The Northeast of India has a glorious musical reputation, and over the past eight editions, Ziro Festival of Music has firmly established itself as the most significant platform for artists and bands from across this region. This year is no less. 

Here are some of the top acts you should look out for during the festival. 

Abdon Mech (Nagaland): September 30 – Signature Danyii Stage

Abdon Mech is a singer-songwriter from the hills of Nagaland. In recent years he has been making waves across the musical landscape of the country and has been labelled as one of the most promising artists from northeast India.

Bipul Chettri & The Travelling Band (West Bengal): October 2 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

Bipul is a singer-songwriter from Kalimpong based in New Delhi. Taking inspiration from the folk sounds of the Himalayas, his music is reminiscent of tunes and melodies long forgotten in the space of time. Bipul travels extensively with The Travelling Band for all his concerts that consist of a line-up of experienced musicians and crew who are incredible artists in their own right.

Da Minot (Meghalaya): October 2 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

Da Minot is a collective from Shillong who build their soundscapes from the unique rhythms and sounds of Khasi music, with the aim of sharing Khasi philosophy and stories through the medium of contemporary songs.

David Angu and The Tribe (Arunachal Pradesh): September 29 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

David Angu is a singer, guitarist, composer, and producer from Itanagar. He grew up in Aalo and comes from a family of avid music listeners. The band focuses on folk songs of the Tani tribes. David Angu & The Tribe gives you the perfect fusion of both folk, classic rock and tribal melodies from the Northeast.

Dokodoko (Sikkim/West Bengal): October 2 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

Dokodoko is a duo featuring  Sikkim-based vocalist-songwriter Dr. Kritika and Siliguri-based producer-songwriter Debo Sanyal. According to the pint-sized act they are “mere translators to the Doksalvan doctrines with the sole aim of bridging the chasm between you and the Doko”. For us that means some incredible synth-based chops and melodies that will stick in your head. 

Dr Declan Oppenheimer’s Polyphonic Experience (Assam): September 30 – Signature Danyii Stage

Dr Declan Oppenheimer’s Polyphonic Experience is one of our personal favourites for the festival.  Their music is reminiscent of many sounds of the Northeast, mellow yet powerful, simple yet soul catching. Songs like “That’s the way it goes” pretty much summarises the northeast way of life. 

Mangka (Manipur): October 1 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

Mangka is a young master of Manipuri folk and traditional music and one of the few female Pena players. She started learning music from her father at a very young age and has extensive training in rare traditional performance art forms of Moirang Sai and Basok. She is currently working with Welsh electronic artist Eadyth on a collaborative project, Ziro Focus – supported by the Arts Council of Wales and British Council, as part of India–UK Together, a Season of Culture.

Meewakching (Manipur): September 30 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

Meewakching is a neo-psychedelic, post-punk band from Imphal. The band released their debut album titled, “It Was Too Late For The Boat To Arrive, We Were Dead Long Ago Underneath The Lake ” in 2021 which achieved both critical acclaim and a new following. They are known for their brazen stage antics and high-octane performances.

Origami (Mizoram): September 30 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

Origami is a six-member band from Aizawl, formed in the year 2019. They are an experimental band who believe in making music by collectively combining their individual influences to express themselves and bring out colourful tones and positivity in their music.

Salakhala (Sikkim): September 29 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

Salakhala is a funk-rock act from Sikkim with songs in Nepali. They sing about existentialism and have an ever-growing fanbase in their hometown.  

Sky Level (Meghalaya): October 2 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

Sky Level is an experimental post-rock band from Shillong formed in 2014 with a cult following among the math rock audience. This is their second appearance at the Ziro Festival. 

Street Stories (Meghalaya/Nagaland): September 29 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

Having been around for a decade with three albums out, Street Stories is known to be one of India’s finest pop punk bands. They are ready to raise a ruckus. This is their second appearance at Ziro Festival after their debut at the first edition in 2012. 

Takar Nabam (Arunachal Pradesh): September 29 – Simba Uproar Pwlo Stage

Takar Nabam is an Itanagar-based singer-songwriter who infuses mellow alt-rock references with Indian folk music to create liberating grooves, jazzy riffs and dreamy vocals. Takar’s music embodies the truth that it’s the journey that matters, and not where it should eventually lead to.

Catch all these artists and more at Ziro Festival of Music 2022 scheduled between 29th September to 2nd October. Visit their website www.zirofestival.com to book your passes and stay.

Also read | Ziro Festival of Music reveals its first lineup of performers


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