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India

Intro

Population: 1,326,801,576(2016 Wikipedia) or 1,388,858, (2020 Estimate)

GDP per capita: 1750.60 USD (2015) or INR 113667 INR (2015)

India is a country with a population of over 1.3 billion, of which approximately 50% are below the age of 25 – a statistic that suggests a greater consumption of various forms of (especially new) music. And while music in various languages and genres is widely and easily available in India, the industry that continues to reign supreme is Bollywood. Sales of Bollywood (Hindi) and film music in other languages account for a large majority of overall music sales, with classical and devotional music accounting for most of the remaining. Independent music – mostly English – is still a fairly new industry in India, and accounts for only a fraction of sales.

The independent music industry – as well as English music industry in general – has, however, grown exponentially in the last 5 -7 years, and continues to do so each year. There are now festivals that cater to every genre of music, and international musicians are brought to the country on a regular basis for club tours and festivals. For Indian independent musicians, too, the platforms have increased manifold, with clubs, bars and restaurants across the country opening their doors to live music, and promoters/sponsors increasingly keen to book and support these musicians.

Electronic music has a strong foothold in the country, with some of the most popular festivals catering to that genre alone, and new ones being established every season. Among this is Sunburn, which is one of the most popular music festivals in the country and in Asia, and has played host to some of the biggest DJs from around the world.

Over the years, India has had a close relationship with Norway in the music and culture space. Norway recognised the growing market in India at an early stage and has since encouraged collaborations/exchanges and funded a number of such projects in collaboration with Indian companies like RSJ (rock/metal music), Spic Macay (classical music), Blue Frog (live, electronic, rock, pop, metal), Krunk (electronic, live) and Gatecrash (jazz).

TV

Bollywood music gets the most representation on Indian television however some shows on VH1 India play independent music as well.

Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd – Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd is a 50/50 joint venture operation in India between Viacom and Network 18 Group. The company operates a number of television channels, including the most prominent music channels in the country – MTV and  VH1 India. While MTV plays primarily Bollywood music, VH1 India’s programming is mostly international English music.

Nat Geo Music – Nat Geo Music is the second music channel by Fox international channels after Channel V. It is co-owned by Star Media Group (India) which broadcasts documentaries concerning “the meeting between music and culture” around the world. It also broadcasts international English music.

9X Media – A television network based in Mumbai, 9X Media owns and runs a number of music channels in India. These are 9XM, which plays only Bollywood music, 9XO for international music only, 9X Jalwa with Hindi music, 9X Tashan with Punjabi music and 9X Jhakaas with Marathi music.

B4U Music – B4U Music is part of the B4U Group, and plays Hindi music. The channel is broadcast to over 100 countries, including India, USA, the UK, and a number of countries in Europe and Africa through eight satellites.

Sony Mix – Launched in 2011, Sony Mix is a 24-hour Hindi music channel owned by Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Zing – A music channel owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Zing was first launched in 1997 as Music Asia, and then again in 2000 as Zee Muzic. In 2009, it was renamed Zing, and its content reworked. The channel now broadcasts in Hindi, as well as other regional Indian languages.

InSync – InSync is a music channel dedicated to Indian classical music, and features various forms of the genre, including Sufi, ghazals and spiritual music.

*Through the late ‘90s and 2000’s, Channel V was one of the leading music channels in India, but in 2012, it discontinued music programming, and is now a Hindi entertainment channel only.

Radio

While a majority of the programming on radio stations in India consists of Bollywood, Hindi or international music, the past few years have seen an increase in those that are incorporating Indian independent music into their programming. These include 94.3 Radio One, Indigo 91.9 FM and 104.8 Chennai Live.

92.7 BIG FM – Radio One was launched in 2006 in Mumbai before going national in six more cities. It plays international (English) music and broadcasts international news 24×7. The Key radio programmes for indie music in India are on Radio One:

* Thursday indie show on Radio One – Every Thursday night, 10pm onwards, Radio One broadcasts an indie show, on which they play Indian independent music only. The show often includes interview as well.

* Micromax Megamix on Radio One – The Micromax Megamix show on Radio One airs every Saturday night, from 10 pm onwards and plays EDM only.

* The Mahindra Blues Show on Radio One – Every Sunday night, 10 pm onwards is the Mahindra Blues Show with Brian Tellis on Radio One, dedicated to blues music.

Indigo 91.9 FM – Broadcast in Bangalore and Goa, Indigo 91.9 is the only international music channel in both cities. The programming includes shows that play the most current international music, as well as those that revisit classics.

104.8 Chennai Live – Established in 2006, Chennai Live is the leading English radio station in Chennai. Apart from playing the most popular regional and international music, both current and from over the years, the station also features debates and talk shows with a variety of guests.

