If there is one type of tourism that has caught the imagination of Indians–especially young Indians–over the last two years, it’s music tourism. You might be unfamiliar with this term, but if you travelled to Mumbai to listen to Coldplay, Justin Bieber or Ed Sheeran, you did i
If there is one type of tourism that has caught the imagination of Indians–especially young Indians–over the last two years, it’s music tourism.
You might be unfamiliar with this term, but if you travelled to Mumbai to listen to Coldplay, Justin Bieber or Ed Sheeran, you did indulge in music tourism.
What is music tourism?
To put it simply, music tourism is the act of travelling to a city or town to watch a music performance, or to attend a music festival. Like most travel trends, it started in the West, and many towns like Glastonbury in the UK depend on it for their tourist footfall.
Music tourism has transformed into a massive phenomenon globally, and it has become quite the buzzword in India in 2018. This growth is owed to the fact that the music scene is thriving universally, and young consumers are eager to explore it as a new experience.Performers at the Dhrupad Mela, Benaras. Image for representative purpose. Picture courtesy: Instagram/naonaodhrupad
Music tourism in India
In India, music festivals have become a great way for independent artists to showcase their talents. But more than just that, it gives a huge boost to local employment and tourist footfall. This gives Indian towns and cities a chance to present their culture, heritage and ethos.
And while you might assume that it’s only the big, international musical stars who attract enough crowds in India, there has been an increase in the interest in many music festivals across the nation.
One example is Ragasthan, set to be held in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, from February 23 to 25, 2018. This desert camping festival, set in the expansive sand dunes of the Thar desert, is attracting the crowds because it promises to be an ecclectic mix of music, culture and tradition.
Local performers at Ragasthan, Jaisalmer. Image for representative purpose. Picture courtesy: Instagram/cityshorahmedabad
The ongoing Dhrupad Mela in Benaras is another such example. This annual, five-day-long music festival celebrates the Dhrupad genre of Hindustani classical music, and is held at the Tulsi Ghat of this ancient city.
These music festivals don’t just attract Indian tourists, but also give foreign tourists to explore Indian music, culture and art in the very region where it belongs.
Other such popular music festivals which have witnessed an increased footfall are the NH7 Weekender (a multi-city fest), Sunburn (an EDM fest held in Goa), Hornbill (an annual rock fest in Kohima, Nagaland), Ziro Festival (held in Arunachal Pradesh), and the VH1 Supersonic.
So, while the concerts by artistes like Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber have only recently caught the attention of millennial travellers, other music festivals are also getting a huge boost.