Good memories come easy with Bacardi NH7 Weekender, one of India’s best organised indie music festivals. Whether it’s lying back on the grass and listening to live music acts, or grooving at a pumping open-air dance party, most festival-goers come away with at least one new favourite song and fresh bands to follow. This year’s edition will run across weekends in October and November 2016 in eight Indian cities.
The annual festival’s eclectic line-up pulls in crowds with Bollywood acts, but has a loyal following for its showcase of emerging artists. It was first organised by media enterprise Only Much Louder in 2010, and this year, will have weekend editions in Pune, Hyderabad, and Shillong. In addition, there are day-long gigs (called Bacardi NH7 Weekender Express) in Kolkata, Pondicherry, Mysore, Nagpur, and Jaipur. Bop your head at a stage, or grab a bite from the stalls put up by local restaurants, and browse through the festival’s flea market.
Here’s a breakdown of the musical acts and local attractions to look out for in each city.
Spend your Saturday soaking in the sunshine and music in this seaside city. The line-up currently includes performances by EDM artist Nucleya, contemporary folk music band The Raghu Dixit Project, and Chennai-based alternative rock band Skrat. When you’re not at the festival, sample chocolate sandwiches at the cafe Zuka, or go on a cycle tour of the city. For more ideas, use our guide.
Fly into Shillong for a relaxing weekend with sets by artists like UK rock musician Steven Wilson (founder of the band Porcupine Tree), and popular acts like EDM musicians Nucleya and Dualist Inquiry, and Shillong-based rock band Soulmate. The postcard-pretty destination has a distinct musical legacy, which you can tune into at eateries like Café Shillong, which puts on live gigs every Sunday. Also sample Khasi meals at restaurants like Jadoh, which shares its name with a local delicacy made of red rice and pig’s blood. For more ideas, use our guide.
This debut edition of NH7 Weekender includes The F16s, an alternative/electro rock band from Chennai, Bengaluru-based contemporary folk-rock act Swarathma, and EDM musician Dualist Inquiry. Mysore is a feast for culture buffs, with its gorgeous palaces, ghee-soaked Mysore pak, and paper-thin masala dosas. More here.
The all-new weekend edition in Hyderabad brings together electro-funk duo Madboy/Mink, folk-pop singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad, alternative rock band Skrat, and metal band Bhayanak Maut. Before the gigs, dig into local favourite breakfast item MLA pesarattu, or explore the city’s staggering history at forts and architectural landmarks like the Charminar. Use our guide.
Travel to Nagpur for its new day-long NH7 Weekender Express. Expect performances by Hindi rock band Ankur and the Ghalat Family, folk-rock band Kailasa, and folk-pop singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad.
The debut day-long festival at Jaipur showcases folk-rock band Indian Ocean, folk-pop singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad (who was born in the city), and EDM musicians Nucleya and Dualist Inquiry. November is peak season in the desert state; extend your stay with inspiration from our list of short breaks in Rajasthan.
Return to where it all began at NH7 Weekender. The line-up features acclaimed sitar player Anoushka Shankar, hip-hop act Naezy x Prabh Deep, and electronic project Nicholson. Fuel up before the performances with our guide to brunching in the city.
Tickets Two-day passes for NH7 Weekender in Pune, ₹3,250; Hyderabad, ₹2,500; and Shillong, ₹2,000. Buy them here. Passes for NH7 Weekender Express will go on sale soon.
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