magical festival every year in December.

How to reach: Shekhawati can be reached by road or train as it is well connected to major cities like New Delhi and Jaipur. Alternatively, one can also fly down to these airports and drive down to Shekhawati.

3. Ziro – Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

Have you ever pictured yourself in the presence of verdant pastures grooving to some electric music with a cool breeze brushing against your shoulders? Well this dream might just come true if you head to the picturesque environs of Ziro Valley and drown in the sounds of over thirty artists.

Held every September in the stunning World Heritage Site of Arunachal Pradesh, at 5500 feet surrounded by misty mountains, the Ziro Festival of Music is aptly deemed the most happening outdoor festival in the country. This marvellous region is rich in rice fields and surrounded by mountain peaks that boast of pine trees as well as a wide range of flora and fauna that leave your souls captivated.

How to reach: Fly straight to Guwahati airport from any major city in the country and then reach Ziro by road.

4. Ragasthan - Jaisalmer

Taking the country by storm, another culturally diverse musical festival pulling in hordes of people every year in November to the golden sand dunes of Rajasthan is the music festival of Rajasthan.

It is set in the dunes of Jaisalmer, which is a renowned holiday destination offering an experience through lakes, parks and the golden sands and a myriad of cultural treats. Lap up all this in the enriching three-day gala. This authentic event entices music lovers as well as travellers due to its unique location and includes an experience of camping out on the sands under the star lit sky, outdoor activities, exemplary music, exotic local cuisines, pleasant stay and art.

How to reach: Fly straight to the nearest airport of Jodhpur that is situated at a distance of 275km from Jaisalmer and drive down. Reach Jaisalmer by driving down or travelling by train too!

5. Sunburn – Vagator, Goa

Having achieved the cult status the world’s 9th best dance festival, Sunburn is no stranger to music lovers. Pulling in the biggest names in the electronic dance music industry and closing the year every time in December, Sunburn is a mammoth party and an amalgamation of music, entertainment, food and shopping.

Set in Goa, the major appeal of Sunburn is that while one can enjoy the electronic sounds, the presence of amazing beaches, rich colonial architecture and a myriad of exciting adventures make this a memorable Goa festivals.

How to reach: Fly straight to Goa International Airport from different cities across the country.

6. Mahindra Blues – Mumbai

Catering specifically to the niche musical genre, the Mahindra Blues Festival pulls in an impressive crowd along with some of the world’s best Blues musicians for its two-day gala. Being Asia’s largest and finest Blues phenomenon, MBF takes pride in entertaining headlining acts by blues legends such as Buddy Guy himself.

This fest is held in Mumbai every February, which as a city is a box full of treasures for tourists all over right from marvelling at its splendid architecture and history to indulging in plush cruising as well as local food adventures. So even after you have had your fill of this elite festival, you can always spend a couple more days taking in the magic of Mumbai!

How to reach: Fly straight to the Mumbai International Airport

7. Storm – Bangalore

This authentic camping music festival, that celebrates music genres from folk, indie and non-mainstream to electronic dance, has its venue in the outskirts of Bangalore for three glorious nights, end of January every year. This festival is not just about the music but being held on countless acres of lush lands outside Bangalore, it has upped its game to make for a more comfortable and open experience for campers and travellers

What is unique about Storm is the mix of adventure sports along with live music which makes the experience even more dynamic. What is even better is that due to its location, campers can even scour around the beautiful locales of Bangalore and its nearby getaways for an extended holiday!

How to reach: Fly straight into Bangalore International Airport from various major cities across the country.

8. NH7 weekender – Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi

The festival doing the rounds and known as the best organized indie music festival in the country, NH7 Weekender is held in the cities of Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi over three days.

Not only is this a mega party of different genres of music and international performances all under one roof, it is also an extravaganza held in some of the most exciting cities in the country. So if you are planning on heading to Weekender celebration near you, it is best to check out at least two of them to get your heart’s fill of travel, music and good times.

How to reach: Fly straight into Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata or New Delhi International Airport from various major cities across the country, also train and bus connectivity are available.

9. JODHPUR RIFF - Rajasthan

If you are craving a quiet holiday enjoying the traditional folk music and arts of Rajasthan, make sure to attend its International Folk Festival held at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur every October. The festival is an open stage for acclaimed folk artists, musicians from India and across the globe to engage in a musical bonanza.

Not just that, music lovers attending this elegant event can also explore the spectacular 'Blue City of Jodhpur' which is an architectural masterpiece laden with fascinating structures and glittering medieval streets.

How to reach: Fly straight to the airport of Jodhpur or even drive down!

