The Ziro Festival is back and will be hosting its 10th edition in Arunachal Pradesh this September. The festival, which was initiated by Bobby Hano and Anup Kutty in 2012, will feature 47 indie acts and is expected to attract around 10,000 visitors from around the world. The four-day event will take place from September 28 to October 1 in the beautiful Ziro Valley and will be hosted by the ancient Apatani tribe. It promises to be an unforgettable experience for all music enthusiasts.
The festival will introduce a new stage dedicated to electronic music for the first time. The new stage, called Takvr or "stars," is a limited-capacity area located a short drive away from the other two stages, Danyi and Pwlo. While Danyi and Pwlo stages operate from 12 pm to 10 pm, the Takvr stage will run from 7 pm to 3 am.
The festival will feature 47 acts, including Indian headliners and 13 international performers such as American rock legend Lee Ranaldo, Lithuanian multi-award winner Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio Dantys (AKD), and The Boo Boo Bama Orchestra from Sweden known for their diverse musical roots.
Each stage offers a unique experience. The daytime Danyi stage will feature a wide range of global sounds, from Hindustani Jaltarang artiste Shashikala Dani to Estonian musicians Ramo Teder and Marko Veisson performing on traditional bowed lyres called Talharpas under the name Puuluup.
The evening Pwlo stage at Ziro Festival will feature popular headliners such as Farhan Akhtar and Mohit Chauhan, who will deliver soulful performances. The stage will also showcase Chennai-based Jatayu's Carnatic fusion, The Boo Boo Bama Orchestra, and New Delhi-based electronic artist Tarana "Komorebi" Marwah. You will want to experience the gentle music of Arunachal's singer-songwriter Taba Chake, famous for hits like "Udd Chala."
In addition, the Takvr stage will offer late-night dancing with ten super music producers, including Unnayanaa, who blends ethnic sounds with electronic music, experimentalist Prashanth Pallemoni, and Kolkata-based Ankur Kedia, who will perform Chicago House and Detroit Techno.
The Ziro Festival takes place in the eco-conscious Ziro Valley, home to the Apatani tribe, who deeply connect with nature and are committed to sustainability. The festival limits visitors to 10,000, bans single-use plastic, and prioritises reducing its carbon footprint in this ecologically sensitive area.
To promote sustainability, the organisers use locally sourced bamboo, oak, and pine wood to create stages and structures. Upcycled cloth buntings and bamboo light fixtures decorate the festival grounds. Many stage materials are recycled from previous editions, such as flattened bamboo and Yamio, which are woven to create walls. The festival's signages are crafted from reclaimed wood and eco-friendly paint to reduce plastic pollution from flex hoardings.
Furthermore, the festival promotes waste management by setting up waste segregation pits, providing biodegradable garbage bags, and organising waste-collection drives with local volunteers and partners, including women and youth associations. After the festival, the organisers ensure the venue is restored to its natural beauty.
For those attending Ziro Festival 2023, there are several accommodation options available, including tents, homestays, and hotels. Campsites, like Camp Zingaros and Stay High Adventures, offer a variety of choices, with some being located just 1 km away from the festival. Homestays can be booked online and provide an excellent opportunity to stay with welcoming local residents. For those looking for hotel options, Ziro Valley Resort and Ziro Palace Inn are located less than 1 km from the festival.
Air: To reach Ziro easily, you can take a flight to Guwahati's Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, located 450 km away. This airport offers frequent flights from major Indian cities. Another option is to use the Holongi Airport near Itanagar, which is just a 3-hour drive to Ziro. Please note that foreigners will require a Protected Area Permit (PAP), while Indians will need an Inner Line Permit (ILP). Both these permits should be obtained in advance.
Rail: The preferred mode for festival attendees is the overnight train from Guwahati to Naharlagun (Donyi Polo Express).
Road: Ziro is about 3 hours away from Naharlagun station by car, 4 hours from Holongi airport by car, and approximately 3.5 hours from Lilabari airport by car. Due to the bumpy roads and common landslides, plan your trip accordingly.