India Post Daily

Budweiser shines across this year’s festival with a diverse lineup of artists at Magnetic Fields 2023

<p>The most popular music festival in India, Magnetic Fields, which originated in the Alsisar desert, next to the royal gateways of Alsisar Mahal, made a triumphant comeback, promising even more excitement for the global audience that had gathered. Beginning on December 15, a delightful blend of music, art, and cuisine imbued with the essence of sustainability culminated in a memorable weekend for everyone. I was one of those people, having driven six odd hours from Delhi to Alsisar via the picturesque Shikhawati area, taking in the visually stunning vistas of blocked sunlight behind towering hills on every side and lush farmlands irrigated by sprinklers that fed Rajasthan’s bountiful soil.</p>
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<p>As a first-time visitor, the taxi journey helped me get into the festival since I rode with DJ Profanayty, Nayanika Kapoor, who has been there for a few years. Her remarks accurately predicted the festival’s vastness and the fervor brought on by many Budweiser locations. When she said to me that “Magnetic Fields has something for everyone,” she was also not incorrect. Because of the uneven roads leading into the hinterlands, I was trembling a little bit throughout the three-day chapters’ epilogue. However, as they say, you have to go deeper to find the gold.</p>
<p>Upon arriving at the music festival’s desert reception, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar character, Joseph Cooper. Are you wondering why? The venue’s spectacular background was enhanced by the fact that it spanned the desert’s sand dunes and led up to the opulent Alsisar Mahal. People were swarming through security checks, some dragging their bags across the abrasive sandy roads and others depending on the on-ground team. It was like being in another world, in a different universe. My Bedwin tent number 115 was shown to me after I had a meeting with the Budweiser crew.</p>
<p>I wandered in the intense heat of the desert, following my guide, apprehensive about the condition of the accommodations. I held my jacket close to me as I went by many imposing-looking tents with chairs set up on the patio. But all of the doubt vanished out of thin air as soon as I entered my tent. With rugs on the floor and warm comforters to ward off the chilly desert winters, there were three well-organized beds. The tent had a sanitary, well-equipped bathroom with all the conveniences one could want. I was ready to lead the celebration of music and art with this in hand.</p>
<p>When Anees Hussain, an Indian Express writer, arrived in my tent, that’s when I really started exploring. We had a group tour of the desert oasis, which was filled with intriguing installations all around. No matter where our heads dart, we’ll see something alluring. We jumped from one location to another, soaking in the essence of the amazing environment, from the Budweiser Beats Art Studio to the Dynamite Disco Club and the Ray-Ban after-party stage. There were plenty of food vendors on the other side of the oasis to satisfy the guests’ appetizing palates. They had everything—delicious burgers, delectable Galawati Kebabs, and freshly made pizza. In addition, there were several stores in the desert oasis offering toys, t-shirts, and mementos to bring back to reality. One of these stores was the Tatva tent, a safe haven for LGBT people where they could go when things got too much.</p>
<p>As we traveled to Alsisar Mahal, we passed past stalls owned by the local people that provided necessities like omelets and Maggi. Of the many characteristics that made Magnetic Fields 2023 unique was the blending of two very different cultures. I was able to see the first act at the Jameson South stage within the royal castle. With his impressive performance, Goya got everyone in the mood for the three days of festivities that were to come.</p>
<p>Similar to the desert oasis, Alsisar Mahal was vast, with interesting areas around every corner. After 9:30 PM, the BudX yard beside the pool transformed into the most lively spot, with an amazing lineup of international acts. For three days, throbbing sounds captivated everyone, courtesy of Belgian DJ Nosedrip, Bristol-born and London-based DJ and producer Otik, and charming Amsterdam-based selector Orpheu the Wizard. Miami-based DJ Coffintexts, a group of up-and-coming DJs including Girls Night Out, OX7GEN, and GoodMostlyBad, and Beijing-born and Melbourne-based sound master Moopie, who closed the stage with an incredible performance on the last night, was also added to the schedule. It became a kind of routine for me to dress comfortably and go to the BUDxYard to dance with the incredible audience.</p>
