What People Wore To A Music Festival Held In A 17th Century Indian Palace

Here's the set-up: Three days in the desert, standing (or sitting) in clusters, listening to rock bands, and sipping on sun-warmed beer. It’s an environment you generally credit to Coachella, the mother of all outdoor music festivals, held twice a year in Indio, California. But Coachella doesn’t hold a monopoly on the kind of vibes these events try to achieve: a bohemian utopia characterized by 24/7 sensory overload (even without the presence hallucinogens or a stadium sound system). We pose that some places might even do it better, like Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan.

Jhunjhunu is home to the Alsisar Mahal, a palace built in the 17th century and the site of one of India’s most exciting emerging music festivals, Magnetic Fields. Boasting local artists and international indie darlings, Magnetic Fields is held inside the grounds of the Alsisar Mahal, where guests can camp out in tents, bliss out to droning ambient beats, and take in light shows, treasure hunts, and art installations, all in the middle of the Rajasthani desert.

Photographer Nilaya Sabnis headed to Magnetic Fields in December to see how the global musical-festival “look” translates in a location that "boho style" has borrowed so much from. But, unlike the bindis you see at Coachella, many of the elements ahead, like turbans, nose chains, loose lengha-style pants, and mirrored embroidery, actually have South-Asian roots. Click on to see how the festival's street style spirit so perfectly matches its surroundings.
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Rufy, 25
“I would describe this look as...very magnetic.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Mihir, 27
“My look is Afghani chic.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Will, 26
“Handmade and awesome.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Priyanka, 22
“This is a comfort look for me with a bohemian touch.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Louis, 28
“The whole idea of this outfit was that it was supposed to come from the jungle. These are the colors and prints that represent that.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Prachi, 22
“I’m still wearing my clothes from last night. Combine Shakira with a gypsy and put them in the desert.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Seemal, 30
“Comfortable, and I like a lot of black, so...”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Smita, 38
“My look today is Rajasthani bedouin chic.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Niharika, 26
“Shimmery, shiny with a little bit of hipster nomad.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Monica, 34
"I'd describe this look as whatever was on top of my messy unpacked suitcase."
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Begum X, 33
“Reggae revolution.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Amanda, 27
“An amalgamation of Indian with couture and little bit of hippie.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Shivangini, 32
“This is the look that my friend calls Shaniqua.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Archana, 24
“Fun, street, casual, young.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Indrakshi, 27
“Breathable, green, Banarasi, khadi, desert.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Natasha, 30
“Shiny, Pocahontas, disco.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Shilo, 27
“I’m wearing gold today. My neck piece was given to me from South Africa. And my golden lotus is burning incense.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Mukul, 27
“I stitched this outfit out of fabric made by people [in] Afghanistan. All the colors are tiny, hand-stitched threads that took a lot of time.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Aleena, 25
“This is a dress I got hand stitched for me in Zion.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
The Dentist
“This is a shepherd’s top, and these are girl’s pants that I got in Goa."
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Aditi, 26
“Janis Joplin.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Pallavi, 26
“I prefer Indian wear always because I’m proud of us. We’re in Rajasthan so I’m wearing a Rajasthani skirt.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Amber, 26
“Rip-off Punjabi”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Pratiksha, 25
“Desert essentials.
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Naina, 36
“Relaxed Indian.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Deepti, 32
“To go with the feel of Rajasthan I wore this skirt. The jacket, gloves and turban are because it’s really cold tonight.”
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Photographed by Nilaya Sabnis.
Melavi, 29
“Comfortable, easy, cool."
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