Goa is widely considered one of the world’s top destinations for music and the arts, owing to its rich and diverse folk background, Portuguese influence and the once pseudo-dominant hippy culture. Essentially, if you’re thinking beaches, parties and spell-binding music, Goa is the place to be.
So, without further ado, here are Goa’s top 5 music festivals that you don’t want to miss:
Brews & Blues (The Big Tap, Baga)
A ticket to watch Delhi’s talented BLU! in action is a treat any blues fan would sell his signature jug collection for. However patrons of The Big Tap were in for a treat as the Delta Blues troupe tore up the stage in November with their unique blend of Country and Standard Blues. With seasoned performers like Pranai Gurung, Kapil Chetri, Rahul Rai and Chewang Lama who rub shoulders with artists like Mohit Chauhan, Sushmita Sen and more, along with crisp beer and scrumptious food sliding down the counters, this night, aptly named ‘Brews & Blues’ is one that would not soon be forgotten.
Music on the Mount (Old Goa)
The Monte Music Festival, to be held from 2nd to 4th February, 2018, attracts men and women from every walk of life to the rustic halls of Our Lady of the Mount Chapel, Old Goa. Though the festival began on a quieter note, attendees exponentially increased through the years as word spread, and 2018 marks the festival’s 30th anniversary since its inception. As expected, special care is being taken for the commemorative occasion, with a host of artists from across the globe flying in to perform, including acclaimed fadistas, Odissi dancers, Konkani chorale ensembles, as well as world-renowned singers and musicians. Despite its rise in popularity, The Monte Music Festival remains a free-to-attend concert and one that promises to dazzle and enthrall.
(Pic Credit: NatGeo Traveller)
Goa International Jazz Live Festival
The Goa International Jazz Live Festival (GIJLF), part of the Jazz India Circuit, is nothing short of paradise for jazz enthusiasts from every walk of life. Though highly experimental, it’s funky, fast-paced, new-age jazz sound quickly picked up momentum since the get-go with punk mixes, R&B, hip-hop and other heel-tapping blends of jazz that took Goa by storm. Eight veteran jazz bands took the stage for the event that lasted 2 days at Stonewater Eco Resort, including Kefaya, The Latination and the much awaited Jojo Mayer/Nerve. As the first leg of the Jazz India Circuit line-up, the GIJLF aimed to re-define the boundaries of the genre, and judging by the overall response, I’d say they’re definitely getting there.
(Pic Credit: The Navhind Times)
Hilltop Festival (Vagator)
The 6th Edition of Hilltop Festival, held at Small Vagator, will kick off on 9th of February, 2018 and last for a whopping 3 days of music, dance and entertainment galore. Fans, swarming in by the hundreds will be treated to earth-shaking beats by artists that need no introduction, such as Ace Ventura, Eat Static, Loud & The Outsiders. At the festival, one will undoubtedly embrace the gods of music first-hand as you unwind to the some of the biggest headliners in EDM today atop their multiple stages, while taking in the beauty of Goa’s serene beachscape. With a gravitational pull strong enough to draw in entertainers and audiences from across the globe, this is one party you don’t want to miss out on.
World Mouth Harp Festival (Arambol)
Coming soon in February, the 6th World Mouth Harp Festival remains one of the most delightfully curious music extravaganzas to grace Goa’s stages. As the name suggests, the festival is a grass root-level initiative meant to encourage mouth-harp players or other musicians by giving them a platform to perform, teach, share and collaborate upon. Standing apart from traditional music festivals, the event remains completely free to attend for anyone, with no tickets or financial sponsors and it rests sturdily on the concept of building a community for skill-sharing and involvement. Artists and attendees are invited to be a part of this unique initiative at Jungle Dance Café, Arambol, which hosts performances, workshops and presentations that are sure to delight, entertain and enlighten all.
(Pic Credit: Suraj Mohandas)