Music festivals are held pretty regularly across the country these days, and attending one has become all the rage among people of all ages. It gives us a chance at a complete timeout from our schedule and immerse in something that we love, something that inspires.
However, in a time when every city is touting a music festival, where you might hear the same acts repeatedly, India Music Summit—which was held for the first time in October 2017—comes as an important event that celebrates not only music but also musicians of a bygone era.
India Music Summit was launched with the aim of bridging the gap between the artiste and the audience. It especially targets younger audiences who may not know their manganiyars from their langas, one Hindustani gharana from the other, or indeed even the best known names from Hindustani or Carnatic music.
Over three days, stalwarts such as Pandit Jasraj, Sunanda Sharma, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Shujaat Khan, T.M. Krishna and Hariharan performed under one roof with artistes like Clinton Cerejo, Sona Mohapatra and Papon. Studded as it was with well-known faces, India Music Summit was also about introducing artistes who have been at the top of their game, but not so popular nationwide. One of my favourite acts was the Nagaland Conservatory of Music Choir, led by one of India’s top conductors, Lipokmar Tzudir. Their rendition of The Lion King was as memorable as a Naga folk tune.
India Music Summit aims to be a conversation around music, and there were workshops as well as talks with musicians on the state of the industry, the role of technology and money, and possible solutions to up the quality of music in India today. Attending the summit was not like attending another music festival, where you go, listen, dance, drink and return. Here, the audience got a chance to interact with artistes who performed the previous night, listen to what they expect from audiences, and discover not just new artistes but also newer forms of music. And, of course, it was a three-day party.
Check www.musiconcepts.in/mtvindiamusicsummit for the dates and schedule for India Music Summit 2018.
Kalyani Prasher is a freelance writer and editor based in Delhi. She was executive editor of India Today's travel magazine till end-2013 when she decided to get out of the office routine for a few months to see what having a life feels like. She never went back.