If there is one type of tourism that has caught the imagination of Indians–especially young Indians–over the past two years, it’s music tourism.
Music tourism is hot. With the rise of globalization at an accelerated speed in recent decades, tourism and the travel industry have seen a big expansion. With the emergence of budget airlines and cheap flight tickets, traveling stopped being an exclusive privilege and became an accessible hobby to a much wider population than before. Over the years, different types of tourism have come up, such as food tourism, dark tourism and sports tourism. For some, traveling became a lifestyle, such as for bloggers or Instagrammers whose careers depend on traveling. However, the trend that caught my interest the most is music tourism.
You might be unfamiliar with this term, but if you traveled to Mumbai to listen to Coldplay, Justin Bieber or Ed Sheeran, live, you did indulge in music tourism.
What is music tourism?
To put it simply, music tourism is the act of traveling to a city, town, or country to watch a music performance or to attend a music festival. Like most travel trends, it started in the West, and many towns like Glastonbury in the UK depend on it for their tourist footfall.
Music tourism has transformed into a massive phenomenon globally, and it has become quite the buzzword in India in 2018. This growth is owed to the fact that the music scene is thriving universally, and young consumers are eager to explore it as a new experience.
Music tourism in India
In India, music festivals have become a great way for independent artists to showcase their talents. But more than just that, it gives a huge boost to local employment and tourist footfall. This gives Indian towns and cities a chance to present their culture, heritage, and ethos.
And while you might assume that it’s only the big, international musical stars who attract enough crowds in India, there has been an increase in the interest in many music festivals across the nation.
One example is Ragasthan, set to be held in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, from February 23 to 25, 2018. This desert camping festival, set in the expansive sand dunes of the Thar desert, is attracting crowds because it promises to be an eclectic mix of music, culture, and tradition.
Dhrupad Mela in Benaras is another such example. This annual, five-day-long music festival celebrates the Dhrupad genre of Hindustani classical music and is held at the Tulsi Ghat of this ancient city.
These music festivals don’t just attract Indian tourists, but also give foreign tourists a chance to explore Indian music, culture, and art in the very region where it belongs.
Other such popular music festivals which have witnessed an increased footfall are the NH7 Weekender (a multi-city fest), Sunburn (an EDM fest held in Goa), Hornbill (an annual rock fest in Kohima, Nagaland), Ziro Festival (held in Arunachal Pradesh), and the VH1 Supersonic.
So, while the concerts by artists like Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber have only recently caught the attention of millennial travelers, other music festivals are also getting a huge boost.