Someone once told me that I would find it really difficult to meet people in the UK since I do not drink alcohol. Even though it is not entirely true but it isn’t entirely wrong too. From the time that we booked our place at the Magnetic Fields Music Festival in Alsisar, Rajasthan, I have been hoping there would be some arrangement for tea/coffee at the venue so that I could have something to drink and give my wife company while we both enjoy our drinks and the music.
Nonetheless, we were off to the festival and luckily for us there was no fog that morning and the train left and reached Sadulpur almost on time. From here we took an autorickshaw to Alsisar.
The ride was great! The cool breeze, kitschy auto and the loud music playing in it made for a perfect prelude to the music festival. For some reason the driver constantly kept looking at me in his rear view mirror. It made me wonder whether even he was thinking if I was Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket test team captain. Some of my family and friends have been joking about the fact that I look very similar to Virat Kohli. Utter nonsense, I must say! Anyway, thankfully he never asked me anything and it probably wasn’t what I was thinking at all.
At the venue, there was everything, from burgers, pizzas, noodles, tikkas, booze, cigarettes to even tented latrines and showers but no sign of any tea/coffee. We quickly dumped our luggage in our tent and headed for the food stalls. To my delight, the Blue Tokai guys were setting up their counter right next to the food stalls! But this still wasn’t close to as amazing as what awaited us inside the Alsisar Mahal.
After lunch we headed to the Palace and we figured that there was a Blue Tokai counter there as well, perfectly parked inside a bar counter next to the beautiful courtyard.
The palace was not huge yet beautiful with just the perfect spots all over the property where one could just sit and relax. The exterior was simple but elegant with detailed designs as highlights at certain spaces.
The Magnetic Fields is essentially an electronic music festival but they did have a few performances from beyond the genre. From the vibrance of Curtain Blue and Helena Hauff to the soulfulness of Prateek Kuhad to the exuberance of the Pianoman Jazz Club, made for a perfect musical experience. Its a nice feeling when everyone around you wants to listen to some good music and shake a leg too.
Besides all the music, dance , food and drinks there was art too. There were artists painting on canvases, on walls, creating virtual reality experiences, motion sensing projections, massive sculptures to designing intricate mehendi patterns for free.
As if there wasn’t already a lot happening, there was the segment called the Magnetic Words. As designers who love stories, my wife and I, absolutely loved it. Listening to some amazing stories and seeing some wonderful works was a great way to spend the afternoons.
Thanks to my wife who knew the host of the segment, we got to do some impromptu hand lettering with colourful chalk for the last day’s schedule on a blackboard.
The last night had possibly the best line up. All the musicians on the south stage were great - Prateek Kuhad, Begum, Buttering Trio and Superpoze.
With some great music playing all evening, even I could not stop myself from dancing. But the ultimate test was yet to come.
BLOT was the last gig of the festival that was supposed to go on all night. I had never done anything like this before. I surely could not be dancing all night! Everyone had encircled the console and dancing like they were worshippping a God and BLOT played their set every bit like one.
As the tempo went up so did the energy levels of the people bound to the ebb and flow of the music. The crowd and the music were like different parts of a single body moving in close conjunction. For once, we thought that the music would stop at the first light but then it just kept going on. People were absolutely hysterical. There was one guy who literally danced all night in just a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Incredible! The music eventually stopped only at about 8–8:30 am in the morning of Monday, 12th December.
I could not believe myself that I was on the dance floor all night long. At about 7:30 am when we could not move our feet anymore we went towards the food stalls to check if there was anything to eat or drink.
To our utter delight, the good people of Blue Tokai decided to open their counter for one last time at the festival and we had some good coffee to end our long crazy night bringing the curtain down on the Magnetic Fields Music Festival 2016!
You can see rest of the sketches (and one photograph) from the trip below.