Where to Go in February: Attend a Carnival in Goa, a Sufi fest in Jodhpur

February is lush with music fests and much more. It also is your last chance to dash outdoors to make the most of what is left of winter.  
Udaipur

Udaipur World Music Festival, Rajasthan

The third edition of the Udaipur World Music Festival returns to Rajasthan from 9 to 11 February. On the menu are performances by Indian and international artistes, ranging from jazz and classical to rock and pop. Singer-songwriter Ankur Tewari, Bollywood trio Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy, and Barcelona-based band Txarango, along with local Rajasthani artistes, are set to perform at this three-day cultural extravaganza.

(Entry free. Acts are spread across five locations—Maharana Pratap Airport, Udaipur Railway Station, Fateh Sagar Paal, Gandhi Ground and Amber at Amet Haveli, and Ambrai Ghat. Find out more here.) 

 

Surajkund International Crafts Mela, Haryana

Local and international craftsmen gather in Faridabad to sell fine handicrafts. Photo by: IndiaPictures/Contributor/Getty Images

Local and international craftsmen gather in Faridabad to sell fine handicrafts. Photo by: IndiaPictures/Contributor/Getty Images

Artists, craftsmen and weavers from across India will flock to Faridabad this February. The annual Surajkund International Crafts Mela, now in its 32nd year, will be back with a bang between 2 and 18 February. The theme state for this year is Uttar Pradesh. So expect melt-in-the-mouth shaami kebabs and piping hot samosas. There’s plenty to admire and buy too, from pieces carved out of wood, bamboo, cane and crochet laces to lac bangles and kalamkari paintings. The open-air chaupal is perfect to unwind over music and dance performances by artistes from India, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka and Japan. The line-up boasts of Red Brick House, a folk fusion band from Chandigarh, and the three-piece ensemble Nizami Bandhu. Their family has been singing qawwalis inside Delhi’s Nizamuddin Auliya dargah for over 700 years.

(Timings 10.30 a.m.-8.30 p.m.; Tickets Rs80 on weekdays, Rs120 on weekends.)

 

Sula Fest, Maharashtra

Sip on wine and revel in music at the Sula Fest in Nashik. Photo courtesy: Sula Fest

Sip on wine and enjoy the music at the Sula Fest in Nashik. Photo courtesy: Sula Fest

If you love wine, music and, even better, both together, then head to Nashik for the 11th edition of the Sula Fest. The festival, to be held between 3 and 4 February, has a stellar line-up of indie, mainstream and international artistes. Music director Amit Trivedi is to take stage here, so is the stunning Austrian beatboxing ensemble, Bauchklang. Now because it’s Nashik, there are grapes to be stomped at and vineyards to tour. But foot massage stations here are geared to give your legs some TLC.

(Single-day pass cost Rs2600, two-day pass are for Rs4,300. Find out more here.)

 

Vh1 Supersonic, Maharashtra

Pune's Laxmi Lawns will see a host of musicians for the fifth edition of Vh1 Supersonic. Photo courtesy: Vh1 Supersonic/Facebook

Pune’s Laxmi Lawns will see a host of musicians for the fifth edition of Vh1 Supersonic. Photo courtesy: Vh1 Supersonic/Facebook

The fifth edition of the multi-genre music fest Vh1 Supersonic is here, this time in Pune’s Laxmi Lawns, between 9 and 11 February.  The line-up itself is enough to establish the fest’s credentials. American EDM producer and DJ Marshmello, EDM trio Major Lazer, Indian music producer Nucleya, American DJ Dillon Francis, Kolkata-based pop duo Parekh & Singh, and Jamaican hip-hop artist Sean Paul, are amongst those who are slated to rock the stage. To keep you company, there are hammocks and beer.

(Tickets starting Rs1,750. Find out more here.)

