It was about a year ago at almost the same time, I have vivid memories of a dear friend showing me multiple videos on his phone, of music artists playing some crazy ass music, in an almost surreal setting – a beautiful palace in Rajasthan. And that’s when I had decided to not miss it the following year.
Cut to about a week back – my bags were packed and I was ready to brace the cold and above all – pitch my own tent 🙂 and experience Magnetic Fields 2015! We were a group of 15 of us (all convinced by ONE couple who went last year 🙂 ) who were all visibility excited. It would be fair to say that out of the 15 of us travelling together, there were just a few who knew what kind of music to expect from the festival, the rest were there for the experience more than anything else.
A 45 minute drive from Sadalpur (yes, I had also never heard of it before) gets you to Alsisar – the venue for the festival. The highlight of the drive was Bullet (pronounced as ‘Bult’) a super strong beer which had people singing and dancing after just a few sips :). The venue was beautiful –“Alsisar Palace”-the main grounds where the festival was happening had an imposing yet elegant feel to it. “The Bedouin Village” – a rather huge expanse of sand, where the tents had been setup, looked more than ready to welcome its occupants for the next three days.
The levels of excitement were on its peak, on the first day, and since we were there we wanted to make the most of it. There were some of us who preferred to sleep it out and conserve their energies for the evening whilst there were some who were mentally prepared that sleep is not something that we would be focusing on for the next three days :). The festival had three main stages:
- One was located at the Bedouin Tent Village and played music from about 1200 to 1600 hrs in the afternoon
- The second was in the garden area of the palace and played music from 1600 till about 2300 hrs
- The third was in an open atrium kind of a structure in the palace and played music from 2300 till the wee hours of the morning
On different days the setup would shift to secret areas within the palace, like “the dungeon”, “poolside” or the “chill garden”- a fantastic idea I must say.
Day 1 seemed a little drab in terms of the music; I think the only thing that kept us going was the excitement and the fact that it was something new – having said that I still remember returning to my tent at 0400 hrs in the morning 🙂
Day 2 had a surprise in store for us at 1400 hrs at the stage located in the Bedouin Tent Village the schedule said “A Very Special” guest would be playing and boy was he special. “Soulclap” played for about a couple of hours and he had people bouncing, swaying and jumping to his happy tunes. So much so that we have a friend who does not get on to the floor till the time Bollywood is pumped-this guy was jamming to Soulclap for about an hour. When his set was over he goes he exclaimed “I’m calling this guy to play for my anniversary and all of you are also invited”. That literally had us in splitsJ. The music in the evening on Day 2 was better than the first day with “Objekt” belting out some good tunes but still I felt something was missing. This was ratified by the couple who attended the festival last year, they said that by the second day they were jumping on the floor-the music was that good. Once again all of that aside I returned to my tent at 0600 hrs.
Day 3 we decided to take it a little easy and wandered out to eat some local Rajasthani food. In the evening we decided to sit by our tents, light a bonfire and more or less spend the evening there rather than going to the palace grounds. It seemed to be a good call as we were all having a fantastic time. It also gave us the opportunity to make some new friends and connections with a people who were staying right next door. The evening seemed to be just perfect – lots of alcohol, some drinking games, some sentimental bonding, and a surreal setting – what more could you ask for. Actually you could ask for more :)! A few us decided to walk into the palace grounds just to see what was happening, .We reached the palace grounds and the garden stage was packed to capacity and an artist by the name of “Garden City Movement” was playing. All it took was five minutes for us to be transported to a completely different zone – we could not wipe the smile of our faces and stop moving, the same was the case with the next artist “HVOB”. It prompted us to quickly call the rest of the clan to the palace grounds and for the first time in the three days we were all together and each and every one of us was actually enjoying the music. Irrespective of whether we had heard this kind of music before, Irrespective of whether we had heard the name of the artist before, Irrespective of what our tastes in music were-everyone was having a BLAST. It was only then that I realized the power of music – the amazing ability that it had to bring everyone together :). Our friend who dragged us for this music festival called that moment as “Redemption” for himself because he was no longer feeling guilty about getting everyone to attend this music festival.
The closing set of the festival was played by “BLOT”- I have heard them a couple of times before in Delhi and always knew that they were good, but I never knew that they were very, very, very, very, very good :). They played a five hour set starting at 0300 till 0800 hrs – words to describe this set by BLOT are not enough. A friend put it very rightly – “They got the crowd together with a couple of commercial well known tracks, once they had everyone’s attention it was like they were making a statement – This is what we are capable of”.
It was three days of sheer madness-a fantastic cocktail with the right ingredients (the place, the people, the music) in the right quantity, shaken for the right amount of time and served in the best possible glass with the most beautifully done garnish. 🙂
For all those who haven’t been-give this one a shot-no amount of hearing about it from others or reading write-ups like this will prepare you for what is in store. They say that such experiences can only be “felt”. If nothing else you will come back as someone who can bear the cold better. 🙂
Well done Magnetic Fields!!
Dreamer, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer