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Music Festivals of India: Northeast series

Ziro Music Festival

As the year gears towards its end, around the month of September you will find youngsters in college, friends, seniors and all that music enthusiast crowd flooding social media with queries in search of tickets to this very coveted fest that takes place in the north eastern hill state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is the Ziro Music Festival that takes place at the Ziro Valley, the most popular getaway for independent musicians across the country. The festival spans around four days with beats and strings of Indie rock floating across the vast and lush valley amidst the scenic mountains of Arunachal. It was started in 2012 and has since been the epitome of a footfall of the ‘coolest’.

In recent years the festival has been  significant to celebrating India’s independent music scene for people coming from across the country. The festival even features internationally heard names in the field of music. Musicians like Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley, Damo Suzuki, Shye Ben Tzur, MONO, Divine, Lou Majaw, Shaa’ir and Func, Indus Creed, Peter Cat Recording Co, Menwhopause( the founding member for the fest itself) , Guru Rewben Mashangva, and Barmer Boys, some of the best originators of Indie melodies have performed at the festival.

There are several more reasons to be present at Ziro simply besides the musical stargaze. Ziro is one of the best ambiences when it comes to music aligning with natural grandeur. The fest had a zero plastic encouragement policy and borrows an infrastructure that is dependent completely on locally sourced material. The Apatani people, an indigenous people of the valley are responsible for organising the festival.The creation of two stages for the fest named Donyi( Sun) and Polo( Moon) is based on the animist belief of Donyi-Polo practices by tribes of Arunachal. The festival encourages attendees to leave behind absolutely no waste.  Non Arunachal Indians however need an inner line permit to enter Arunachal and certain govt. permits required for visiting Ziro valley.

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