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What to Expect at Taalbelia Festival This Weekend

The second edition of the music, art & crafts and adventure includes special one-off collaborations and curated sets slated to take place in Mandawa, Rajasthan

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Dec 21, 2017

Uday Benegal of Indus Creed | Photo Credit: Pranab Doley

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If you still haven’t experienced a desert music festival, Taalbelia might just be the place to be this week. The second edition of the three-day festival, which takes place between December 23rd and 25th at Mandawa Resort, Rajasthan, brings together love for music, food, art, crafts and adventure.

One of the major draws for fans of Indian indie include an entirely non-Bollywood set by singer-composer Mohit Chauhan, an onstage collaboration between Mumbai rock veterans Indus Creed and Shillong folk pioneer Lou Majaw, fusion from Maati Baani and more.

While Indus Creed frontman Uday Benegal has spent a fair amount of time with Majaw at the latter’s annual Bob Dylan birthday celebrations, the collaboration came about due to their management agency Mixtape. Benegal says, “Lou is a great guy, very dynamic on stage and so high-energy. We’ll play his songs and a few of ours as well. I want him to play his own songs as well do Dylan stuff. We’ve never done it this way, we’ve always played his songs with his band.”

Benegal adds that Indus Creed has rehearsed a few of Majaw’s songs, the troubadour is “notorious” for changing arrangements last minute. “He’s a livewire on his own, so I think I’ll be playing interlocutor on stage between the band and him.”

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Taalbelia also gives a stage to rock and fusion takeovers, courtesy of artists such as Anand Bhaskar Collective, Mumbai “ethnotronic” duo Filter Coffee, New Delhi act Shadow and Light, Maati Baani Collective, Rapperiya Baalam a.k.a. Ashok Bishnoi and more. Also featured are singer-songwriters such as Ankur Tewari and the Ghalat Family and Namit Das + Anurag Shanker.

Also taking the stage are electronic artists such as dancehall group Reggae Rajahs, disco/funk act Madboy/Mink, desi bass artist MojoJojo, mix-and-match producers like Malfnktion, Su Real and Sound Avtar.

In addition to a live set by New Delhi electronica veteran Gaurav Raina as GRAIN, there’s also a set by singer Monica Dogra and what promises to be a themed set from Los Angeles-bred hip-hop artist Raja Kumari, including Christmas songs.

In addition to music held across four stages, there’s also workshops centred around learning morchang, DJing, pottery, bangle-making, adventure options such as sand surfing and dirt biking and the festival’s Gourmet Fiesta food fare.

Taalbelia 2017 takes place from December 23rd to December 25th in Mandawa, Rajasthan. Buy tickets and get event details here.

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