Imagine the still, azure water of Umiam lake surrounded by Khasi pines under a cold blue sky, the air filled with aromas of hot, scrumptious pork dishes and the vibrations of basslines reverberating the ground beneath your feet. That’s the essence of The Hills Festivals in Meghalaya. The annual celebration of music, food & culture is back again this year with a spectacular line-up of national and international artists, a food pavilion showcasing regional culinary delicacies and art installations embodying the mythical tales of the state.
The Hills Festival, Meghalaya is happening on November 4 and 5 at the Lum 'Er Pyngngad, Umbir, 15 kms from Shillong. The festival will host acclaimed artists like Bloodywood, Taba Chake, Karan Kanchan, HanuMankind, The F16S, Trance Effect, Featherheads, DBryn and Daminot among others. A large section of the festival will be dedicated to gastronomy with The Forage Isle featuring the famous Mumbai-based chef Thomas Zacharias aka Chef TZac. It’s going to be a special layout of indigenous forage and local wild edibles from Meghalaya. The aisle will host a culinary exchange between Chef TZac and local chefs, who will come together and share stories and ideas while curating lip-smacking delights along the way. Make sure you register if you wish to participate.
Also gracing the culinary celebration is The Pig-Out Affair, a community cookout serving pork dishes distinct from their tradition and culture. “In any outdoor feasting in the state, pork is one dish that is symbolic of a community celebration. The Pig-Out Affair is much more than just a platter of pork dishes but a get-together of communities, instilling a sense of belonging through food,” says Sahil Majaw, founder of , an event management company in Shillong.
Keeping the environment an important mandate for this year’s festival, the organizers are introducing several green initiatives. From the venue’s promotional backdrops to the art installations, everything will be built using environmentally-innovative materials.
“As we grow and evolve, our festival is building an ethos around eco-tourism where we highlight travel responsibility to natural destinations. The chance to slow down and reconnect with nature. The biggest challenge of most festivals is waste management, this year we aim to sort, compost, recycle and upcycle waste and prevent most of the trash from ending up in a landfill. And for this, we have partnered with , an organization which will help us in the disposal of waste at the venue,” shares Sahil.
is organized by HYPE Meghalaya and backed by Meghalaya Tourism. Their vision is to make the festival a huge tourist attraction while keeping it environment-friendly. The team at HYPE aims to offer an immersive experience, and introduce concepts similar to boutique festivals gaining popularity in the world.
You can come alone or bring your kids to chill at their Play-Care section, go cycling, camp out in their stylish, cosy tents and gaze at the night sky, feast on the local delicacies and dance to the rhythms of musical masters. The Hills Festival, Meghalaya offers a quintessential two-day escape from the world to soak in nature and culture among the mountains.