Here’s our pick of some of the best festivals across music, film and theatre that went down in the first quarter of 2013.
1. Storm Festival
The festival debuted last year and charmed festival goers with its scenic location –a beautiful stretch of green pastures amidst the coffee plantations and spice gardens, and surrounded by hills – in Coorg, Karnataka. The venue, and the fact that it is a camp-out festival, are its biggest selling points. This year, Storm grew in scale and featured four stages and 45 acts, comprising bands, singer-songwriters and EDM outfits. The line-up featured Karsh Kale, Swarathma, Papon among others. The fest was also headlined by a collaborative act between Shankar Mahadevan and Indian Ocean, who were seen teaming up for the first time.
When it all went down: February 1 and 2
Where: Coorg, Karnataka
2. India Bike Week
Think bikes, beaches and good music. Add a stunt arena, fight club zone and exhibition of a wide array of bike, and you have a bike week! This first edition of the festival was held in Goa and seemed promising on many different levels. Firstly, it happens to be a one-of-its-kind meeting point for sport/hobby and music. Secondly, it gave us yet another excuse to hop away to Goa! Obviously the turnout was pretty great.
When it all went down: February 2 and 3
3. Mahindra Blues Festival
Buddy Guy was not performing this year but that didn’t dissuade most from coming to this annual festival which has become a mecca for blues lovers from across the country. This year’s stellar international line-up included pedal steel guitar virtuoso Robert Randolph with The Family Band, guitar legend Walter Trout with his band, The Radicals, Popa Chubby and Dana Fuchs of Across the Universe fame among others.
When it all went down: February 16 and 17
4. A Summer’s Day
This March, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter-pianist Norah Jones made a lot of dreams come true when she headlined this new festival from the organizers of NH7 Weekender. At this debut tour of India, she performed at Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.
When it all went down: March 3-8
Where: Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru
5. Blue Lotus Festival
The curious city of Pushkar, Rajasthan played host to the debut edition of this festival. The week-long cultural extravaganza witnessed performances by 350 folk artistes from across India at multiple venues across Pushkar – by the lake, in the sandunes, temples and ghats.
When it all went down: February 13-18
Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan
6. Unbox Festival
Not dedicated to any one form of art, the Unbox Festival “ celebrates interdisciplinary processes and experiences that shape contemporary thought and action.” The five-day event featured workshops, performances, exhibitions, talks and seminars that prod one to analyse and debate. All in all, it was very well received.
When it all went down: February 6 – 10
7. Comic Con India
The third edition of the annual cartoon fest came back with a bang and this time, it looked even bigger and better.There were more prizes to win and a lot more activities to catch as well. Even if you aren’t a comic buff, the kaleidoscopic sights on offers and the joy of watching wandering cartoon characters of all shapes and sizes was quite incredible.
When it all went down: Feb 8 -10
8. Mud Rush Festival
This was one festival where you could actually showcase your dirty side. The one-day event in the suburbs in Mumbai featured a 7 km all-terrain marathon style run that with challenging obstacles designed by former members of the Indian military. After the tiring run, one could unwind by enjoying sundowner acts by DJs such as Weekender Heroes , Urban Breathe and Martin Roth.
When it all went down: February 9
Where: Kolad, Maharashtra
9. Fireflies Festival of Music
Fancy sitting in a quaint location and enjoying performances that take place on a stage canopied by an expansive banyan tree? Anyone who had an affrimative answer to that question head over to the Fireflies Ashram to soak in music that was eclectic in both its style and intimate in appeal. The multi-genre festival that celebrated tribal music as much as jazz featured artistes such as Bahh Band, Vedant and Bindu, and Floyd Fernande among others.
When it all went down: February 10