Top 20 Music Festivals in India

Is there anything that good music can’t solve? I doubt there is. Whether you enjoy the electric waves or just the soothing classical music or something that falls in the middle, we have it all. Over the years, the number of music festivals being held all over the country is on a rapid spree and more the merrier. So, here goes our list of top 20 Music Festivals in India.

1. Chambai Sangeetolsav

Perhaps the most famous Music Festival in South India, the Chembai Sangeetolsav hosts the largest gathering of musicians flaunting their elegance in Classical Music particularly in the genre of traditional Karnatic music. Held annually in the divine abode of Guruvayurappan in Thrissur, the Chembai Music Fest is homage to Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar.

2. Ziro Festival

Ziro Festival
Photo by Tauno Tõhk, CC BY-SA 2.0

Arunachal Pradesh the Queen of the East has always been one to stand out. Ziro Festival is a four-day affair celebrating the local culture of the Apataani Tribe dwelling in the hills of Arunachal Pradesh and listening to the Indie Music coupled with the rich cultural legacy and scenic beauty of the East.

3. Freedom Jam

Ever wished to jam without any constraints? Then head over to dreamy Bangalore or sweet Pondy, because here you have the biggest opportunity to just make music. Every weekend the Palace Grounds in Bangalore Street flocks the gathering of musicians who love music for the sake of music. Or head over to Puducherry on a Republic Day Weekend and you can enjoy both the freedom of music and the sandy beaches with the annual Pondy Freedom Jam. You never know when the musician in you rises to shine.

4. Rajasthan International Folk Festival

Rajasthan International Folk Festival
Photo by Varun Shiv Kapur, CC BY 2.0

Rajasthan is known for her majesty and what is more fun than celebrating the rich cultural legacy of the land of Kings and Nobles. Every year the Mehrangarh Fort lights up in the month of October and focuses particularly on Rajasthan International Folk Festival. The ambience of the Fort and the internationally acclaimed artists add to the aura of the festival.

5. Mahendra Blues

The Blues know how to rock the world and you will know why if you pay a visit to Mumbai where there is definitely space for hard rocking. Mind blowing heavy metal and electric guitar is for that more mysterious music lover. In 2017, the Blues are returning with giants like Billy F. Gibbons & Eric Gales, Janiva Magness, Quinn Sullivan Shemekia Copeland and Graine Duffy Band. What more, this year the Blues are out to seek out young talents out there, with ‘The Mahindra Blues Band Hunt 2017’.

6. Storm Bangalore

Coorg brings forth her New Year, with a blasting ‘Storm’. Each year, the storm blows people out with their mind-blowing music and what makes it more special is the unique theme it adopts each year. Pack healthy for this camping experience; once in a lifetime event.

7. Nh7 Weekender

The OML Entertainment definitely knows how to blast. Every year from October to December the NH7 Weekender enjoy the music of legends like, A. R. Rahman, José González, Mark Ronson, Mogwai, The Wailers, Flying Lotus, Steven Wilson, Imogen Heap, The Vaccines, Megadeth and many more. The festival travels around the major cities spreading the love of music.

8. Tomorrowland

If you haven’t already booked your tickets then I am sorry guys, because Tomorrowland 2K17 is already sold out and that too in record time. Tomorrowland united in Hyderabad last year as an attempt to expand the live music space in India and so far, they have succeeded. This electronic music festival inspires one into, frenzy with music uniting with the soul.

9. Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Festival

Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Festival
Photo (Cropped) by Omkardhumal, CC BY-SA 3.0

If you want to enjoy the classical sounds of India, then what best option do you have than to head over to Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Festival in Pune? As the name suggests the stage is graced with the vocal elegance of those giants in Indian Classical Music and please come prepared for this three-day musical festival normally held every year in the first week of December.

10. Soorya Music Festival

The inspiring theme music of the Soorya Festival is itself a testimony to its musical quality. Usually held in the AKG Hall at Thiruvananthapuram, the Soorya festival is one not to be missed. If you have had your fill of music, then the dance performances by the venerated few is a welcoming change. Enjoy some classical acts at the Soorya Music Festival.

