A music carnival where the fun never ended would perhaps be the best way to describe the first edition of Magnetic Fields, a brand new music and arts festival held from December 13-15 at the 17th century palace in the heritage village of Alsisar in Shekhawati, Rajasthan. Featuring some of the most popular names from the Indian music scene and a few handpicked international stars, the three-day Magnetic Fields saw some stellar sets and lots of dancing. But the fun wasn’t limited to just music. The festival was a sensorial delight: there were traditional Rajasthani delicacies for the gourmand, the locale of a Rajasthani palace to please the eyes and a general bonhomie to make everyone feel special, and at home.
A few hours’ drive from Delhi, Alsisar beckons those with a sense of history and adventure. Once the residence of the Thakur of Alsisar, the palace has hidden treasures in every nook and cranny, be it old family pictures or hunting equipment. One could easily lose themselves in the maze of steps and only emerge from it hours later, happier. Festival-goers had the option of either living in luxury at the palace or camping out under the open sky, nomadic-style, in tents. The Alsisar Mahal, a heritage hotel, with its intricately carved four poster beds and delicate Rajasthani motifs, made for an incredible weekend getaway and added to the allure of the festival. The breakfast in the opulent blue dining room made getting out of bed that much easier. For those who preferred to be closer to nature, the bedouin tents were no less luxurious and had every little detail taken care of, including hot showers and electrical points. To make the desert cold more bearable, the staff handed out hot-water bottles. Campfires and live music – campers had got their own instruments – meant that there was an alternate music festival going on.
The Souk was a haven for those looking for a bargain, and to play dress up. One could buy handcrafted dresses, stoles and caps at a fraction of the market price or just dress like a royal for a day with jewels and headgear specially sourced for the festival.
Magnetic Fields was the first music festival designed by a label and design house. Acclaimed label 11.11 by CellDSGN created the Magnetic Fields aesthetic using locally sourced materials and combined traditional Rajasthani design elements in unconventional ways to create a brand new festival experience. The colour themes were predominantly white and sand, in deference to the region’s colour scheme.
The true test of any music festival is the music and Magnetic Fields offered the discerning music fan the best. It introduced to music fans new-and-upcoming bands like Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator and Until We Last as well as the sounds of international pioneers like Robot Koch and V.I.V.E.K, who undoubtedly played two of the best sets of the whole weekend.
Magnetic Fields was produced by Wild City, WeThePPL, 11.11 by CellDSGN, THOT and Alsisar Mahal in collaboration with Border Movement, with support by Goethe.
Enjoy these exclusive photos.