In reverence of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, The Sherp looks at all those music festivals that make for great sojourns for lovers of peace.

Peace embodies a different sentiment for every person. While some prefer the quiescence of solitude, some prefer a more downtempo vibe than complete silence; while some seek out spiritual energies, some find peace in the absolute emotion of indulgence. It is this varied sense of the word that allows for people to experience peace in the strangest quarters. This is perhaps why Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, him the champion of peace and resilience, calls for recognising the virtue of a finding one’s own idea of peace in a music festival. And in this feature, we’ll be celebrating just that!

1. Lightning in a Bottle

Where : Bradley, California, USA

For people who find immense satisfaction by immersing themselves in experiences of profundity; experience that call for spiritual awakening while enjoying and celebrating the deeper sounds of nature, Lightning in a Bottle would be your safe haven. Not only does the festival have a strict ‘Leave as you Bring’ policy, but it also employs the means of sustainable living while providing for an atmosphere fueled with spirituality and consciousness. There are prevalent yoga workshops all day long, taken by some of the most expert minds from around the world, along with the meditation practices. The festival also has the ‘Lucent Temple of Consciousness’, where one can experience temple music and healing.

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2. One Love Festival

Where: Gloucestershire, UK

In contemporary musical culture, there have been several artists who’ve promoted the idea of peace. But that one who stands the tallest among them all, is Bob Marley. The reggae legend has often pushed his weight behind the importance of peace in an aggressive contemporary society as such, through his music and vision. Emulating his principles is the festival of One Love, of reggae and dub music. The environment-friendly festival watches attendance from people who live Bob Marley’s message of peace, thereby making for a melting-pot of friendship and bonhomie.

3. Bali Spirit

Where: Bali, Indonesia

For lovers of world music; the kinds that create a seamless confluence of folk styles from several cultures, Bali Spirit is a great welcome, replete with spiritual conditioning. Combining the healing powers of yoga, music and dance, Bali Spirit makes for a harmonic celebration of the spirit of life itself. With the prevalence of a strong ascetic energy, the simplicity of an experience at the festival makes for quite the tranquil journey.

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4. Quiet Music Festival

Where: Portland, USA

As peaceful, as peace can be, the Quiet Music Festival is a major alternative to the noise and hysteria usually generated by music festivals. The self confessed only festival where ‘sleeping is encouraged’. The community inclusive festival brings back the idea of ’emotional, vibrant and low volume music’ that is more soothing, than incarcerating. This, celebrates the calmning quality of music that is often ignored and pushed to the brim.

Chris Owen

Chris Owen

5. Bhakti Fest

Where: Joshua Tree, California

Bhakti Fest in California is a true spiritual gathering of genial people who employ the path of yoga, a wellness regime and kirtans to heal their mind, body and soul. It amalgamates ancient and modern practices to create a truly cohesive practice, so people may connect with one and other via devotional anthems and the general vibe that seeks to promote all-round wellness. For people seeking energies closer to divinity, Bhakti Fest makes for a gentle sojourn into spirituality.

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6. Mandrea Music Festival

Where : Lake Garda, Italy

Community spirit, picturesque beauty, intimate gathering and the Italian creative spirit come together to create a festival that is fueled by the energy of social interaction and familial spirit. Everyone from young and old descend upon the beautiful Lake Garda for a getaway from daily humdrum; an experience that is fueled by quiescence and immense goodwill. It is this very energy that encourages people to go to the Mandrea Music Festival for peaceable mellowness, like no other.

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7. Joshua Tree Festival

Where: Joshua Tree, California

For some, there is no greater a satisfaction than being surrounded by artistic brilliance in all its glory. Joshua Tree employs the method of yoga, mindful exercises and healing practices in collaboration with music, visual art, astronomy theatre and positive vibrations to give forth an experience that is truly enriching in every spirit of the word. The festival provides the perfect backdrop where one can ease up and truly experience the good of art, in every manner.

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8. Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Where : Imphal, Manipur

There may not be an experience more profound than one spent in the lap of nature, nurturing with it. Where Have All The Flowers Gone? is dedicated to the music and environmental messages of the legendary artist Pete Seeger, and is thus celebrated for three days, culminating on this birthday, the 3rd of May in the scenic green expanse of Imphal. The artists performing at the festival all have incredibly strong environmental activism leanings.