#HappyHigh at SulaFest 2015

The literal definition of music concerts is strictly a bunch of friends dancing in an open ground, (or doing whatever they feel like) with some heavy metal background playing in the background, drinking away, and plastering blurry, retro pictures on social media the morning they can find their phones. 

If you remove friends from this statement, you find a sad lonely person, who hates loud music, doesn’t understand a word played by a random artist he has never heard of, choosing to find another lonely person, just to get away from their misery. That’s exactly how I had imagined my weekend would go, when I received the invitation for SulaFest 2015. 

It was a media invite and I sincerely don’t know many Mumbai journalists, the only concerts I had attended were Bollywood nights at colleges in Mumbai and NH7, where inspite of being with friends, I had no idea what was happening.

So if a non-concert lover can do bhangra to Young the Giantlose their voice completely within 24 hours, then yeah, I can safely say that it was a weekend to remember.

Heading out from Thane, all the way to Nashik, with a bunch of fellow bloggers and journalists it looked like a promising weekend to everyone, except me, considering my fear of concerts and loud music.

The wine tastings
We started with Sovna Puri’s tour of the vineyard and to some of Sula’s signatures, out of which Seco Rose emerged to be an absolute favourite. This was followed by the Hardy’s tasting lounge, where we drank to our heart’s content at this Australian wine label. Hardys Stamp Sparkling Chardonnay-Pinot Noir (red; priced at Rs 1320) and Hardys Stamp Riesling Gewurztraminer (white; priced at Rs 960) were the clear favourites there.

The concerts
Since most of the bands are new and you can’t expect Ed Sheeran or David Guetta, but hey, that’s the way you discover music, right? And stereotype me all you want, but a couple of drinks down, even Shreya Ghoshal would sound like Shakira, so the point is to just dance away. Some of the highlights were Young the Giant, Lucky Ali, Nucleya and Hamza feat. Manu Idhra.  Since I just tried wine and nothing else, the Punjabi in me remained safely sober, and continued to dance away to glory, without any alcoholic help.

The crowd
Label my orientation however you wish, but after witnessing decked up South Delhi lasses at NH7, Delhi, I thought I had seen the best crowd India can boast of. I don’t know where the crowd from Sula came from, but it was happening and how! By Day 1 evening, journalists who I only knew by their by lines, had become friends, so my lack of company was taken care of. But people expecting to ‘bump into someone new’ will find opportunities galore and how!

The food
Obviously overpriced, but the food ranged from some of the finest restaurants of Mumbai, including Café Zoe, Woodside Inn, Busago and MM!Maaroosh, paired perfectly with Sula wines. See the wine pairings for the Indian palate Sovna and I worked out here.

How it fares over other concerts
I have just NH7 and a bunch of college concerts for reference and SulaFest was the first concert which I attended without knowing a single artist or having any company. But after making new friends and a host of memories and pictures, which broaden my grin every time I see them, I can safely say, you will be fine even if you are all by yourself. Go with company, to keep it exciting and safe, but for the rest of us, there’s always an interesting stranger to lock eyes with.

From Mumbai- Drive down to Nashik or take train or bus. You can take city autos or rent a car once you are in Nashik. Accommodation options are available at several budget hotels.

Festival tickets- May vary next year, but for SulaFest 2015, it was
Regular: INR 1,900
Regular: INR 3,000
VIP (Limited passes and only 2-day available): INR 5,000

Text and pictures by Avni Mehrotra


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