Home >mint-lounge >features >Lounge Preview | Sulafest, Nashik

Imagine a gorgeous pink-purple sunset, outdone only by world-class musicians encouraging you to get a refill of your favourite tipple at the bar before the next track change. We’re not talking a rooftop lounge with 1,000 cocktails at a Sunday sundowner. We’re thinking lush green lawns, bottles of wine at factory prices and chappals over a two-day weekend to celebrate Sula Vineyards’ annual harvest festival, Sulafest, in Nashik.

“It’s all about the setting of the amphitheatre at Sulafest," says Simran Singh, marketing manager at Vinod Chopra Films and a regular at Sulafest. “The vineyards are in front of you, there’s a lake right next to you and hills form the backdrop too—this kind of partying will never happen in Mumbai."

If the location doesn’t have you sold, then consider this: The sixth edition of the Sulafest, which begins today, is the winery’s biggest yet as it prepares to compete with other destination festivals like India Bike Week in Goa and Storm Festival, the camp-out music festival, in Coorg, Karnataka, over the same weekend. New additions include a 400-cover electronic dance music stage called “Electrozone" and an adjoining camping ground with 40 twin-sharing tents, set up by Mumbai-based adventure travel company White Collar Hippie.

At first glance, Sulafest’s line-up, hand-picked by live music venue blueFROG for the second year in a row, comes across as a hotchpotch of varied genres like world music, reggae, alternative rock and live electronica, with intense googling required for some international artistes. Festival favourites like Delhi-based electronic act Dualist Inquiry and Bangalore-based folk-fusion band Swarathma will share the stage with international underground acts such as Indubious, a “roots-tronica" trio (that’s roots music mixed with reggae and electronica) from Oregon, US, and Amsterdam’s tech-house DJ Baba Robijn.

The result, says Jehan Johar, head of music programming at blueFROG, will be a “fun, groovy, party atmosphere" on both days with plenty of indie singer-songwriters filling in between the main acts. While Day 1 is all about funk, pop and reggae, Day 2 will focus on world and fusion music genres.

One of the three headliners at the festival is Grammy Award-winning Frenchman Eric Mouquet’s world music outfit Deep Forest, whose 1992 single Sweet Lullaby needs no Internet search engine recognition. Mouquet says festival-goers can expect to be swept off their feet with “an ethnic electronic (set) mixed with dance beats, folk tunes and upbeat tracks". Other headliners are Irie.FM, a nine-piece reggae band from Serbia, and London-based producer-DJ GAUDI, whose career spans three decades and 12 albums.

The promoters will also pack into the premises a flea market, food counters by Little Italy, Woodside Burger Shop, Maroosh and Oye Punjabi, a cheese bar, as well as beverage stalls by Sula Vineyards, Budweiser and Asahi, among other liquor brands.

Sulafest is on till Sunday, 12.30-10pm, at Sula Vineyards, Nashik. Passes, 1,400 for a day, available at www.bookmy show.com. For details, visit sulafest.net or call 9594966191.

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