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Festival fever

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With more than ever before, fans are now spoilt for choice. BS Weekend picks out the five most exciting gigs that you could check out this year, including two new ones.

NH7 Weekender

What: The Guardian described it as India’s answer to Glastonbury, and though it’s just two years old, this three-day, multi-genre festival can well lay claim to being one of the biggest of its kind in India, with over 25,000 people attending last year. The line-up includes Indie rock, folk, fusion, metal and electronica. Last year saw the big names of all of these genres performing on five different stages.

Where: Laxmi Lawns, near Magarpatta City, Pune
When: End-November (details to be up on www.nh7.in/weekender)

Chennai Global Music Festival

What: After a month of classical music concerts, the city plays host to a three-day musical extravaganza of a different kind. In its debut edition, the has put together a diverse line-up of Indian and foreign artistes, spanning rock, folk, jazz, fusion, grunge and hip hop. The (long) list includes Vikku Vinayakram, Susheela Raman, Indus Creed (rock) Junkyard Groove (alternate rock), and Moongai (France, electro pop), and several collaborations, such as Mukthyar Ali (Sufi) with Chinnapoonu (Tamil folk) and Paul Jacob (bass guitar, salangais, vocals).

Where: The name sort of gives it away, doesn’t it?
When: January 13, 14, 15

Area 79

What: Again a debut festival, and again a smorgasbord, but of a different kind. Organised by alternative music company Audio Ashram, the audience are invited to camp out for the festival in their own tents or in luxury tents provided there and can catch 120 artistes, performing on three different stages. There’s plenty to do apart from music too — from adventure sports to yoga and martial arts.

Where: Private reserve 45 minutes from Chandigarh is all the organisers will divulge right now. Details to be up on the website, www.area79.in
When: March 8, 9, 10, 11

Music in the hills

What: It’s had seven editions so far, and each year it’s been at a different place. The festival is run by the folks at Happily Unmarried and the band Parikarama and in the organisers’ words, “MiH has no agenda except to bring together good music, good listeners and exotic locations.” The festival features both established names and new bands. The idea is to just chill and listen to good music.

Where: Koti Resorts, near Shimla. (Details on www.facebook.com/musicinthehills)
When: April 6, 7.

Amarrass Desert Music Festival

What: The first edition of the festival last year had Malian musician Vieux Farka Touré, described as the “Jimmy Hendrix of the desert”, headlining it. A confluence of music of the Sahara and the Thar, the event saw musicians from Mali share the stage with the Manganiyars of Rajasthan. The experience may be no less magical this year.

Where: Check www.amarrass.com for updates
When: End-November/December

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