Go Now: Jazz, Films, and Lit Fests in Goa this November

Goa’s cultural calendar blooms in November and December. | By Revati Upadhya  
Singer Goa
The Goa International Jazz Live Festival offers the chance to catch performances by jazz heavyweights such as the Erik Truffaz Quartet, who played at the festival in 2013. Photo: Julien Branco/Facebook

Holidaying in Goa is generally about lazing on the beach, feet in the sand, wind in hair, and cocktail by one’s elbow. The ocean is always a good idea, but how about creating a different set of memories this season? Goa’s cultural calendar blooms in November and December with festivals dedicated to film, literature, music, and food. These are a few that are worth the trip. Don’t worry, you’ll still have time for the beach.


Goa International Jazz Live Festival

Just when the festivities of IFFI are simmering down, the Goa International Jazz Live Festival comes to life in south Goa. The weekend event takes place at Stonewater Eco Resort, an earthy retreat with lots of green and spectacular views of the ocean. The festival’s line-up features eight bands from around the world, including legendary Goan musician Steve Sequeira, Japanese jazz collective Yuichiro Tokuda’s Ralyzzdig, and Canada-based singer-songwriter Malika Tirolien. Spend mornings by the pool—Stonewater Eco Resort has charming log cabins—and the evenings soaking in the sounds of progressive and modern jazz artists from around the world. Better still, the venue is only 15 minutes from Dabolim airport—perfect for a weekend getaway.

Sat November 26 & Sun November 27, 2016. Daily pass ₹750; two-day festival pass ₹1,200. Click here for more details.

IFFI: International Film Festival of India

Come November, IFFI takes over Panjim, bringing glitzy lights, film-inspired installations, and food stalls to the riverside promenade that runs along the River Mandovi. The nine-day event has screenings and panel discussions held in auditoriums and theatres across the city, often with snaking lines outside. IFFI’s line-up is a mix of commercial and documentary cinema in English, as well as foreign and regional Indian languages, and offers the chance to see movies that may never release in India. Plus, there are panel discussions and masterclasses with powerhouses of cinema. Previous speakers have included Shyam Benegal, Susan Sarandon, and A.R. Rahman.

From Sun November 20-Mon November 28, 2016. Registration is free and can be completed online. Each film screening is a ticketed event; prices vary. Click here for details.

Goa Arts & Literature Festival

Compared to the hoopla that surrounds the lit fest in Jaipur, the Goa Arts & Literature Festival is a more intimate and far less intimidating literary gathering. The festival is free, open to all, and held at the International Centre, Dona Paula. The crowds might not be large, but the fest still draws big authors, such as Amitav Ghosh, Jerry Pinto, and Teju Cole. It’s a chance to hear some of the best minds in literature, maybe even chat with them over chai and snacks on the venue’s lawns. GALF is a fertile literary space, brimming with opportunity for aspiring writers and aficionados alike.

From Thur December 8-Sun December 11, 2016. Entry is free, but requires prior registration here.

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