Rarely do you come across a festival that represents their local culture and music with such style & exuberance.
The Sherp’s first ever venture into Punjab was a truly memorable one as we attended a music festival that had been the epitome of Punjabi music gatherings for some time now. The line-up boasted some local biggies including Jassie Gill & Babbal Rai, Zora Randhawa – as well as the likes of Bollywood star Diljit Dosanjh & a very special electronic act by Nucleya.
Chimney Heights – the venue for this year’s Hungama Crossblade Festival, was a cozy 15 minute drive away from civilization. Add another 5-10 mins and you have the Chandigarh airport. The drive to the venue was a blissful one with a rural countryside view to boot. For someone who’s never been to Punjab in the winters – the weather would have brought a wonderful smile to your face.
One thing any noob does know about the north is that it’s definitely going to be chilly, and the fact that the temperature in Chandigarh ranged between 8 to 15 degrees, raised our excitement for the festival. Let’s not kid ourselves – who doesn’t love a music festival in such heavenly temperature.
Hype Around Punjab
Very rarely does an entire state know about one music festival, but word for Hungama Crossblade spread across the landscape like wild fire and almost every person we met prior to the festival asked us “Aap festival ke liye aaye hain na?” upon being greeted. It was at this moment when we realised that we had arrived at The World’s Biggest Punjabi Music Festival.
The Lawn, The Food & The Music
Upon entering the beautifully laid out venue, we came across some fascinating activities being set up, and along the path were a bunch of pretty lip-smacking food stalls. We were drained from the journey to the venue, so we couldn’t resist digging into some Punjabi ghee goodness. Lots of options for others as well – dumplings, pizzas & burgers – name the fast food, and it was there! The alcohol being served at the venue was affordable and plenty, and there was a Happy Hours slot for festival attendees on day two as well!
The lawn, across which the festival was laid out, was clean and pleasant to be around. The Hungama Crossblade team left no stone unturned when it came to guiding audiences on directions, amenities and everything else. The venue was a hit as soon as we stepped in.
There was a barrage of big Punjabi names performing at the festival and although a large chunk of the crowd began filling in later in the evening to catch the crowd favorite – Diljit Dosanjh & Nucleya – the fans really began to turn up to the likes of Jassie Gill, Zora Randhawa, Nooran Sisters, Hardy Sandhu & others.
Unparalleled Energy & Beautiful People
Boy, do the Punjabi locals know how to light up a party! Hungama Crossblade is one of the few festivals in the country that truly hit the sweet spot when it came to booking their artists – and they nailed it. Punjab loves it’s local artists, and the unparalleled energy they conjure up when they get on stage is quite a wonderful sight. The fans really vibed with the artists on stage, and that’s what music is all about – supporting your own, and making sure everyone has a good time. The Sherp made a bunch of friends – from neighbouring locales Chandigarh, Mohali, Ambala, Ludhiana and the likes. The warmth within the festival is something we’re going to savour for a while.
A wonderfully laid out festival promoting local music with all their heart, Hungama Crossblade has surely set the example for other festivals when it comes to promoting some of their own. Two stages, with an arsenal of Punjabi acts, were enough to keep the energetic crowd occupied – but a number of activities set up to keep the kids and youngsters engaged also added to the magical aura of the festival. Grub options were aplenty, the people at the festival were a joy to be around and the weather, combined, gave us plenty of reason to give Hungama Crossblade a big thumbs up from the Sherp’s end.
We cannot wait for the next one!