We are all familiar with the ever-growing hullabaloo around Bengaluru and its rapid rise to fame as the focal point of art and culture in India. Steeped in festivals like India Art Festival, the Summer Storm Festival, the Great Indian Rock Festival and many others, Bengaluru celebrates the spirit of modern India like no other city. The last couple of decades has seen Bengaluru cater to festivals covering the mainstream and sub-cultures for a cosmopolitan audience ready to embrace change. From one of India’s longest running heavy metal music festivals, Bangalore Open Air, to the eco-friendly festival Bhoomi Habba – The Earth Festival, Bengaluru has hosted it all. And the offering keeps getting bigger and better – check out the 7 best festivals in Bengaluru this December (and early 2023!).
Where: Embassy Riding School, Bengaluru
When: Saturday, 03 Dec and Sunday, 04 Dec 2022
Festival Organiser: Swordfish Events & Entertainment
What you need to know: Touted to be India’s greenest music festival, Echoes of Earth brings together a diverse line-up of musicians and artists to revel in the celebration of Mother Earth. With over 40 local and international musicians taking turns in putting up a vibrant show, the festival embraces a sustainable ethos in terms of both its content and means of expression. Most of its decor, including the infrastructure, design, and art reflect the festival’s preoccupation with sustainability in a way that is both sincere and engaging. Some of the key attractions of the festival include art made of recycled materials, musical performances using trash utensils, and interactive workshops about ecological sensitivity.
This year’s festival includes a stellar artist line-up of musicians, DJs, and bands like Eelke Kleijn, Vieux Farka Toure, The Yussef Dayes Experience, Henry Saiz & Band and many others.
Held at the lush fields of Kuduregere near Bangalore, this festival remains on the bucket list for nature and music lovers alike.
Where: The Lalit Ashok, Bengaluru
When: Saturday, 03 Dec and Sunday, 04 Dec 2022
Festival Organiser: Bangalore Literature Festival Trust
What you need to know: Founded in 2012, the Bangalore Literature Festival is India’s largest independent literary festival and is held every year in December. Upholding the literary traditions of the country, this festival is multi-faceted and varied in the way it chooses to sustain literary conversations through interactions with some of the best creative minds in India. It aims to ignite young minds with a love for stories and literature, as well as nurture curiosity through enabling a culture of reading and writing. The festival hosts panel discussions, pitch and Q&A sessions, as well as a stellar line-up of musical performances and film screenings. Some of the speakers at this year’s festival include founder of a children’s bookstore Aashti Mudnani, sports journalist Aayush Puthran, commissioning editor Abhivyakti Singh,writer-director Adithi Rao, and many others.
If you are a bookworm and can’t wait to lay your hands on the next big release, do give this literary festival a visit.
Where: Sanctity Ferme, Krishnagiri
When: Friday, 16 Dec to Sunday, 18 Dec 2022
What you need to know: It is a multidimensional festival introducing to you a plethora of activities that you had always wanted to try. Ranging from activities oriented towards art and music to culture and sustainability, this festival is an honest attempt to create a space which is transformational and can fill in the gaps of modern life with a sense of purpose. Held across rural towns in Karnataka, it is mainly a three-day camping event that instils in you the significance of the present moment through mindful activities like haiku writing, hula hooping, meditation, and yoga. The festival, which was on a pandemic-induced hiatus on 2020 and 2021, will take place at Sanctity Ferme, located in the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu, in 2022. So not exactly Bengaluru, but hey if you’ve been to this festival before and love it, our guess is you will follow!
This year the festival promises a stellar line-up of musicians like Taba Chake, Easy Wanderlings, Sacred Seeds, Jatayu and many more. The workshop line-up is as varied as you can possibly imagine and includes activities like bean to bar chocolate making, slacklining, pottery, conscious dating, and many others.
Buckle up, as you’re in for a glorious treat this December.
Where: BIC, Bengaluru
When: Sunday, 18 Dec 2022
Festival Organiser: Rishabh Media Network
What you need to know: The Greenlitfest, true to its name, is driven by the motto of sustainability and aspires to promote environmental literature amongst the masses. From Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in the 60s to the apocalyptic eco-fiction of today, nature writing has changed drastically along with the changing nature of our environment. Greenlitfest held every year in Bangalore is an ode to that evolving idea of nature
The festival aims to build and connect a network of writers, readers, publishers, NGOs, and educational institutions to change the narrative about the environment and bring about a transformation in the way we interact with it.
The first installment of the festival earlier in the year welcomed eminent literary personas like Shekhar Pathak, John Elkington, Jairam Ramesh, Nicola Davies, and Chen Qiufan, setting an illustrious precedence to the upcoming one in December.
We eagerly await the second edition of the festival. Block your calendar on 18 December and come and join us.
Where: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Bengaluru
When: Wednesday, 18 Jan to Sunday, 22 Jan 2023
Genre: Film and moving image art
Festival Organiser: Experimenta
What you need to know: After a five-year hiatus, Experimenta is back again at the Goethe-Institut, Bengaluru.
It is a moving-image art biennial facilitating experimentation in film and other audio-visual media in India. Founded by filmmaker Shai Heredia, Experimenta till date, has showcased both contemporary and old experimental films from across the world. The festival emerged from the platform Experimenta India, which is run by artists and encourages subversion of the conventional film language through empowering narratives.
Besides hosting numerous artist residencies, the organisation has also leveraged its popularity to disseminate Indian experimental films in international film festivals all over the world.
What you need to know: Launched in 2022, this is claimed to be the world’s largest design festival supported by the Government of Karnataka to convert Bengaluru into the design capital of the world. The first edition of the festival unveiled events and activations, including design summits, installations, and design workshops among other things. Besides providing an open space for students to come and be a part of the festival, it also conducts summits and workshops in illustration, sketching, digital painting, jewellery-making and many other activities as part of its activities. Some of the key speakers in this festival include Alain Lonay – Project Director at Renault, Alok Nandi – creative designer and former president at IxDA Global, Anil Reddy–Founder and Design Director at Lollypop Design Studio, and many others.
A rapidly-growing space for design and creativity, the Bengaluru Design Fest aims to repurpose design and innovation to sustainable ends through social, political, and economic activations.
Here’s a clarion call for all design lovers to come and be a part of this newly-launched festival.
When: Thursday, 23 March 2023 to Sunday, 26 March 2023
Festival Organiser: BeFantastic and Future Everything
What you need to know: Future Fantastic is an innovative AI (Artificial Intelligence) art festival which showcases artwork at the intersection of creativity and technology to drive the spirit of climate emergency in the contemporary world. The festival is also a part of the British Council’s India/UK Together Season of Culture and encourages intercultural dialogue to promote understanding and harmony. It emerged as an outcome of a series of international fellowships ‘fostering creative change and collaboration’ between artists from around the world’.
The upcoming edition of the festival will rope in the creative director of Future Everything Irini Papadimitriou, dancer Madhu Nataraj, and choreographer Nicole Seiler among many others for sustaining a cultural dialogue through various workshops and the BeFantastic dialogue series.