Itanagar: Orange Festival of Adventure and Music (OFAM) is all set to make a grand return with a massive lineup of bands and an array of adventure sports that promise to keep the adrenaline of several music and adventure lovers racing.
The 5th edition of India's first adventure and music festival, like every year, will be held at Dambuk from December 15 to 18.
Festival director Abu Tayeng, who announced this on Monday, said that festival will be organised in a bigger and grander way this year.
One of the circles of Lower Dibang Valley district, Damkuk is around 396 km from the state capital Itanagar and around 626 km from Guwahati via National Highway 715.
As per Tayeng, the four-day-long musical and adventure extravaganza, which will be inaugurated by chief minister Pema Khandu on December 15, among others, will be attended by deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, Vikram Malhotra, the managing director of JK Tyres & Industries Ltd, and a host of other dignitaries and industrialists from the state and across the country.
Tayeng said that the idea behind organising the festival at Dambuk was to bring in people from around to the world so that they can explore Arunachal’s wild natural beauty and also experience the local way of life in an absolutely untouched destination.
“Dambuk is renowned for oranges which is cultivated in abundance by the local population. Hundreds of acres of Orange orchards on the mountain slopes of Dambuk as well as on the foothills transform the scenery of the entire region during this season. That is where the idea of organising a music festival with an orange theme for music and adventure lovers came from,” Tayeng said.
The festival has directly also affected orange cultivation and exports. If local sources are to be believed, Dambuk alone exported oranges worth Rs 50 lakh, courtesy a two-day-long symposium and buyer-seller meet which was organised on the sidelines of the Orange Festival last year that attracted a lot of buyers.
The orange cultivators of the region who joined the export bandwagon are earning anywhere between Rs 10 and 12 lakh per annum, sources said, while adding that orange exports from Dambuk to the Middle-east have also begun.
Speaking about security preparedness and festival’s impact on the local populace, Tayeng said that the student unions of the area are involved in the festival and they, along with the volunteers provided by the festival organisers, would be assigned to manage the security.
“Besides promoting adventure sports and tourism in the region, OFAM also gives an opportunity to the locals, especially youths to earn some capital. Most of the local youths are involved in adventure activities, housekeeping, catering and so on. Some of them are even running their own campsites. The locals who have leased out their land for the festival venue and campsites are also earning well,” Tayeng said.
The last edition of the Orange Festival saw 18 bands from across the country and abroad enthrall more than 30, 000 plus people, and this year too, the event would witness a spectacular array of performances.
The headliners of this year’s OFAM would be the performances from Thunder Mother from Sweden, Iron Maidens and The Blue Grass Journey Men from the USA, Lydia Hendrikje from Germany, Bipul Chetri and the Travelling Band from Kalimpong and Kathmandu Killers from Nepal and many more, Tayeng informed.
“This edition too we have roped in the prestigious National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports (NIMAS), based in Dirang in West Kameng district, run by the union defence ministry. NIMAS would be conducting adventure activities under their professional supervision and guidance, besides high-adrenalin sports like white water rafting, dirt cycling, ATV rides, parasailing, para motoring, paragliding, scuba diving, etc. In adventures sports, 30 off-roaders are taking part in the Orange 4×4 Fury event,” Tayeng said.
Of the 30 off-roaders, seven are non-resident Indians “who are flying straight from London, Dubai and the USA to participate in the event”, he added.
Orange 4×4 Fury which will be held in the dense rainforests of the State presents unique challenges to the competitors in the natural form where man and machine are pitted against nature. Gerrari Off-roaders from Chandigarh were the winners of last year’s edition.
The Orange Festival of Adventure & Music, which began in the year 2012, is one of the calendar festivals of the state.