When the monsoons end in North East India, it is that time of the year when various music festival descends into the region of North East to give you that sense of wilderness with good music.
One such popular outdoor music festival is the fast growing Ziro Music Festival held every year in the month of September at Ziro Valley in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Ziro Valley surrounded by mountains is a picturesque place located in Lower Subansiri district. Home to the Apatani tribe, Ziro Valley is comprised of many smaller villages. Apatani people are known for their hospitality and great taste in Music.
History of Ziro Music Festival
Ziro Music Festival was first founded in 2012 by Bobby Hano and Menwhopause guitarist Anup Kutty to showcase the diverse music genres across the country under one roof and hasn’t looked back since then. The festival is hosted by members of the Apatani tribe and takes place for 4 days.
10 Reasons why Ziro Music Festival is one of its kind :
1. A Hub for Independent Artists Music
A perfect place to immerse yourself and get to know the many underrated independent artists from all over the country and foreign artists. Over the years many international performers like Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley, Damo Suzuki, Shye Ben Tzur, MONO has graced the Ziro Music Festival. Divine, Indus Creed, Menwhopause, Guru Rewben Mashangva, Barmer Boys are among the Indian artists who has been featured in the festival.
2. It is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Ziro Valley now a UNESCO World Heritage site for it’s unique agricultural techniques practiced by the Apatani tribe which makes use of optimum land use. Do visit the beautiful rice fields that will turn golden in the month of September.
3. Showcasing the Talents of North East India
Ziro Music Festival is a great way to showcase the hidden talents of North East India. Many North East artists are invited to perform on the stage. It can be witnessed as the lineup for 2018 Ziro Music Festival, Khasi Bloodz, Alobo Naga and the band, Carolina Norbu, Sky Level, has shown various artists belonging to different genres performing. It is a good way to find your next favourite song or band from North East.
4. Because the Journey itself is adventurous
The road to Ziro music Festival is one of a kind, as there is no direct flight or Train service to Ziro Valley. An epic road trip from Guwahati/Dibrugarh/Naharlagun with your friends is the best way to kick start the journey to Ziro Music Festival.
5. Stay at the Campsite or do BYOT
Can you think of any other exciting way to spend a Music Festival without staying in a tent? Absolutely Not. So bring your own tent or book your tent to get the most of the Music Festival Scenes. Meet new people, enjoy a bonfire together with music crazed people. What more do you want?
6. Because it’s a Eco-friendly Music Festival
Festival hard without worrying about the environment. The entire festival is a plastic free zone and most of the festival sets are made entirely out of bamboo and locally available products. The festival also encourages on No Littering. Seriously Don’t Litter!
7. Indulge in Ethnic Food
North East doesn’t shy away from weird food habits. It’s in our culture and traditions. Time to indulge in that weird never-have-I-ever eaten food this time. Try out the delicious traditional food of Apatani Tribe, be it pork, chicken silkworms or rats.
8. Get tipsy on local beers
Music festival is all about getting a little tipsy, letting loose and drink good wine and beers. Ziro Music Festival brings the famous and popular local beers to the food stalls and beer stalls. Served in bamboo jars you get different local beers and wine like pear, kiwi, aping, rice and wheat wines. Enjoy the drinks, but don’t drink recklessly.
9. Visit the nearby Apatani Villages
Make your stay more memorable by visiting the nearby Apatani villages and interacting with them. Rejuvenate yourself in this picturesque valley among the rich green rice fields, the quiet little villages.
Go for outdoor activities like biking and trekking to the nearby places, a visit to the Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to see the biodiversity of Ziro Valley. Don’t miss an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of this valley.
10. Take this chance to visit the nearby places like Cherranpunjee or Tawang
Lastly, if you have a few days to spare after the festival don’t miss the golden chance to visit the places near Ziro Valley. Endless adventures even after the music festival, you can visit the largest Monastery in Tawang, play with snow and make many snowmen or set foot on the wettest place on Earth in Cherrapunjee (drive from Guwahati), chase the huge waterfalls and go cave exploring.
How to Reach Ziro Festival of Music :
Flights are available till Guwahati and Dibrugarh. One can travel by train from Guwahati to Naharlagun which is the nearest railway station to reach Ziro. From Naharlagun it takes around 6 hours to reach Ziro Valley by Tata Sumo which is the common mode of transportation. Also, one can directly land in Dibrugarh and hire vehicle which is much more convenient than landing in Guwahati. The travel time by car from Dibrugarh to Ziro valley is almost same as Naharlagun which is 6 hours. One can also indulge himself/herself in the beauty of River Brahmaputra while crossing the longest Rail cum Road bridge known as Bogibeel Bridge.
Important Tips for Travelers
- Carry raincoats (Weather is unpredictable in North East), gumboots, a light sweater.
- Carry a headlamp, extra batteries, waterproof covers for your phones, hats to protect yourself from the Sun.
- Carry your Inner Line Permit (domestic) and Protected Area Permit (foreign) travelers everywhere you go.
- Don’t bring alcohol as it is not allowed inside the venue. You will get alcohol from the festival bars.
- Book your tickets to Ziro Music Festival in advance to get the early bird offer.
- Book your accommodations in advance as there are few Home-stays in Ziro and the Campsites to get booked immediately.