Manali is all ready to welcome India’s psy-trance lovers to its hills, for the trippy, three-day psychedelic adventure that is Shiva Squad!
Apart from the culturally conducive scene of Goa, the northern part of India has been an active hot bed for psychedelic music festivals. The Himalayan range of hills and mountains not only provide perfect locations, but also exclusivity for ardent psy-trance fanatics. Of them, the Shiva Squad Festival easily stands as one of the more popular gatherings. Taking place in Manali, every September, it brings together the trip of a lifetime – crazy psychedelic music, fans, and natural scenic beauty, and will be held this year from September 25 to 27.
The Sherp rounds up why Shiva Squad must feature in your festival calendar!
In the lap of the Himalayas
Shiva Squad is held in a boutique resort spread over 20 acres at the Raison Kullu-Manali Highway, amidst the divine Himalayas. The location is a perfect foil to the remoteness the festival seeks to enjoy, as it remains cut off from the action of the more-tourist heavy part of Manali, allowing for a free-flowing assortment of music and dance.
Shiva Squad perfectly fits in with a planned vacation to the north. September is usually the time when the average weather conditions in India warm up, making it apt for a vacation. And nothing cools someone off like a trip to the north. With Manali always featuring in the itinerary of any traveler looking to hike across the northern landscape of Himachal Pradesh, Shiva Squad makes for a good stopover, as it allows you to enjoy psychedelic lifestyle in an unbridled manner.
Shiva Squad seeks to unite like-minded individuals, in an endeavour to promote a deep understanding of psychedelic culture that often goes under-appreciated. The festival, which attracts visitors from India and around the world, aims to also push for better social harmony, as people from all walks of life interact to the result of artistic expression. The festival is also intrinsically dedicated to a cultural amalgamation for all who visit the festival, making it possible to create a confluence of greater social understanding.
Shiva Squad also has camping opportunities making the festival as cohesive an experience as you can imagine. With social bonhomie ringing real and true amidst all the campers, there is the fostering of a special Shiva Squad community, with loyally bound connections.
Bringing together an assortment of genres, from psychedelic trance to EDM and IDM, covering artists from India and abroad, the music at Shiva Squad is easily a psy-trance lover’s paradise. With some of the trippiest beats accompanied by dramatic synth arrangements, electronic music truly does come alive at the festival.
There is no denying that Shiva Squad is where the most inherent psychedelic lifestyle can be found and experienced. The general atmosphere rings true with liberated expressiveness and comfort. The welcoming nature of the festival eases any first-timer’s experience too, making it a place to let all hang-ups be. The fact that the festival emphasises on a celebration of nature, life and consciousness makes it a much more profound festival experience.
Boutique festival experience
While, unlike most boutique festivals, Shiva Squad does not have an annual theme that dominates its proceedings, it still makes for an intimately exclusive experience. With a modest turnover of attendees that do not spiral over to make the festival grounds crowded, it helps sustain individual journeys and one-on-one interactions. If you love psy-trance music, and count yourself among people who prefer underground experiences to large-scale ones, Shiva Squad delivers your ideal festival offering!
(Image Source : Shiva Squad Facebook)