December is the month of festivities and we don’t mean the Christmas kind. We’re talking, music and arts festivals. Even though the season may not exactly have come to a close, the kick-off was rather special- Magnetic Fields Festival. Hosted 6 hours from Delhi, in the stunning 17th century Alsisar Mahal and with an enviable line up of underground artists, it was a luxury-tents boasting, folk tunes flaunting, stargazing kind of an affair.
Like many festivalgoers, local and otherwise, we’re proud to proclaim, “We were there.” So ‘there’ that we checked ourselves into the luxury Bedouin tents, so ‘there’ that we made sure to be seen at the secret party-till-dawn parties and so ‘there’ that we’re now proud owners of the Magnetic Fields x Nappa Dori limited edition backpack. In its second year, the festival is where we discovered some of the freshest sounds, witnessed some of the craziest fashion moments and retired in tents strewn with impressions of the Mahal.
Replete with hot showers, beds, blankets, lanterns and charging points even, our tent was both easy on the eyes and well equipped. Not to mention, within hearing distance from the Desert Oasis Disco stage, which, in retrospect, could be deemed the best kind of wake up call. We awoke to the fantastic sound of French duo Dada Disco on Day 2 but, forwarding to evening or especially, skipping back to Day 1, the stage was quiet when revelers returned to crash after raging at the North Stage to music by local talent Soulspace, Saint Petersburg-born DJ Vadim or DJ Pawas, a Cologne-based Indian artist.
Speaking of stages, the South Stage acted as the day stage (think lush green lawn, free-flowing chiffon strips). From here, the party would move to the more carnival-esque North Stage (night stage). Secret Parties took us to the rooftop of the Mahal, which on any given day, emphasis on ‘day’, would overlook the heritage village of Alsisar. Then there’s the poolside and another verdant section that together made the ‘souk’ and were home to Valliyan, Blur, 11.11 and other statement labels.
What we found forgettable, however, were the food arrangements. While the menu changed daily, our initial hopes, of relishing authentic Rajasthani fare were met with measly portions of mirchi mutton that made us wonder about the unlimited bread. Some slick installations, international rising stars Weval and Dream Koala on Day 2 and the perfect closing set by bass music legend Mala on Day 3 more than made up for the lack of local cuisine comma. For next year, we have our sights set on the Royal Palace Suites, morning yoga sessions and maybe even the treasure hunt.
The second edition of Magnetic Fields was held from Dec 12-14 at Alsisar Mahal, Rajasthan.
Cost of 3-Day festival pass – INR 5000
Cost of 3-Day stay in Bedouin Tent – INR 20000 (for two persons)
6 hours from Delhi / 4 hours from Jaipur by road, the nearest train station is at Sadalpur and nearest airports Delhi or Jaipur.