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The line-up for the second edition of the Ziro Festival of Music is out. Yes Sonic Youth. Yes. The organisers have pulled off a massive coup to have someone of Sonic Youth’s (Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley) calibre and reknown headline the festival.

Anup Kutty, guitarist for menwhopause who is involved with the festival as a Creative Producer, acknowledges the fact that bringing down Sonic Youth is a massive shot in the arm and the festival will only scale vertically here on out.

“We were looking for someone with the alternative indie vibe to add to the festival flavor. Sonic Youth are the sort of success story that independent acts yearn for. They are the sort of band that has massively influenced the alternative indie-rock scene from back in the ’80s. So when we were looking for an international act and found out that these guys were interested, it only made complete sense to bring them down here.”


Moving on, the line-up features 21 acts, equally balanced between the Northeast and mainland. The line-up features Whirling Kalapas, first-timers Sulk Station, returning heroes menwhopause and Sky Rabbit among others.

“We are really looking forward to it. We heard that the place has a great vibe to it, so generally our curiosities have been stoked,” said Rahul Giri, one-half of Bangalore based electronic duo, Sulk Station.

Bands and artistes from the Northeast include first-timers to Ziro in Polar Lights, Imphal Talkies, Shillong’s Dosser’s Urge among others who will share the spotlight with Digital Suicide, Dayglocrazie, and Omak Komut Collective who return to the festival for the second time.

Vocalist for Naga alternative rock outfit, Polar Lights, Mar Jamir, was on an ‘excitement overdose’. “It has been excitement overdose for us ever since we got the news. It is a massive boost for a band like ours and we can’t thank the organizers enough for giving us a slot. But, the hardwork starts now. We will give people a mad mad set they won’t forget easily. We also have a surprise planned out, wait and watch!”


Ziro Festival of Music aims to “raise awareness of north-east India and brings it into the mainstream consciousness of the country through music, art and culture.” Hosted at Ziro, a beautiful, serene valley in central Arunachal Pradesh, the festival is supported by local, state regional dignitaries and most importantly by the Apatani tribe who have contributed to the festival with pomp and gusto.

The complete Ziro Festival of Music line-up:


 Indie Bands

 1. Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth)

2. Whirling Kalapas – Mumbai

3. Menwhopause – New Delhi

4. Peter Cat Recording Co. – New Delhi

5. Sky Rabbit – Mumbai

6. Frisky Pints – Mizoram

7. Donn Bhatt – Mumbai

8. Your Chin – Mumbai

9. Sulk Station – Bengaluru

10. The Bicycle Days – Bengaluru

11. Gandu Circus – Kolkata

12. Imphal Talkies – Imphal, Manipur

13. Dosserʼs Urge – Shillong, Meghalaya

14. The Vinyl Records – Arunachal Pradesh

15. Yesterdrive – Arunachal Pradesh

16. Omak Komut Collective – Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh

17. Still Waters – Gangtok, Sikkim

18. Digital Suicide – Guwahati, Assam

19. Dayglocrazie – Assam

20. Polar Lights – Dimapur, Nagaland

21. Purple Fusion – Dimapur, Nagaland

Folk Acts

 1. Tapu War Dance – Adi Tribe, Arunachal Pradesh

2. Lion Dance – Monpa Tribe, Arunachal Pradesh

3. Buya Dance – Nishyi Tribe, Arunachal Pradesh

4. Paku Littu Dance – Apatani Tribe, Arunachal Pradesh

5. Damin Da Dance – Apatani Tribe, Arunachal Pradesh

6. Bamboo Dance – Mizoram

7. Naga Dance – Nagaland

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