11. Sunburn Festival

Sunburn Festival
Photo by Haritha Prasad, CC BY-SA 4.0

Let loose with the banged-up power of electro music and crazy dancing in the Sunburn Festival. Usually held in the party capital of India, the venue and dates tend to change. Sponsored by corporate giants like Kingfisher and Carlsberg, the Sunburn Festival has been conducting this electro dance and music fest for nine years and is still up and running.

12. Tyagaraja Aradhana

Tyagaraja the divine musician and poet is venerated in Thiruvaiyaru, for the past 171 years. It is no surprise that musicians from all over the world flock to Tamil Nadu to pay their respect to this great Guru. If you enjoy the more tranquil and peaceful music that has the ability to soothe your senses then, head over to Thiruvaiyaru in the month of January.

13. Magnetic Fields

In case you are wondering then head over to Shekhawati, in December and you will know why this three-day music and dance festival will draw you to its core, just like a magnet. Take a break from music at dawn and indulge in some kite flying, lucid dancing, and other festivities at Magnetic Fields.

14. Carnatic Music Festival

Carnatic Music Festival
Photo by Ramnath Bhat, CC BY 2.0

Simply known as Margazhi, it is a guarantee that you will be immersed in the vocal elegance of the country’s most beautiful talents in Carnatic music. The Chennai Music Season is conducted during the months of December to January, when the city cools down a bit. The venues are known as sabhas which is organized all over the region and you can enjoy the ragas according to your taste if you have a schedule with you.

15. Saptak

Photo by Musicofsouthindia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Despite being a pioneer in imparting knowledge about the Carnatic music tradition the Saptak School of Music never fails to organise a 13-day Music Festival and is graced by venerated musicians all over. Clear your calendar for the first 13 days of New Year and head over to Ahmedabad for a rush of passion for Classical music.

16. Ruhaniyat

Photo by Ajaiberwal, CC BY-SA 3.0

India has always been one to celebrate diversity whether it’s in her culture or antiquity or language. Then, why should music stand apart? The Ruhaniyat Music Festival celebrates the mysticism of Sufism and its numinous aura that captures your senses. Being conducted in the major cities of the country, including Bangalore, Delhi and Pune, be prepared to transport yourself to a long-gone era.

17. Bhoomi Jathre

Now the Fireflies Festival has the most unique ambience as its venue is under the sanctity of a Pipal tree, surrounded by a lake. Nature in all her purity reigns here, away from all the hustle and bustle of nature. Take a walk back into the heart of nature and her soul. Bhoomi Jathre Festival is not all about music but it sends a message through music echoing a time when things were less complicated; when man and nature lived as one.

18. Dover Lane Music Conference

Dover Lane Music Conference
Photo by Koushikvocal, CC BY-SA 4.0

Calcutta brims with life with the celebration of Carnatic Music every year with the Dover Lane Music Conference. Though it was initially held at Dover Lane it is now hosted in the Nazrul Mancha, but the name has stuck on. Calcutta welcomes New Year with the music recitals of partisans of traditional Indian Classical music.

19. Monte Music Festival

Celebrate difference and celebrate life at Monte Music Festival in the Party Capital of India. Nothing much has to be said about a party in Goa as it will have all the crazy elements with it. What sets Monte apart is its fusion themed music conference, which showcases a unique blend of classical and western music.

20. Mood Indigo

Mood Indigo
Photo by Parth loya, CC BY-SA 3.0

Come prepared to enjoy a festival of unlimited fun and music, with maestros performing in the Pronites or Pre-shows and also to take home prizes worth a lot. It’s not about the prize, but the wide door of opportunities that Mood Indigo opens to young talents who can showcase their talents in individual as well as group items. MI is organized every year in the month of December. If you are a diamond in the rough, then MI opens the door to polish yourself and be valuable.

So you see, we told you that we have something for all of you and after reading this you will definitely know why. Just pick your taste and get packed this year to indulge in your favourite music ‘24/7’.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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