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With five days to go for the Ziro Festival, check out the line-up packed with quintessentially global music

The 2023 edition of the picturesque festival is going to be bigger than ever with a line-up brimming over with good music, good music, and good music! It’s not just music that you’ll expect there but four days of a cultural celebration

Sramana Ray Published 23.09.23, 11:24 AM

It’s almost time for the much-awaited music festival held at the Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. The 2023 edition of the picturesque festival is going to be bigger than ever with a line-up brimming over with good music, good music, and good music! It’s not just music that you’ll expect there but four days of a cultural celebration. The rich cultural tapestry of the Valley is worth witnessing. The lush green sprawling before your eyes, some good food to go with it, a literary festival and much more are what you should be expecting on the platter once you reach your destination for the festival slated to be held from September 28 to October 1.
The roster features artistes from all across the globe exuding a rich musical diversity. Expect artistes from Lithuania, Estonia, Australia, Germany, and almost all the states in India in the line-up. Foraying into various genres, from classical, rock, metal, and indie to baul — the Ziro Festival is going to be an indulgent mixed bag.

Here’s the line-up by the day:


September 28:

Ary Juliyant (Indonesia)

Ary Juliyant (Indonesia)

Ary Juliyant (Indonesia)
The cultural activist, musician, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Lombok Island in Indonesia has been taking his Guerilla tour across the globe. His latest international tour, Tambora-Pirenia, commemorated the 200-year-old incident of a volcanic eruption at Tambora Mountain.
Stage: Danyi

Stoney Haven

The CRPF Women Jazz Band with 17 members is going to be a power-packed performance!
Stage: Danyi

Benry Moses (Nagaland)
He weaves narratives and composes from the very mundane occurrences of life. The versatile young musician leaves a resonating impression with his indie-pop and indie-alternative music.
Stage: Danyi

East Himalayan Folk Quintet (Assam)
A crossover between folk, jazz and blues, this instrumental band exhibits folk influences of Assam and the North-East. Driven by brothers Ojonav & Baibhav Hazarika, they breathe folk sensibilities into the acoustic guitar playing.
Stage: Danyi

Flying Kik (Bhutan)
Based in the capital of Bhutan, Thimpu, the band comprising five musicians blend reggae, punk rock and hip-hop in their music to produce their hook-laden melodies packed with rhythmic beats and lyrics clad in social consciousness.
Stage: PWLO

G Jackals (Arunachal Pradesh)
A crew of young rappers from Arunachal Pradesh! Yes, that’s the epitome of bringing the hip-hop culture into Ziro, plus, promoting and encouraging young musicians who’re in a pursuit to keep the culture unscathed.
Stage: Danyi

Jatayu (Chennai)
Celebrate the richness of Carnatic music blended with a very dynamic and energetic funk, rock, jazz and Indian math rock band.
Stage: Danyi

Joydeep Mukherjee (West Bengal)
Indulge into a melodious night with some impeccable sarod playing by the multi-instrumentalist (Mohan Veena and Sursingar) who belongs to the Senia Shahjehanpur Gharana.
Stage: Danyi

Many Roots Ensemble (Mumbai)
Improvs, original music, plus renditions of tunes loved by the band members, the quartet is inspired by a multitude of genres like funk, jazz, Afro, disco, Latin, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, classical and much more.
Stage: PWLO

Maylula (Arunachal Pradesh)
Maylula translates to “from the Shertukpen Mountains”. As rightly named, the band comes from the Rhododendron Valley of the Shertukpen tribe located in the West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh.
Stage: PWLO

Taba Chake (Arunachal Pradesh)
Taba Chake’s unique form of storytelling is simply mystical and mesmerising. He uses his euphonious voice to tell tales and hone skills that preserve his tender approach towards music-making.
Stage: PWLO

September 29:

Angata (Israel)
Indulge in some Afro-psychedelic beats, which combine the motif of time and space. They’re geared up to present a set about a journey between techno clubs and tribal rituals from Africa. Expect a soundscape combining percussions, harmonies, synth and voices.
Stage: TAKVR

Chaar Diwaari (Delhi)
A musical alias of a 20-year-old artiste, Garv Taneja, Chaar Diwaari creates experimental Hindi music and breaks conventions.
Stage: PWLO

