It’s a busy time of the year when it comes to the cultural calendar. Here’s a pick of events not to be missed in the coming months
Since its inception in 2011, Oktoberfest Goa has seen EDM come alive, with fans joining from across the globe in huge numbers. The fest features some of the best DJs and live acts from across the country and abroad. This year’s edition of the fest promises to be a cracker of an event, with music that is sure to get you dancing, a wide range of beers to tickle anybody’s tastebuds, food stalls with mouth-watering local and continental delights, and a flea market as well.
When: October 20-22
Pushkar Fair, visited in droves by foreigners and Indians alike, is one of the largest gatherings for a fair in the world. Held in the month of Kartik, or November, it is one of India’s highly-rated travel experiences, featuring more than 11,000 camels, horses and cattle, and visited by over four lakh people. The mela brings together villagers, livestock, farmers and traders from all over Rajasthan. This year, artistes and groups such as Indian Ocean, Prem Joshua and Raja Hasan are expected to perform.
Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan
When: October 28-November 4
India Art Fair
India Art Fair returns, bringing the best art galleries in the subcontinent and beyond. Last year, MCH Group (Basel), a group of live marketing companies, took a co-ownership stake in India Art Fair, joining co-owners Angus Montgomery and founder-director Neha Kirpal. The fair provides a platform not only to established international galleries, but to emerging talent from south Asia as well. You can expect a breadth of modern and contemporary art practices, including paintings, sculptures, new media, installations, performance art, etc.
Where: NSIC Grounds, Okhla, New Delhi
When: February 9-12, 2018
Prithvi Theatre Festival
Named after the legendary actor Prithviraj Kapoor, Prithvi Theatre Festival, the annual celebration of theatre, was first held in 1983 and is now an annual feature of the Prithvi calendar, starting usually in early November and running anywhere from a week to a month. The focus of the festival is Indian and international theatre, showcasing groups from India and across the world.
When: Dates not confirmed
Dharamshala International Film Festival
Undeterred by the fact that Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, has no cinemas, the first edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival was held in November 2012. The festival aims to bring high-quality, independent films along with their filmmakers from around the world to Dharamsala and create a cultural platform to engage all communities that inhabit the area. Among the films to be showcased, one can look forward to two award-winning documentaries: Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson and Rahul Jain’s Machines. A special screening of A Death in the Gunj, presented in person by director Konkona Sen Sharma, is also in the line-up. That apart, there will be the India premiere of newly-restored American film Out of This World. Deepak Rauniyar’s Oscar entry from Nepal, White Sun, will also be screened, while south Asian premieres of three experimental films—Amar Kanwar’s Such a Morning (India), Naeem Mohaiemen’s Tripoli Cancelled (Bangladesh) and Singapore filmmaker Tan Pin Pin’s In Time to Come—are also in the fray.
Where: Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh
When: November 2-5
Mahindra Kabira Festival
Taking off from a memorable inaugural edition last year, the Mahindra Kabira Festival returns to Varanasi this year with another sublime celebration of the mystical poet-saint Kabir. The festival promises a specially-curated experience of the life and works of Kabir, his music and poetry, and the city of Varanasi (his birthplace, unparalleled for its unique ambience, flavour, soul and history). Conceived by the Mahindra Group and performing arts entertainment company Teamwork Arts, the festival will feature grassroots artistes, as well as renowned names such as Bindumalini & Vedanth, Mahesha Ram, Nathoo Lal Solanki, Rashmi Agarwal, Harpreet Singh, Kailash Kher, Shubha Mudgal, etc.
When: November 10-12
International Film Festival of India
With a focus on promoting Indian cinema globally, the International Film Festival of India has emerged as one of the biggest film festivals of Asia. The 48th edition will showcase the best of Indian and world cinema in Goa, providing an excellent opportunity to filmmakers and film lovers to watch, appreciate and learn the art of filmmaking. In addition, film students and lovers will also have the opportunity to interact with directors, producers and technicians of Indian and world cinema at workshops and masterclasses, which will focus on the different aspects of filmmaking.
When: November 20-28
Comic Con India
Comic Con India is dedicated to giving fans a platform to celebrate their passion for comics and pop culture. The event caters to fans of not only comics, but gaming, movies and television as well in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. This year, Comic Con India and Archie Comics have collaborated to provide all visitors a limited-edition Archie comic with an exclusive city-specific cover.
Where: Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi
When: October 14-15 (Hyderabad), November 11-12 (Mumbai), December 2-3 (Bengaluru), December 15-17 (Delhi)
Serendipity Arts Festival
In its second year now, this interdisciplinary arts festival aims to encourage the evolving arts community, promote a culture of patronage and create value for the arts in India. Serendipity Arts Festival will celebrate diversity in art with a special focus on music, dance, theatre, crafts, visual and culinary arts. The programming will be dispersed across a mix of indoor and outdoor locations along the Panaji waterfront in Goa. This year’s edition will feature over 70 art projects, including 40 projects that are commissioned specifically for the festival. The festival will feature projects curated by some of the leading names in their respective fields: Dinesh Khanna and Prashant Panjiar (photography), Ranjit Hoskote and Riyas Komu (visual arts), Manu Chandra and Odette Mascarenhas (culinary arts), Sanjeev Bhargava and Tanushree Shankar (dance), Lillete Dubey and Anuradha Kapur (theatre) and Shubha Mudgal and Ranjit Barot (music).
Where: Panaji, Goa
When: December 15-22
Jaipur Literature Festival
The Jaipur Literature Festival in Rajasthan has gained a reputation as the literary calendar event of the year, not least because it’s set in the stunning pink city. From Nobel laureates and local language writers to Man Booker-winners and debut novelists, every January, the most remarkable and brilliant authors from south Asia and across the world come together for readings, debates and discussions at the beautiful Diggi Palace in the Rajasthani capital. The event is free to participate, with online registration.
Where: Diggi Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan
When: January 24-29, 2018
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is a kaleidoscope of music, dance, theatre, street stalls and workshops, among others. It is a community celebration of arts within one of the most beautiful and historic precincts of Mumbai, the Kala Ghoda Art District. The festival has sections like visual arts, food, literature, films and a children’s section as well.
Where: Multiple venues in Mumbai
When: February 3-11, 2018
To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote the cultural heritage of Nagaland, the state government organises Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December. Visitors can enjoy colourful performances, craft exhibitions, sports, food fairs and games during the 10-day celebrations. Traditional arts, including paintings, wood carvings and sculptures, will be on display. Festival highlights include herbal medicine stalls, flower shows, Naga wrestling, musical concerts, etc.
Where: Naga Heritage Village, Kohima
When: December 1-10
Mahindra Open Sky
Mahindra Open Sky makes its debut this year in the Thar Desert. An experiential celebration of music, adventure and culture, the festival will have a specially-curated line-up of Indian and international artistes. From energising wellness sessions to experiences such as camel races, barbeque nights, star-gazing and film screenings under the stars, the festival is set to offer something for everyone. Artistes expected include Ayushmann Khurrana, Papon, Nikhil D’Souza, Sam Lewis, etc.
Where: Reggie’s Camel Camp Osian, near Jodhpur, Rajasthan
When: November 24-26