Day One of the Magnetic Fields Festival involved getting to the venue, which is Alsisar, Shekhawati / Jhunjunu, in Rajasthan. The music part of the festival takes place inside the walls of the Alsisar Mahal but the majority of the concert attendees live outside the palace grounds at a “tent settlement”, which is a five minute walk from the palace itself.
We were attending the festival as guests of one of the sponsors, Jameson Whiskey. The brand was taking a bunch of people for this experience and all of us met at a designated spot in Gurgaon, got on a bus and we were off!
Jameson had arranged a surprise lunch for the group in the middle of nowhere. We were driven through some super narrow sandy lanes and we came upon a food truck! There was whiskey at the bar – but of course – and there was some of the best food truck food I’ve EVER had. TGSK ( The Gourmet Street Kitchen ) and Artisan Meats served up some great pork chops, duck salad, home made cake and ice cream ( there was more but these were my favorites, so that’s what I will remember till the end of time 😛
We spent a couple of hours there, happy to be off our butts and off the bus. A group of curious villagers had also collected in the shade of the acacia trees to gawk at us.
I’ve already shared some photographs from that day in the blog post I did about the LG V20 smart phone here. But, there are more photographs, of course.
Once we were close to Alsisar, we drove off the main road toward the festival area and eventually, the bus got stuck in a narrow lane in the village. We walked from there till the festival area, which was about 15 minutes away. Cars can drive directly to the reception gate of the festival but a Volvo bus cannot.
At the reception area, we were checked in and given three wrist bands. Festival access, Jameson identification and a “sponsor” band, which would mean that we could drink whatever we wanted without having to pay for it. And we made good use of that, undoubtedly.
There are limited food options at the festival and everything is Delhi pricing. Because these are all Delhi brands. A small bottle of water is Rs. 50. You can carry your water supply to your tent but you cannot carry your own water or food to the Alsisar Mahal. If you have any, the security guards will make you throw it outside the main gate. Then no choice but to purchase food and water or get out of the main gate and purchase from the local stalls.
Some of the food is great though – mutton curry and rice, the burgers, tikka rolls, etc.
The Magnetic Fields Festival uses its own currency, which you get by exchanging actual money. Funky looking too! ( Yes there’s a photo. )
By the time we got to our tents, it was freezing cold and many layers of clothes later, at around 10 pm, we headed to the palace grounds. A few shots of whiskey and one music performance later, we headed back to our tents. It took a while to fall asleep because of the COLD. There are no heaters in the tents and some of them don’t even get a supply of hot water. We were lucky at least with that one aspect. ( Although, we did consider not showering at all for the three day festival 😛 )
Drunk revelers keep coming and going from their tents and most of them are LOUD. Music from the palace also reaches the tents. Best to carry ear plugs if you’re looking to catch any sleep.
This is the first time I’ve been to a “music festival” and lived there overnight. I’m not really here for the music – more for the experience. Not that this is my first time in a tent – being an Army Officer’s daughter has made that possible more than a few times. The draw was a bunch of things : mainly getting to work with Vishesh of WhiteXP Media, hang out once again with the Jameson boys ( they’re Irish – for the most part – and quite hot ), hang out with my friends and some family too ( Karina and Magandeep and Akanksha and Aman and my own boy ), the vibe of Rajasthan, to get some nice photos ( I’m ALWAYS looking for the next place to be at where I can find nice photos for the blog ), to maybe meet some new people and make new friends, and to see Alsisar Mahal.
Enjoy the photos from day one – all photographed on one of the two phones : the LG V20 or the Google Pixel. DSLR photos will also show up soonish. ( The music act we caught the first night was also the BEST as far as I’m concerned – the best from the entire festival. )