The northeastern region of India is known for its colorful festivals and diverse culture. From the beginning, the indigenous people of Northeast India have been indulging in the festivities and merriments. Hence, dance, music, and other forms of art are integral parts of their lives. Other than traditional activities, after the introduction of television and social media, many youngsters came up with the idea of organizing music festivals and events where regional and acclaimed music artists can showcase their talents. Many of the festivals are organized and funded by the state governments while the rest of them are organized with the help of private sponsors, and some of them are now considered one of the best music festivals in northeast India.
Here is the list of the best music festivals in northeast India and cultural fests we think you should not miss. Have a look!
Held every year in the first week of December, Hornbill Festival is a celebration of music. Also known as the ‘Festival of Festivals, it was first held in the year 2000. Hornbill is organized by the Art & Culture Departments and State Government and displays a melange of culture under one roof. It is a festival in which all the tribes of Nagaland take part in. This festival was started with an aim to revive and protect the rich and diverse culture of Nagaland and showcase its extravaganza and traditions.
For its visitors, it means to have a closer understanding of the local people and culture of Nagaland. This festival gives an opportunity to experience the delectable cuisine, melodious music, dances, and traditional customs of Nagaland. Hornbill is undoubtedly one of the best music festivals in northeast India.
The Ziro valley is a perfect place for a music festival of big sales because it is inhabited only by a local tribe namely Apatanis. The Ziro Music Festival is supported by the state government of Arunachal Pradesh and it features in its annual calendar of cultural events. Music bands and individual artists come from all corners of the country to take part in this yearly gathering of indie performers. In the month of September, since 2011, a group of music lovers has been thronging the remote Ziro valley in Arunachal Pradesh with the help of Apatani tribesmen to produce a long weekend that displays the best independent musicians of India. This festival in the Ziro Valley is one of the most sought-after and famous music festivals in northeast India.
Nh7 Weekender is an annual multi-city music festival in India. Created by an organization known as Only Much Louder, it is one of the largest music festivals in South Asia. The Shillong edition of this festival began in 2015 and since then it has become a huge event in northeast India and has witnessed performances by international music bands like Steven Wilson, Steve Wai, and Megadeth. A wide variety of stalls are set up during the festival which offers contemporary and traditional cuisine other than a host of beverages.
As the music starts, visitors indulge in outdoor activities like trekking, fishing, biking, cycling, art, and photography. It is a huge platform to promote honest, meaningful, and soulful music in the true spirit of rock & roll, folk, country, blues, jazz, rock & reggae, grunge, metal, and any form of independent original music with a centered heart. The idea behind this music festival was to mix the young, old, and local talent coming together from all across the country and beyond. Since its beginning, NH7 Weekender has become one of the most popular music festivals in northeast India.
Began in 2010, Metropolis Asia was founded by a young entrepreneur from Guwahati known as Ranjan Engti. Initially, it was a three-day-long annual celebration of art, craft and music organized each year with the help of Assam Tourism. This music festival is a collaboration of creative youngsters from all over the country and from outside the country.
The event is popular as one of the largest urban winter and happiest festivals in the northeast region of India. In 3 days of time, more than 500 activities take place in this pure cultural exuberance. Metropolis Asia brings an unmatched celebration of dance, theatre, music, art, workshops by famous and upcoming artists from all over the globe each year. Presently held in Shillong, Metropolis Asia is one of the best music festivals in northeast India.
The four days long extravagant festival is known to be the first adventure cum music festival in India. Orange Festival in Arunachal Pradesh offers many thrilling sports like zip-lining, all-terrain vehicle rides, angling, and river rafting at Dibang River, etc to add adrenaline to the festival. Every year, Orange Festival hosts more than 20 music bands from India and beyond to entertain music lovers and indulge in adventurous activities at Dambuk.
Apart from all the adventurous activities and music performances, local dishes, exhibition stalls displaying local crafts, and handlooms are set up on the festival grounds. This festival is sponsored by the government of Arunachal Pradesh and the Department of Tourism of Arunachal Pradesh but most of the setup of the festival is done by the locals. The locals open their doors and welcome the visitors with open arms with a sense of curiosity and eagerness to understand each other which makes the festival so unique and undoubtedly one of the best music festivals in northeast India.
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