 

Goa Carnival, Goa

The legendary King Momo precedes the parade by commanding the festive goers to party. Photo by: Raveendran/Staff/Getty Images

The legendary King Momo precedes the parade by commanding the festival-goers to party. Photo by: Raveendran/Staff/Getty Images

The Goa Carnival, a dazzling, grand celebration before abstinence for Lent begins, is round the corner. From 10 to 13 February, streets in Panjim, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa will come alive with people enthusiastically parading down them, flaunting their Mardi Gras costumes and life-sized floats fashioned after dragons, tigers and even clowns. There will be live music to jive to, and the finale will showcase an act by Panjim’s famous Clube Nacional bar in their trademark red-and-black costumes.

(Entry free. Find out more here.)

 

World Sacred Spirit Festival, Rajasthan

Sufism transcends borders as folk musicians from India and other countries gather in Jodhpur's Mehrangarh Fort. Photo courtesy: Mehrangarh Museum Trust

Sufism transcends borders as folk musicians from India and other countries gather in Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort. Photo courtesy: Mehrangarh Museum Trust

Sufi poems and folk music will take centre stage at the World Sacred Spirit Festival inside Jodhpur’s splendid Mehrangarh Fort. In its 11th year, the festival will host national and international artistes between 15 and 18 February. Other than performances by Rajasthan’s Langas and Manganiyars, some other artistes to watch out for are poet Madan Gopal Singh; singer Indrė Jurgelevičiūtė’s, expert at playing kanklės, a Lithuanian plucked string instrument; and Turkish musician Haroun Teboul. Dominique Margot’s documentary Toumast: Guitars And Kalashnikovs, retracing the history of the Tuaregs, an Islamic nomad tribe transcending the Sahara Desert, through a musician’s narrative, is also on the menu.

(Mehrangarh Fort is the base venue, 2 venues are on walking distance – Jaswant Thada & Rao Jodha Park. Tickets starting Rs4500. Book here. Find out more on www.worldsacredspiritfestival.org)

 

Backdoors 2018, Karnataka

Prateek Kuhad dazzles in the artiste line-up along with a few other musicians set to perform at Backdoors 2018 in Mumbai and Bengaluru. Photo by: Hindustan Times/Contributor/Getty Images

Prateek Kuhad dazzling the audience at Backdoors 2017. He will be performing this year too. Photo by: Hindustan Times/Contributor/Getty Images

Head to the Indiranagar Club in Bengaluru to groove to some multi-genre music. The second edition of Backdoors returns to the city on 17 February with performances taking stage in an open ground. While the biggest draw remains American rap sensation Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, also watch out for British progressive metal band TesseracT, Bangalore-based singer-songwriter Mahesh Raghunandan, hip-hop and spoken-word artist George Watsky, London alt-rock band Wolf Alice and Indie singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad amongst others. Folks in Mumbai can catch the same line-up on 14 February at Jio Gardens.

(2 p.m. onwards. Phase 3 tickets Rs2750. Book here. Find out more on backdoors.in)

 

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Maharashtra

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival hosts a number of workshops, food stalls, dance and music performances alongside panel discussions featuring art stalwarts from the industry. Photo by: Hindustan Times/Contributor/Getty Images

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival hosts a number of workshops, food stalls, dance and music performances alongside panel discussions featuring art stalwarts from the industry. Photo by: Hindustan Times/Contributor/Getty Images

This year’s edition of Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is centred on the theme of nature. The multicultural fest will be spread across venues in Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda precinct between 3 and 11 February. There are a host of art and culinary workshops, film screenings, music and dance performances, and plays and reading sessions to attend; and hundreds of handicraft stalls to shop from and food stalls to eat at. Get a taste of the local Koli delights or dig into pasta or khow suey. Watch Fort’s Cross Maidan transform into a dance floor encompassing a range of classical and western routines. Get floored by Ustad Zakir Hussain’s musical performance or attend sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan’s talk on his book, Master on Masters. Do keep an eye out for a Hara Ghoda (green horse) among other innovative art installations.

 (Entry free. Find out more here.)

  • Pooja Naik is a recent media graduate. She likes to take long leisurely walks with both hands in her pocket; channeling her inner Gil Pender at Marine Drive since Paris is a continent away.

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