With the year inching to a close, The Sherp’s wishing away for some international acts to come here already and headline our favourite Indian music festivals.
While Christmas is the time to wish for new things aplenty, at the Festival Sherpa headquarters, we can be found wishing for only one specific thing – better headliners for the year to come. And for the upcoming year of 2016, we ended up with a mini wishlist comprising of a headliner or two for every Indian music festival we’ve loved and enjoyed over the years. Dream on, with us, will you?
1. Bacardi NH7 Weekender
Headliner Wanted : Foo Fighters
It’s time that Dave Grohl and his motley crew of kind-hearted, brilliant rockstars came to India, and what better festival to headline than the Bacardi NH7 Weekender. The festival, with Mogwai, Flying Lotus and A R Rahman has already proved its spot in the big league and it totally deserves one of the world’s greatest rock bands as its performing headliner. With Weekender expertly balancing the greats with the indies, Foo Fighters would be the perfect round-off to the festival 2016 gang, if you’re asking us.
Dave, do you need us to cover a song too, à la those ten thousand Italian fans.
2. Magnetic Fields Festival
Headliner Wanted : Aphex Twin
Magnetic Fields Festival has truly managed itself a cred for bringing in popular artists who command a dedicatedly niche following, what with acts like Ratatat and Garden City Movement leading their lineup this year. While Aphex Twin is no less than an electronic music legend, he’s also famously known to prefer candidly intimate performance venues over large scales one. We think his ambient techno sound will sit and sound perfectly in the confines of the Alsisar Mahal.
3. Ziro Festival of Music
Headliner Wanted : Junip
The heavenly expanse of the Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh where the Ziro Festival of Music is held deserve a sound that is as succinctly pure as their venue is. And who better than Junip? The band comprising of crooner José González and synth wiz Tobias Winterkorn are known to make folktronic rock music that is elevating and sublime, even as it is breezy, the kind that would sit well with Ziro. And to listen to them against the backdrop Ziro provides would be a dream come true.
Headliner Wanted : Calvin Harris
There has been significant buzz around a much needed Calvin Harris debut performance in India, and what better a festival to host him than Sunburn whose eagerly enthusiastic electronic music fans will rave hard for his welcome. The much popular and generously followed electronic producer would fit right into the Sunburn’s 2016 lineup likes a jigsaw puzzle piece waited for, far too long.
5. Jodhpur Riff
Headliner Wanted : Tinariwen
Jodhpur Riff, year after year, does a fine job at curating some exceptional pedigree of folk music, successfully bringing together acts of unquestionable skill and talent from India and around the world together. After having brought in Grammy award winning Israeli bassist Yossi Fine this year, they must, most definitely, explore the idea of bringing another Grammy-winning act of the world blues family. Algerian group, Tinariwen whose folk sounds and rebellious tunes of the desert gained them a cult following must make their Indian debut soon, and Jodhpur Riff should be the festival to bring them down.
Headliner Wanted : Django Django
Ragasthan has managed to bring in independent acts of reputable talent, and indie-sweethearts with popular following Django Django is who they should be aiming for in the coming year. The British psychedelic indie rock band are known for their retrogressive overtures and their stylistic statements would sit quite well with Ragasthan’s resident kitsch. And, truth be told, the idea of listening to Django Django in the dunes of Rajasthan has us excited like no other.
7. Johnnie Walker The Journey
Headliners Wanted : Sigur Rós, Tame Impala
Electronic genius Bonobo and jazz group Snarky Puppy for Johnnie Walker’s first edition, post-rockstars Explosions in the Sky, ambient virtuoso Tycho and dance music legend Giorgio Moroder for the second edition; it’s pretty clear that Johnnie Walker The Journey knows who to get. And since three’s the magic, we’re desperately hoping that for the next edition the festival taps Icelandic post-rock wizards Sigur Rós and popular psychedelic group Tame Impala. We’ll fan-nogenderbinary over it like little others.
8. Emerge Music and Art Festival
Headliners Wanted : Glass Animals, Foals
After Alt-J, Emerge Music and Art Festival must be on the lookout for indie sweethearts who’d make great debut performances in India. And we’re seriously recommending Glass Animals and Foals. Indietronic group Glass Animals have become the act to look out for in the music festival circuit what with their infectiously experimental beats. And indie rock band Foals are popular in their own right. We’d love for Emerge to bring them here.
Headliner Wanted : Nina Kraviz
Supersonic has always prided itself on bringing techno artists of repute and Nina Kraviz would be a fine addition to their lineup next year. Nina is not just a producer of veritable individuality but she’s also one of the few instantly recognisable sound mixer in the electronic music circuit and we’d love for a female producer to headline the festival yet again post Nervo this year.
10. Shiva Squad
Headliner Wanted : Talpa
Shiva Squad commands attendance from India’s steady group of psytrance fans, and to make them happier in the coming edition, Shiva Squad could bring down popular Serbian psytrance producer Talpa. As most psytrance acts have already been to India, with some firmly establishing base in Goa, Talpa is one act we’re most curious to see live; given the producers propensity for diverse sounds.
Headliner Wanted : Odesza
The electronic duo from Seattle have been one of the most popular names in the chillwave, indietronic genre and it’s time they came to India for good. And given Enchanted Valley Carnival and its penchant for smooth electronic acts, they’d be a good fit in the festival’s lineup. Also, we’re up for listening to Odesza in the chills of Aamby Valley.
12. Lost Party
Headliner Wanted : Toro Y Moi
Toro Y Moi is, hands down, one of The Sherp’s favourite electronic acts to have come out in the last couple of years. The young producer boats of a voice that reeks of the psychedelic tunes of the 70s and it helps that he’s eager to delve into the world of retrograde. His indie spirit would find perfect solace at the festival of Lost Party, where we’re sure audience would be eager to lap up his incredibly addictive melodies.