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 characterised 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.