Danny Kuttner (Israel)
For this singer-songwriter, music is a transformative experience. A space to surrender and heal! She’s got an arresting voice which melts into beguiling new shapes from familiarity.
Stage: PWLO

DJ Ina (Nagaland)
He exhibits a unique sense and style of music and dominates the music scene in North-East India.
Stage: TAKVR

Goutam Das Baul (West Bengal)
A baul (khyapa) in search of solace, devoted to the world of spirituality and music — Goutam Das Baul from Bengal debuts in Ziro.
Stage: Danyi

Komorebi (Delhi)
In Japanese Komorebi means ‘sunlight filtering through trees’, a sight epitomising the interplay of light and shadow. Tarana Marwah aka Komorebi delivers hypnotic, haunting and otherworldly soundscapes, heavily inspired by Bjork and Radiohead.
Stage: PWLO

Leon Somov (Lithuania)
Winner of the MTV European Music Award for the Best Baltic Act in 2009 in Berlin, Germany and member of the Lithuanian or Swedish electronic band Highly Sedated, Leon Somov is going to leave you in a trance.
Stage: TAKVR

Mannequin Death Squad (Australia)
The instrument-swapping girl-boy duo and indie rock band from Melbourne, Australia is going to be an immersive experience. Catch them live at Ziro!
Stage: PWLO

Pillow Records (Tripura)
These musicians from Tripura create music in their mother tongue Kokborok. They aren’t genre-bound and fleets with the freedom of flaunting their language with prowess and pride.
Stage: Danyi

Run Monday Run (Nagaland)
The first-ever folktronica or folk wave band from Nagaland has introduced the genre of folk wave, incorporating elements of folk and electronic genres in their music. Enjoy some easy-breezy folksy beats at Ziro, this time!
Stage: Danyi

Shashikala Dani (Karnataka)
She’s one among a few jaltarang artistes and the only performing female jaltarang artiste who’s achieved a lot of accolades and recognition for her art.
Stage: Danyi

Shourya Malhotra (Delhi)
His sandpaper-textured whispering vocals and soothing guitar melodies might create an ethereal atmosphere.
Stage: Danyi

The Boo Boo Bama Orchestra (Sweden)
Steeped in Anatolian funk, Afro-beat and reggae, this collective encapsulates varying musical expressions, groove and explosive energy.
Stage: PWLO

Unnayanaa (Pondicherry)
Prashanth Pallemoni aka Unnayanaa is a DJ who likes to experiment. He’s a flag-bearer of African and African-influenced electronic music in India.
Stage: TAKVR

Smokey (Mumbai)

The DJ, music producer, electronic live act, plus a teacher has featured in almost all the big festivals like Bacardi Nh7 Weekender, a Wiz Khalifa concert, God’s Own Music Festival in Kerala and more.

Stage: TAKVR

September 30:

Farhan Akhtar (Mumbai)

As we all know, the Bollywood actor and filmmaker is multifaceted. From being a screenwriter and actor to director and producer of countless movies, Farhan Akhtar has mastered it all! Catch tracks from his latest album, Echoes (produced by Grammy-winning producer Tommaso Colliva and recorded in Milan), the melodic EP that draws inspiration from his childhood steeped in poetry, old-school Hindi songs and a lot of Western rock.

Stage: PWLO Stage

Barnet (Germany)

Listen to some hard, dreamy, melancholic melodies and sensual drums as Barnet exudes his unique musical style as a DJ at the Ziro Festival this time! His musical trajectory can be defined by adjectives like sensual, creative, bassy and drummy — encapsulating a deep and spacey vibe.

Stage: TAKVR

Cassettes (Mizoram)

Finding inspiration from indie and folk songs, this band was formed by a group of high-school friends in 2017. They are scholars who burn with the passion to pursue music!

Stage: PWLO

Dashugs (Ladakh)

The band preserves and revives traditional folk music. The members are also the founders of the Musical Society of Ladakh (MSL). They emanate an earthy energy with their pieces.

Stage: PWLO Stage

Deep Brown (Goa)

Ankur Kedia aka Deep Brown is originally from Calcutta and now based in Goa. From Chicago house and Detroit techno, the artiste delivers some enjoyable groove for the dance floor.

