Wonderflip was an eccentric and fun-filled four-day adventure near Udaipur that consisted of dancing under the stars until dawn.
Who would’ve thought that a quaint, rustic hotel pretty much in the middle of nowhere would be the perfect place for a stunning new music and arts festival? Before Wonderflip, the beautiful Ravla Khempur hotel was in the spotlight for being featured in the British comedy-drama film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Wonderflip was a wonderful amalgamation of underground electronic music, Rajasthani hospitality, and performing arts. The excellently curated lineup by AFE and Ra Music included the likes of Vaal and Patrice Baumel, there was little doubt the music would be phenomenal and the festival would attract a clued-up crowd.
It was the attention to detail and the laid-back, zany vibe that made that this festival feel like a breath of fresh air. At Wonderlip, attendees enjoyed delectable cocktails designed by one of Diageo’s top brand ambassadors. Many also devoured the delicious gourmet food prepared by Delhi’s Amici Cafe and Andrea’s Place. Royal Enfield’s Maut Ka Kuan (Well of Death) had the crowd perplexed and at the edge of their seats, as daredevil motorcyclists performed death-defying stunts. Klove Studio’s Room of Reflections was another stunning installation at the festival where people seemed to be mesmerized by a dreamy fixture of suspended drop-shaped glass sculptures. The festival also housed a quirky little marketplace for those who wanted to purchase unique souvenirs and thoughtful gifts.
Aliya Rashid’s newly-formed event agency, Festival People, has definitely made its mark with conceptualizing a festival as exciting as Wonderflip. However, It is almost impossible for a festival, especially one making its debut, to conclude without any hiccups. At Wonderflip, the simmering heat during the day at the dusty campsite seemed to suck all the energy out of the festival. The experience could have been better with more suitable arrangements to handle the uncomfortable weather during the day. Many chose to explore the beautiful lakes and streets of Udaipur during this time, only to return to the festival around sunset when it was a little cooler.
Talented live acts like Grain, Gaudi, and Clown With a Frown were a delight to watch at the Main Stage, which also incorporated various acrobats and aerial performers along with fire dancers. It was heartening to watch the revival of the traditional Indian sport of Mallakhamba at the center of the dancefloor. The poolside Haveli Spa, that was surrounded by ‘khatiyas’ (traditional Indian hand-woven beds), was a hotspot where people could kick back and relax by the poolside and even opt-in for a blissful massage when their tired feet needed a break from all the dancing and exploring.
The impeccable after-hour vibe during the DJ sets outside the Haveli (Palace) was undoubtedly the best part of Wonderflip. Whether it was Frankey & Sandrino’s dreamy deep house set or Afterlife’s Vaal dishing out moody, melancholic records, the intimate stage outside the Haveli was the place to be. Dancing under the starlit sky, isolated from the noise and chaos in the world made it a truly unforgettable experience. On closing duties for the festival was Ankytrixx who was later joined by Bedrock’s Eagles and Butterflies. They delivered a masterful set as darkness turned to light with the sun rising over the charming little town of Khempur to mark the end of a memorable first edition of Wonderflip!
Eagles and Butterflies energetic after-hours set at Wonderflip!
Let’s see what the next edition has in store for us.