August saw Boiler Room Mumbai smash the gateway open and undoubtedly set the tone for the upcoming music festival season in India. The passionate response to festival announcements, the rapid sales of tickets, and the organizer’s capability to attract the most prominent names in the industry are all signs that India’s live music locus is further expanding and flourishing. The music festival scene is thriving to the point where fanatics are spoiled for choice, with four festivals scheduled in the first week of November as of now, guaranteeing a hive of activity.
As the floodgates open for the music festival season in India, we take a peek at a few of the upcoming concerts you should definitely check out if the live music space is your vibe. From Palm Tree Festival to DGTL, our list comprises events that are curated with sustainable efforts, debuting showcases, returning spectacles, and a few more mentions!
Ziro Music Festival
When: September 28 – October 1, 2023
Where: Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh
Founded in 2012, the Ziro festival stems from Ziro Valley in the state of Arunachal Pradesh and is built on the pillars of passion, sustainability, community, and cultural diversity. The upcoming tenth edition will see performances from nu-folk duo Puuluup, electronic artist Komorebi, Anatolian funk crew The Boo Boo Bama Orchestra, hip-hop artist MC Altaf, indie rock duo Mannequin Death Squad, Zangoma rock trio Eliasse, DJ INA, Taba Chake and more.
The Ziro festival is one of India’s most environmentally friendly music festivals. The use of single-use plastic material at the festival site is prohibited, and the creative installations at the venue are made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. In 2022, The Print also touted the Ziro as “arguably the safest music festival in India for women.”
Palm Tree Festival (India Debut)
When: November 3-5, 2023
Concocted by Norwegian house music phenomenon Kygo and his manager Myles Shear, the one-of-a-kind Palm Tree Festival is set to make its first appearance on Indian soil. Fetching tropical sounds to the Mahalaxmi Race Course in Mumbai, the festival is set to detonate with music from EDM artists Sam Feldt, Kungs, Ravetek, duo Forester, Lady Barot, Almost Human, Whatnot, Kygo, Mona Yim, Edward Maya and the unstoppable force that is Teri Miko.
When: Postponed to April 2024
Where: Mumbai and Bengaluru
The sudden appearance of SPXCE JXM (‘Space Jam’) on social media as a multi-city showcase created quite a ruckus among live music aficionados. The debut showcase will take place in Mumbai and Bengaluru, stacked with a dynamic pool of Indian artists and six international names winched to perform at this multi-genre festival. Irish rock band Kodaline, Iraqi-Canadian singer-songwriter Ali Gatie, British indie pop band Bastille, and American alternative R&B group Moonchild are among the international acts announced thus far. Indian music staples Mali, Blackstratblues, Parvaaz, When Chai Met Toast and Till Apes are also on the line-up.
Find SPXCEJXM on: Instagram
Independence Rock (I-Rock)
When: November 4 – 5, 2023
After a triumphant return in 2022, Mumbai city’s headbangers extravaganza I-Rock, or Mahindra Independence Rock, is set to emit blaring guitar solos, blasting drums, and emphatic vocals once again at Bayview Lawns, Magazon. This year, the line-up fires out metalheads Gutslit, hard rock meets Indian folk crew Swarathma, progressive rock band Agam, alternative rock outfit Tough on Tabacco, and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Here to Stay’ fame Girish and the Chronicles. Rock band Parikrama also returns to the line-up after performing at the 2022 edition.
Early bird passes for this festival sold out within a day of its release. The Mahindra Group has also announced dates for the Mahindra Kabira Festival in Varanasi from December 15 to 17, 2023; the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai on February 10 and 11, 2024; the Mahindra Roots Festival in Mumbai on February 24 and 25, 2024; and the Mahindra Percussion Festival in Bengaluru on March 24, 2024.
India Vision Mandala Festival
When: November 4 – 5, 2023
Where: Mandala Pass, Arunachal Pradesh
India Vision Mandala Festival (IVMF) will radiate from the mountains of Mandala Pass at an altitude of 10,500 feet in Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh. Attendees can expect a two-day feast with a lavish spread of dance music traversing trance, psytrance, folk, and contemporary sounds. Phase one of the line-up brags psytrance music producer Spinal Fusion, progressive techno and psy-tech maestro SYNCSYSTM, underground veteran Calm Chor, Arman ‘Zokhuma’ Menzies, Folic State, and KillZen, among others.
IVMF is envisioned by New Delhi-based music producer, DJ, and educator Vikrant Rathore aka SYNCSYSTM or AUDIOGRAMME.