10. Escape – Naukuchiatal, Uttarakhand

A unique three-day fest promising to take you away from the mundane is a celebration of art and music held at the Lake Resort, Naukuchiatal in Uttarakhand. This creative retreat features bands, artists, writers, photographers, painters, graffiti artists, performance artists, tattoo artists and potters in a mélange of talent and in the presence of a vibrant flea market.

Escape is the perfect way to spend some quality time with friends and family about 300 km from Delhi. It is set around the scenic getaway of Naukuchiatal or ‘lake of nine corners’, a small hill station in Nainital housing a picturesque lake situated at 1220 m and surrounded by stunning hills on all sides. It is within an enchanting valley offering opportunities of angling and bird watching along with rowing, paddling or yachting that appeals to young and old alike.

How to reach: Fly straight to the nearest airport of New Delhi and then drive down to Naukuchiatal.

9. Fireflies - Bangalore

If your a fan of organic music events, Fireflies is a festival that is just up your alley .Here the stage is set up under a banyan tree in an open-air amphitheater, adjacent to a lake about 20km from Bangalore. What started as a dusk-to-dawn gathering of musicians and music lovers, now attracts thousands who understands its vibe because of its organic growth.

What is interesting about this fest is its artist perform from 7pm to 7am with the proceeds going towards the education of Adivasi children of Kabini, outside Mysore . Set in the outskirts of Bangalore, this fest is also an excuse for you to diverge into the spectacular getaways in the vicinity as well as coddle in the offbeat adventurous activities available around the venue.

How to reach: Fly straight into Bangalore International Airport from various major cities

12. Sula Fest – Nasik, Maharashtra

This two-day annual event held in the Sula Vineyards in Nasik is a mix of electronic music, Dubstep, Reggae and the likes with a healthy dose of wine, fashion, leisure and delight. The fascinating music experience of Sula Fest is quite the attraction for concert-starved Mumbai folk.

Starting off as a celebration of the wine company’s 10th harvest, the festival has since then grown with the inclusion of amazing musical performances. Being a three-hour drive from Mumbai, those visiting the fest also get a chance to be spiritually enlightened by the town of Nasik that is a blend of the ancient and the modern boasting of numerous forts and majestic temples.

How to reach: Fly straight to the Mumbai International Airport and from there bus or train

13. Rang – New Delhi

A festival synonymous with Holi festivals, rang is a unique music fiesta that promises “The Ultimate Electronic Music Experience” while celebrating the colourful festival of Holi. Not only is it a mirage of bursting colours and the best of International and Indian artists, Rang also offers extensive activities and attractions such as a rain dance, drinking games and mind blowing visuals.

Held in Delhi, those who exclusively fly down for Rang will not be disappointed by the several treasures in store here. Being a cosmopolitan city, Delhi splashes vibrancy from its rich history and magnificent structures to flea markets and shopping centres that is plentiful to entertain those visiting the city for Rang.

How to reach: Catch a flight to the New Delhi International Airport from any other city across the country

14. Kasauli Rhythm and Blues fest – Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh

Held in the charming town of Kasauli, this musical concoction of Funk, Blues, Jazz, Rock, Folk Rock, Electro-Rock-Folk and Fusion takes place every April at the scenic Baikunth resorts. Being organised by the Genesis Foundation and Jack Daniel’s, this fest aims for a good cause with its proceeds going towards helping underprivileged children suffering from severe health problems.

Nestled in the captivating environs of Himachal Pradesh, Kasauli is a traveller’s paradise and hence makes an ideal venue for this elegant event. Boasting of jaw-dropping views of snowy mountainous landscapes and a charming township, anyone visiting this festival can snuggle in the various offerings of this place.

How to reach: Fly down to the nearest airport at Chandigarh which is located at 70km from Kausali and then drive down.

15. Purvankara Indigo and Blues Festival – Bangalore

This two-day musical experience in the heart of Bangalore is India’s premier Blues-Rock festival entertaining crowds every May with critically acclaimed Blues performers from across India. Those heading for Purvankara should be prepared for an experience bound to immerse you in the spirit of Blues-Rock from the past, present and the future in the pub capital of the country.

Bangalore has always been a music lover’s favourite destination, but did you know that it also draws in massive crowds because of its scenic getaways and offbeat adventurous activities? Now that you do, head down to the city for the ultimate escape blending the worlds of music, travel and adventure!

16. Shiva Squad Festival – Morpheus Valley Resort, Manali

This three-day festival of adventure, music, healing and culture is held every September in an amazing resort located in one of the most beautiful valleys caressed by the supreme Himalayas and the Beas River. This one-of-a-kind fest showcases the finest artists from genres of Psy-Trance, Trance, Hi-Tech and Electronic Music to Rock, Jazz, Fusion, Classical, R&B and Folk Music.

