Rajasthan Gets Another Music Festival – Taalbelia
The four-day multi-arts event will be held in Mandawa town; to feature diverse lineup of folk, rock, classical and electronic music acts
Very soon, it will be difficult to count on the fingers of both hands the number of music/art festivals held in Rajasthan. From Magnetic Fields (Alsisar) and Jaipur Literature Festival to Rajasthan International Folk Festival (Jodhpur) and Ranthambore Festival, India’s most colorful state is arguably also its most festival-friendly. Joining this gang of gigs this year is the multi-arts event Taalbelia, to be held in the town of Mandawa in the state’s Shekhawati region, from January 26th to 29th.
The festival will be spread across three stages and feature a curious mix of music talent (American saxophonist George Brooks, Hindi rockers Ankur & The Ghalat Family, electronica act Dualist Inquiry, classical musician Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt), with an added emphasis on putting the spotlight on local stalwarts such as folk singers Bhanwari Devi, Ghazi Khan and Anwar Khan Manganiyar, as well as drupad vocalist Sunita Amin and Sumitra, a local classical singer who will present her rendition of Meera bhajans. Festival founder Siddhartha Chaturvedi says the idea is to introduce styles of music to attendees that other music festivals fail to do. “We aren’t an event that is obsessed with a single genre so we want to present everything we can; Rajasthan has some amazing talent. Also, the one thing we are really excited about is having workshops with children and introduce them to a wide array of music.”
Apart from enjoying the music, attendees can also partake in interesting workshops that will offer mini courses on everything from shooting, pottery, crafting lac bangles or learning to play the morchang and the khartal. The more adventurous of the lot can explore dirt biking and sand surfing in the dunes.
Taalbelia is being organized in partnership with the royal family of Mandawa, and although hosting a music festival comes with its own set of challenges, Chaturvedi believes it’s rewarding in the end. He says, “We know it will be difficult to make money off it in the first year, but we’re in it for the long run.”
A round-the-clock event, Taalbelia will offer attendees three options for accommodation: Castle Mandawa, a majestic fortress turned into a luxury hotel; Desert Resort, which is built in the style of a hamlet; or the familiar (and plush) Swiss Tents. Package prices for the four-day event start at Rs 35,000.
Book your tickets for Taalbelia here.