<p>There was a passage next to the BUDxYard that led to another thrilling area.</p>
<p>Stage BUDx North. The activities and vendors along the path leading to the exhibition were completely different from what I had imagined before visiting. People enjoy some of the best Budweiser brews while engaging in lighthearted conversations about musicians they are eager to see. Then there were people eating snacks and nodding their heads to the funky sound effects coming from the BUDxYard.</p>
<p>The BUDx North Stage, which was deemed the festival’s centerpiece, masterfully combined an electronic music beat with a 17th-century atmosphere. Ocupus and Aural Eye provided the futuristic projection mapping that lit up the palace walls. DJs and producers who are the forerunners of their sounds graced the stage, presenting the audience with distinctive sounds and modern songs. This year’s lineup included performances by Canadian sound master Deadbeat, London-based DJ ADHD, and the versatile DJ and producer Mella Dee, as well as artists like I.Jordan, Milan-based Chilean DJ Paula Tape, and Glasgow-based unique selector Bake. Indian DJ Rishi Sippy and Bahrain-based Dar Disku were among the other performers on the stage. On all three days, the region was illuminated with sartorial ensembles.</p>
<p>The desert oasis next to the tent area used to come alive at midnight, far from the bustle of Alsisar Mahal. My favorite Budweiser Beats Art Studio, the Peacock Club, and the Dynamite Disco Club were the most popular places for folks to hang out. While Anees and I used to frequent the Disco Club to escape the chilly outside weather, Budweiser Beats Studio used to be my safe haven, where I could sip on my favorite drinks and groove to the nostalgic music.</p>
<p>The room, which was completely covered in red hues, stood out for its ability to combine modern digital art with hip-hop music from the 1990s. Budweiser collaborated with Pagal Records, an independent record store in Delhi, to create a pop-up shop featuring vinyl records, and they entertained guests with hip-hop songs from the 1990s. Additionally, Budweiser collaborated with “Lair,” a New Delhi-based company well-known for its inventive drinks, to establish a cocktail bar in the area.</p>
<p>In addition to the renowned Budweiser stages, the palace’s Jameson showcases satisfied audiences’ cravings for music. Over the course of the festival’s three days, a bizarre array of genres—from Goya and Raj to Jitwam and the Dualist Inquiry—kept the energy high and forced everyone to totally surrender to the allure of music. Corona had prepared a spot on the rooftop of Alsisar Palace for sundowners, which often began as the sun began to drop behind the sparse outlines of the hamlet buildings.</p>
<p>I come from a family of Ghazal and Hindustani classical vocalists, so the PUQAAR presentation, which Abhimanyu Alsisar personally oversaw, was very memorable for me. From Field Lines’ electrifying electro-fusion performance—which included Anuja Zokarkar, Apoorv Petkar, Vinay Ramadasan, and Vaibhav Wavikar—that gave everyone goosebumps,</p>
<p>Rahul Giri aka _RHL_ provided a nice audio transition from techno and EDM to something grounded and rustic when I was inside the dazzling Badal Mahal and immersed in Rajasthani folk music.</p>
<p>While meandering around the sacred passageways of Alsisar Mahal, I also happened onto Dragalactiq, where a troupe of gifted gay performers dominated the stage, dressing to the nines and putting on a performance that would live in the memory forever. There is no greater diversity in the Magnetic Fields 2023 experience than this.</p>
<p>With near-freezing temperatures and a gathering fog, the three-day event came to an epic conclusion for me during the Ray-Ban after-party session. The never-ending night disappeared into the early light of day, letting the festival attendees know that this was the last stretch of road for the time being. My eyes flickered back and forth over all the unforgettable moments I had experienced there as I sat in my taxi and took one final look at the enchanted location. With a faint grin on my lips, I hoped that maybe I might get to enjoy this again the next year.</p>

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