It also offers a platform for everyone to exhibit their multiple talents whilst encouraging unity and blend of various cultures. Since this spiritual event is held in Manali, it provides travellers a chance to explore its picturesque environs and traverse the natural splendor of its Himalayan surroundings.

How to reach: Fly straight to Kullu Manali Aiport which has connectivity to many cities across the country. Can also be reached by road as well as train.

17. GoMAD fest – Fernhills Palace, Ooty

GoMAD is a three-day cultural carnival of music, arts, dance and camping out in the wilderness of the Nilgiris that is dedicated to the most contrasting amalgamation of creative arts. This fest has it all, from Fusion, Pop, Electronica and Metal music performers to whirling dancers and art installations.

This fest held in the Fernhills Palace among the hills of Ooty is worth your visit not only because it involves camping out in the festival grounds, but you also get to sample the huge range of local chocolates here. What’s more is that you can easily lose yourselves in the beauty and serenity of Ooty’s forests and meadows, while enjoying the jam sessions till dawn spreading good vibes all around.

How to reach: Fly to Coimbatore, the nearest domestic airport from Ooty which is well-connected with most of the Indian cities. One can also drive down from Bangalore and Chennai.

18. Holi Cow – New Delhi

Revel in a blast of colour, music and art bringing people of all ages together in one forum which will have you screaming “Holy Cow”! The festival of the same name celebrates Holi every year in Delhi. This colourful retreat features music genres of dancehall, hiphop, reggae, electronic dance, indie and experimental along with visual artists and performance artists.

This magical amalgamation is held in the cultural hotspot of Delhi which boasts of its architectural magnificence and vibrant lifestyle. So once the high from Holi Cow dies down, one can always explore Delhi in all of its radiant glory!

How to reach: Catch a flight to the New Delhi International Airport from any other city across the country.

19. Woods Talk – Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Exploring the culture of camping and music festivals as seen around the world, the Woods Talk festival held every March amidst the natural foliage and gushing waters of Rishikesh incorporates adventure with music.

This weekend getaway not only entertains tourists with its eclectic mix of electronica and live music but also takes utmost care to make sure the music amalgamates itself with the elements of its pristine surroundings. Offering exhilarating adventures such as rafting, kayaking, rappelling, rock climbing, cliff jumping, canyoning, trekking in the immaculate gorges and hills of Rishikesh, this music fest is your ultimate escape.

How to reach: Fly to Dehradun, the nearest airport to Rishikesh which is approximately 35 kilometres away. One can also drive down from various cities.

20. Mood Indigo – Mumbai

IIT Bombay’s annual cultural fest brings together the nation’s biggest college music festival with the honour of bringing names like Porcupine Tree to the country. It is one of the oldest music festivals held in the country, a four-day long event held towards the end of December every year.

Mood Indigo is the largest festival of its kind in Asia held in the electrifying Mumbai. The city itself draws tourists from the world over with its marvellous attractions, splendid history and cosmopolitan way of life. So spare some time after taking in the electricity of Mood Indigo and go about strolling around the city, you will not be disappointed!

How to reach: Fly straight to the Mumbai International Airport.

21. Summer Storm – Bangalore

Metal music’s greatest event in the country, Summer Storm which saw Lamb of God perform as the headliner some years back takes place in the Palace Grounds of Bangalore. The festival promotes both Hard Rock and Metal acts drawing thousands of metal fans from across India and abroad to Bangalore every summer.

This event is surely where you would want to be if you are into love moshing, head-banging and crowd surfing. Plus the “Garden city” of Bangalore also has its charms and attractions for you to get entertained by. So hopscotch down here for Summer Storm and make a holiday out of it!

How to reach: Fly straight into Bangalore International Airport from various major cities across the country.

22. Gulmarg Winter fest – Gulmarg, Kashmir

Hosting various interactive activities over the March weekend every year, the Gulmarg Winter Fest is a celebration of winter sports, great music, wonderful people, vibrant cultures and sumptuous food, all with the picturesque backdrop of the snowy Himalayas!

the musical potpourri showcases Classical, Folk, Sufi, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Indie and Fusion genres. It even promotes international winter sports such as Skiing, Snowboarding, Snow-Biking and Winter Duathlon through exhibits and competitions. With the world’s highest gondola ride, ski lifts and excellent slopes, Gulmarg is one of the hottest international ski destinations today. How often does one get a chance to take in the sheer beauty and serenity of the snowy Himalayas in a festival?

How to reach: Catch a flight to Srinagar airport which is 56km away and then drive down to Gulmarg.

