We have all heard of Lollapalooza, the Weekender festival, Ziro Festival, and many more such fantastic music festivals happening across India throughout the year. While they are brilliant in their own right, let me step away from the glitz and glamorous music festivals and share with you some news about a more uncharted music festival, nestled in the faraway hills of Manipur, in Eastern India, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When the organizers of Wildernest started the festival, the venue had no mobile connectivity signal, electricity, or even a proper road. It was located at the heart of the wilderness and that was the reason behind the name of the festival. Folks had to walk at least a kilometer to reach the venue and that was exactly the kind of experience the organizers wanted to present—the walk through the paddy field and the thoughts that fill one’s head as they journey to the venue were all part of the experience. The first edition had few attendees and the organizers of Wildernest want to bring the experience to more people.
Wildernest’s frontman Heisnam Shantanu, an architect and sound enthusiast, who also does art installations and event productions based on bamboo, decorates the venue space with mostly locally sourced materials. The stage, stalls, and washrooms are all handbuilt by a group of volunteers and villagers. Wildernest Festival has now developed an identity for itself as a DIY festival, revolving around music, arts, and nature. Like any other eco-conscious festival, Wildernest tries to keep its footprint minimum with a plastic-free environment. They run their promotions only through paper posters and social media platforms. The organizers use discarded flex prints from used hoardings as roof materials for their stalls.
Along with music, the two-day festival music is also about making arts and crafts, connecting with the natural surroundings, and most importantly with oneself, one last time, before the beginning of a New Year. It will have an art market, where artists can showcase and sell their creations, music therapy workshops, sessions on gender sensitivity, an open mic Kekru Session along with all the performances by the bands and musicians. The festival caters to around 600 attendees & prioritizes artists and musicians emerging from North-East India. The lineup consists of some gems of musicians, who often showcase their new projects, both obscure and famous ones. The lineups are always versatile and feature some new artists. This year's new projects include Mothership, Wisp the Will O, and The Underground Projekt. You can check out the entire artist list from the event poster.
The festival is on from the 28-29th December, 2022. Do not miss it. Earlier editions of Wildernest have hosted performances of many emerging acts from the region that have now made it to nationally popular festivals and platforms.
You can find out more about Wildernest here.