Stage: TAKVR

Eliasse (France)

The music of this setup is the meeting point of traditional and Western Comorian music invented by the famous Comorian artiste Baco. Eliasse mixes Western rock, blues, folk and traditional rhythms of Africa to create what’s known as the Zangoma rock.

Stage: PWLO

Himali Mou (Uttarakhand)

Immerse in the melodious and unheard world of folk music like jhora, chanchari, chapeli, nyoli and chaiti from the hills in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, with songs presented by members of the group ehmat-e-Nusrat.

Stage: Danyi

Kiss Nuka (Goa)

She’s an audio-visual producer and activist who drives her free-spirited love for nature into thought-provoking grungy electronic pieces. Layered with big beats, basslines, ambient layers, electro-pop melodies and distorted vocals, Kiss Nuka gives you some food for thought with her music.

Stage: TAKVR

MC Altaf (Mumbai)

Altaf Shaikh aka MC Altaf is a young hip-hop artiste from Mumbai who brings his own innovation into the growing Indian hip-hop scene. Stage: PWLO

Motif (Goa)

Motif presents quirky beats on the dance floor. Dominating the scene from the early 2000s in Paris, Dubai, San Francisco, Berlin, Mumbai, Chennai and Goa, among a host of other locations, Motif displays diversified grooves with his set. Stage: TAKVR

Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Rajasthan) Catch the finesse of gayki and tantrakari blended together in the beautiful symphony of Mohan Veena and Vishwa Veena created by the Padma Bhushan awardee, Grammy-winning artiste Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Stage: Danyi

Puuluup (Estonia) Founded by two talharpa (bowed harp or four-string bowed lyre) enthusiasts, Ramo Teder and Marko Veisson in 2014, Puuluup from Estonia plays originals composed on talharpas. Get ready to witness a unique soundscape. Stage: Danyi

Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar (Tamil Nadu) The flautist carries on the heritage and tradition of her gurus — the Sikkil Sisters, Padma Shri awardee Sangeetha Kalanidhi Kunjumani and Neela. She combines classic lines with flair and expressiveness when she plays. Stage: Danyi

October 1:

Alif (Kashmir) The Dadasaheb Phalke Award-winning artiste Alif is a singer, poet and songwriter and has won hearts and accolades with his single, Like A Sufi. He has composed some soul-stirring numbers that are admirable. Stage: PWLO

Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio Dantys (Lithuania) They’re returning to Ziro after a pulsating and successful concert in 2019. They adopt an ironic approach to whatever is shallow, superficial or prejudiced. You’ll find humour and light-heartedness in the storytelling of AKD, and they produce music, which truly stands out. Stage: PWLO

Chorun Mugli (Arunachal Pradesh) The artiste advocates the preservation of linguistic culture and folk music. He expresses the same through his music with an intent to connect with people from all walks of life. Stage: Danyi

Da Thymmei (Meghalaya) The name of the band directly translates to “from the roots” in English. The band aims to preserve the indigenous attributes of the Khasi and Jaintia tribes from the foothills of Meghalaya and is steeped in folk culture. Folk fusion and music clad in Khasi rhythms are pretty much their genre. Stage: Danyi

Guy Buttery (South Africa) World-renowned guitar innovator Guy Buttery epitomises what can be called an emblem of South African music. His homegrown style exudes the tenacity of an extraordinary musician. Stage: Danyi

Lee Ranaldo (USA) Visual artiste Leah Singer and Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo are going to present the latest version of their three-year collaborative project – Contre Jour. Expect shadow plays and a mind-bending radical guitar performance art piece at the show to be touring through Delhi, Calcutta, Ziro and Leh. Stage: PWLO

Mohit Chauhan (Mumbai) This man needs no introduction! He’s delivered several hits for the Bollywood industry. The artiste is another feather added to Ziro’s cap of an unfathomably rich line-up! Stage: PWLO

Soulgroove (Meghalaya) A dash of soul, a tad bit of reggae and a pinch of blues define the band’s music. Stage: Danyi

Techi Taning (Arunachal Pradesh) An independent singer and songwriter, Techi Taning touches upon a diverse range of musical genres and creates unique soundscapes and original compositions. Stage: Danyi

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