When: October 13 -15, 2023
Touted as “a three-day sonic paradise,” the debut showcase of Citrus Fest is chalked in to take place in Hyderabad at Xora Bar & Kitchen. This new festival promises to be a counter-culture celebration, rolling out funky cocktails, lip-smacking food choices, immersive experiences, face-painting stalls, and many more attractions. A plethora of electronic artists are lined up to take the stage at the zesty extravaganza, including Iranian-American house and techno DJ/producer Dubfire, duo Frankey & Sandrino, melodic house and techno DJ Romain Garcia, Indian music festival staple Nikhil Chinapa, Sickflip, Sequ3l, electronic pair Answer, Kayvee and Swethakiran.
Find Citrus Fest on: Instagram
Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival
When: October 26 – 30, 2023
Where: Jodhpur, Rajasthan
The Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), a non-profit roots music festival, summons visitors to the Mehrangarh Fort for five days of a multi-genre buffet of folk, reggae, jazz, classical, and world music. Throughout the day, concerts and shows are held at different locations across the venue. The renowned ‘RIFF Rustle‘ concludes the festival’s main stage each year. For this, a ‘rustler’ is chosen from the artist roster to lead a spontaneous jam session with the artists who have been performing at the festival.
When: November 17 – 18, 2023 (Bengaluru); November 18 – 19, 2023 (Mumbai)
Where: Bengaluru and Mumbai
Mumbai and Bengaluru ravers brace for an electrifying dance carnival as Amsterdam-based DGTL assembles the absolute powerhouses in electronic music. The forthcoming showcase boasts the likes of Amaya, Beholdgold, Chaz, Dr. Rubinstein, Innellea, Juliet Fox, Kilimanjaro, Nariki, Patrick Mason, Richie Hawtin, Tinlicker, LIKWID, Tech Panda and Kenzani, to list a few.
DGTL India, which was held in the cities of Mumbai and Delhi, pulled in over 15,000 attendees in 2022. The global electronic festival returns to Bengaluru following its maiden outing of DGTL Bengaluru in 2020. The Mumbai experience will take place in the Bombay Exhibition Centre, while the Bengaluru showcase will take place at The Lalit Ashok.
Locals District Festival
When: November 17 -19, 2023
Where: Alwar, Rajasthan
India’s first ‘none of its kind’ juggernaut-sized techno music festival marks its fifth edition this November. Weaving together a boatload of leading local and international talent in techno and its subgenres, the festival will radiate from Dadhikar Fort in Alwar, Rajasthan. Early bird tickets are already sold out at the time of writing, while the line-up announcement is still awaited. Last year’s techno shindig hosted acts Just-B, JBABE, Justine Perry, Catz ‘n Dogz, Armen Miran, and Djuma Soundsystem.
Cherry Blossom Festival
When: November 17 – 19, 2023
Where: Shillong, Meghalaya
After sitting out in 2022, Shillong’s esteemed Cherry Blossom Festival, assembled on the pillars of music, art, culture, and youth, makes its grand return. The upcoming three-day festival has a stellar card, bragging the likes of DJ and producer Jonas Blue, singer Ronan Keating, Linkin Park tribute band Hybrid Theory, Kenny Musik, Pink Panda, DJ Zethan, Ricaa Stella, and five-piece tribal band Da Minot, to name a few. Day one of the festival will feature the finalists of the Cherry Blossom’s Mega Music Contest, where five acts will duke it out for a grand prize.
Echoes of Earth Festival
When: December 2 – 3, 2023
India’s greenest music festival, Echos of Earth, ushers in its sixth edition in Bengaluru in December 2023. The forthcoming affair will place a greater emphasis on circular living, conservation, restoration, and regeneration. Flea and food and beverage stalls will not be providing any plastic packaging in the form of bags, cutlery, cups, or styrofoam. Early bird tickets are currently sold out, with calls for artists in live music, kinetic art, sonic art, immersive tech, graffiti, murals, etc. open.
Over the last five years, Echoes of Earth has hosted over 300 international and Indian artists. The official line-up is yet to be announced.
We conclude our in-depth list with more tantalizing music festivals on the cards across India. Currently, only the dates have been announced without a line-up reveal. Stay tuned to TFword as the festival season develops for additional insights, line-up updates, and more.
- NH7 Weekender: December 1 – 3 2023; Pune
- Magnetic Fields: December 15 – 17, 2023; Rajasthan
- Bandland: December 16 – 17, 2023; Bengaluru
- Orange Festival of Adventure and Music (OFAM): December 15 -18, 2023; Arunachal Pradesh
- Sunburn: December 28 – 31, 2023; Goa
- Lollapalooza: January 26 – 27, 2024; Mumbai
- Control ALT Delete (rumored return after four years): Dates pending; Mumbai
- Bangalore Open Air: February 9 – 10, 2024; Bengaluru
You May Also Like: