For a music festival that has expanded to five Indian cities, it came as a pleasant surprise when the folks at OML announced Shillong will be Bacardi NH7 Weekender’s next pit-stop.

After doing some research and getting up to speed with Shillong’s music and culture, we found a plethora of reasons why the quaint hill-station is the ideal destination for a music festival much like Weekender. Here’s the 411.


1.The unparalleled beauty of Meghalaya

As the capital of the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, Shillong is far different from any other typical Indian city.  This picturesque hill station is situated at an average (and whopping) altitude of 4,908 feet above sea level and is almost always engulfed in clouds, thus earning the apt nicknames ‘Abode of Clouds’ and ‘Scotland of the east’. Rolling hills surround the Shillong Plateau, a few of which are revered in Khasi tradition – Lum Sohpetbneng, Lum Diengiei and Lum Shillong. Until now music fests have travelled to more urban low-lying cities like Bangalore, Pune and Delhi that do not offer a view, as much as they offer good music. Weekender Shillong edition will be a lovely combination of both.


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2. Shillong isn’t called ‘India’s Rock Capital’ for nothing.

To say the Shillong’s rock music scene is thriving, would be a bit of an understatement, as some of India’s best rock talent originated from the quaint city. Take for example, Soulmate – a band touted as one of India’s premier blues and rock ‘n’ roll exports who have performed an array of gigs all around the world, including the 23rd International Blues Challenged in USA and opened for big-wigs like Carlos Santana. The people of Shillong’s deep love for rock and live music reflects through the little live venue cafes that pop up all over the city, that promote upcoming talent as well as host bands from all over India and around the world. The Bacardi NH7 Weekender Shillong roster already boasts of a beastly rock line-up, armed with Megadeth as the closing headliner.

The lineup will also have a strong local north-eastern representation, with some brilliant acts like Imphal Talkies, Street Stories, Soulmate, Papon and The East India Company, Lou Majaw & Friends, Lucid Recess all set to take stage. The Sherp cannot wait for this one.



3. The venue is pretty cool.

As you’re gearing up for the ultimate Weekender experience in Shillong, you might want to make note of where it’s happening. Unlike it’s other editions, Shillong’s first Weekender will be will be taking place at RBDSA Sports Complex, Madan Kurkalang, Bhoirymbong, in late October. Check out the video below to see what it looks like.


4. The weather is far from tropical.

Shillong is well known for its pleasant and pollution free summers, heavy monsoons and chilly winters, that is a blessing to most of us fed up with the rest of India’s tropical weather. October in Meghalaya is a pleasant combination of ocassional sun and thunderstorms. So come ready with all your monsoon gear, as getting drenched in the rain while watching Megadeth or The Wailers perform may just be the highlight of your experience.



5. Relatively untapped

As far as large scale festival venues go, Shillong hasn’t been explored as much. Live bands performing at cafes has been the general norm, so it will be nice to see how a five-stage music festival will fare in a city like Shillong. This will also give local enthusiasts the chance to watch a wide array of artistes and musicians perform at one venue, without having to travel to Delhi or Kolkata. Hopefully, after this, Shillong will be able to create a festival identity for itself and can maybe inspire more local promoters to host large scale music events.


6. While you’re there, you’ll have much to explore!

It’s not everyday that you get to travel to the far north-east of India, but when you’re there make sure to take a few days off and explore its many sights, sounds and cultures.

If you’re a nature buff, seeing the Nohkalikai Falls in Cherrapunji, (about 2 hours from Shillong) is an absolute must. The falls is the tallest plunge waterfall in India at a height of 1115 feet and is located in one of the wettest places on Earth. The falls are fed by rainwater collected at the top of the plateau, that stays wet only from March to November every year. A gorgeous plunge pool forms at the bottom of the falls, adding to it’s visual beauty. There is a creepy urban legend (that most people choose to believe) about a women who jumped off the cliff, after whom the waterfalls was named.


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Mawlynnong village is another awesome place to visit, being the cleanest village in all of Asia. Located a mere 50 km away from Shillong, the city is known for it’s matrilineal society and the fact that is has a livingroot bridge that is great for trekking!

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Be part of the madness this October and book your tickets here!

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