23. Enchanted Valley – Aamby Valley, Maharashtra

This glamorous new music festival is a three-day carnival which is held at the breathtaking Aamby Valley City near the popular hill station of Lonavala. This one-of-a-kind music festival pays ode to the cutting-edge music genres like House, Techno, Trance, Drum and Bass and the likes. The Enchanted Valley Carnival is popularly regarded as an adventure in music because it has several camping, adventure activities and an experience of different genres of music all in one festival.

Being hosted by the gorgeous Aamby Valley, which makes an excellent weekend getaway for residents of Pune and Mumbai, this gorgeous locale also offers the fun option of a trip to its neighbouring hill station of Lonavala to explore its natural grandeur.

How to reach: Fly straight to the Mumbai International Airport

24. India Bike week – Vagator, Goa

The India Bike Week held every January in Goa is not just a celebration of bikers around the country but it also features music on three stages – live, acoustic and EDM. This unique celebratory event even hosted MMA fights as well as a host of other exciting events.

Not just that one can take maximum pleasure out of the entire two-day fest by holidaying in everyone’s favourite getaway, Goa! Dive into the myriad of water sports and adventures or sunbathe along the gorgeous silvery sands of this magnetic state. So grab your friends along and make this fest-cum-trip a memorable one!

How to reach: Fly straight to Goa International Airport from different cities across the country.

25. The Great Indian October Fest - Bangalore

The great Indian October Fest is produced along similar lines of internationally renowned German Oktoberfest which takes place in Munich. Get mesmerised by three days of fun which has something for everyone right from beer, food stalls, a flea market and a craft center, among others. Held every October, India’s biggest annual music and beer festival brings all worlds of live performances together along with the addition of endless supply of beer and unlimited fun guaranteed all under one roof!

This epic event draws swarms of tourists to Bangalore, the pub capital and garden city of India, which has some of the most unique getaways and thrilling adventures for everyone. If you feel like a good break, discover the city’s alluring neighbours and indulge in a plenitude of thrills when here for The Great Indian October Fest.

How to reach: Fly straight into Bangalore International Airport from various major cities across the country

26. VH1 Supersonic - Pune

Held in February in Pune annually, VH1 Supersonic had a lineup of some of the top international electronic artists and with special performances as well. They had the timeless Incubus perform in 2017. And as of 2018, the festival is opening its stages to artists from multiple genres as well. So you can expect the most prominent names from jazz, rock, pop, reggae, indie and more. Keep this one on the ‘Must Do’ list.

How to reach: Fly straight into Pune Airport from various major cities across the country

27. Go: Madras - Mahabalipuram

A perfect blend of Chennai's beach life and the crazy EDM vibe, the Go: Madras festival has come a long way since its fruition back in 2009. Held in September each year, it's set in the beautiful historical city of Mahabalipuram and radiates a laid-back vibe when compared to the other EDM festivals. But apart from the music, music aficionados get to experience some great water activities like jet skiing and boat rides as well. Another benefit? It’ is located 2 hours from Chennai and Pondicherry, so give them a visit as well.

How to reach: Fly straight into Chennai Airport from various major cities across the country and then a short drive to Mahabalipuram.

28. Electric Daisy Carnival - Delhi

The Electric Daisy Carnival has been held globally for the past 20 years with an impressive lineup of some of the biggest names in EDM and has graced India with its presence in Delhi in 2016. With the eccentric stage set up with its neon lights and the burst of colours and experiences, the festival boasts of an experience that will give attendees a weekend to remember.

India has always been a land of musical celebrations with some ancient scriptures specifically dedicated to music. Over the years, western music has made its way to the Indian music scene, and talented artists are combing traditional Indian music with western to create something truly magical.

How to reach: Fly straight into Delhi Airport from various major cities across the country

29. Road to Ultra, Mumbai - Delhi

Fans were shaking in excitement as THE Ultra Music Festival has finally made its way into Indian soil with its global leg of the tour, Road to Ultra. Being one of the largest electronic festivals in the world, they didn’t disappoint with the first ever event that was held in 2017 in Mumbai and Delhi, by including global electronic duo, the Chainsmokers in the lineup. This one-day festival is packed with performances from some of the biggest names in the Indian and global EDM industry.

How to reach: Fly straight into Delhi or Mumbai Airport from various major cities across the country

30. Tansen Music Festival - Gwalior

The Annual Tansen Music Festival is held here in the month of November when prominent musicians from all over the country come and perform various classical shows in the backdrop of the Tomb of Tansen.

How to reach: Fly straight into Delhi Airport from various major cities across the country and then a short drive to Gwalior.

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