92.7 BIG FM – Privately owned by businessman Anil Ambani, 92.7 BIG FM is touted as India’s largest FM station, with a presence across 45 cities, and an estimated weekly reach of 42,000,000 (4.2 crore). The radio station broadcasts in Hindi, and includes a variety of talk shows, music programmes and more.

98.3 Radio Mirchi – Radio Mirchi is owned by the Entertainment Network India Ltd., and is currently broadcast in over 30 cities in India, as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE. The programming in primarily in Hindi and includes Bollywood and other Hindi music.

93.5 Red FM – Broadcast in 40 cities across the country – from the metros of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore to Allahabad, Aizwal and Rajkot, Red FM is believed to be the country’s largest radio network. Programming on Red FM is in Hindi.

Fever 104 FM – Fever 104 FM is a Hindi radio station owned by HT Media Ltd, and is broadcast in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata.

Radio City 91.1 FM – Radio City is broadcast in various cities across the country including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Lucknow. While it primarily plays Hindi music, the programming also includes some English and regional music.

Sunaada – Online radio station for classical music.

 

 

Web

The last few years have seen a tremendous growth in the number of music-specific websites in India, and all of these (listed below) include a large percentage of independent music content.

NH7.in – Among the leading music-specific portals in the country, NH7.in’s content includes music-related news from India and around the world, alternative culture, and it also serves as a platform to discover new music.

Festival Sherpa – Festival Sherpa focuses exclusively on festival-related news from India and elsewhere in the world, with content that includes artist interviews and festival previews and reviews.

Rolling Stone India – Much like its highly respected international counterpart, Rolling Stone India’s content includes any music-related news from India and around the world.

Rock Street Journal – Started in 1993 as a print magazine by Amit Saigal – an incredibly popular and respected figure in the Indian music industry – as a platform to support rock musicians in the country, Rock Street Journal online contains a variety of Indian and international music content.

Wild City – Wild City is an online platform that focuses on music and alternative culture from India and around the world, with content that includes interviews, reviews and exclusive playlists.

Homegrown – Launched in 2013, Homegrown has quickly made a name for itself in the country with content that includes music-related news, as well as projects and curated lists that cover a variety of alternative culture from India and around the world.

Bangin Beats – The Bangin Beats focuses on content related exclusively to dance music from India and around the world.

Time Out – The London-based entertainment and lifestyle magazine TimeOut was brought to India close to 10 years ago as a fortnightly print magazine – in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi – but has now shut down its print editions and gone digital. In India, too, TimeOut functions as a comprehensive arts, culture and lifestyle guide.

Tehelka’s The Music Project – The Music Project is a series of video portraits of Indian independent musicians by Tehelka. The musicians are taken out of their studio spaces, and the videos are recorded in one take – unplugged and acoustic.

Krunklive – Krunk is an artist management, booking & events agency that focuses primarily on cutting-edge Indian independent and international DJs and producers. The website similarly contains content focussing on this music as well. They are at the forefront of cutting edge non mainstream sounds in the country.

101 India – 101india brings you stories of culture, sub culture and counter culture across the Indian subcontinent. From extreme travel to underground music, from sex and relationships to the most irreverent humour in India, they are left of centre, quirky and focussed on the urban elite youth. If it’s mad in India, it’s probably right here.

Jazz in India – jazzinindia.com is an online resource platform that aims at building a community to support, promote and develop jazz initiatives in India. It has a gig listing, artist profiles, list of venues and articles, all related to jazz in India.

Humans of Music – A curated photo space on names in music on Facebook.
Anyone lending a hand at crafting the music culture to where it stands today. Humans of Music covers artists, producers, singers, musicians, festival curators, artist managers and promoters that are permeating the scene, rising and influentially.

Daily Pao – The Daily Pao is a website that nourishes your daily need for intelligent journalism about food, nightlife, culture and fashion in Mumbai.

Grapevine – One of the leading new age portals in the country functioning in more than 16+ cities.

Daily Planet Radiocity – India’s most extensive music portal with information, entertainment and interactivity. The site is targeted at the passionate, serious music lovers, musicians & music enthusiasts, experts & amateurs.

Radio and music – Radio and music focuses primarily on radio and music news and information from India – with a large part of their content  centred around Bollywood and Hindi music – but also includes international and Indian independent music from time to time.

Soundbox – Soundbox is a print magazine and online portal that is primarily a music trade magazine. Its content includes Bollywood music and Hindi music, as well as Indian independent music.

 

What’s The Scene – What’s The Scene is a music specific website that features album reviews, interviews, news and gig listings for various cities around the country.

Bollywood Hungama – Bollywood Hungama offers news, reviews, previews and more, of Bollywood films and film music.

Rediff – Rediff offers a variety of content –news, shopping and email – but its entertainment section centres primarily around Bollywood film and music news.

FirstPost – A website with a large following covering news, politics, sports and entertainment and also covering independent bands / events / festivals through Facebook live.

Metalbase – Metalbase is widely considered India’s foremost music magazine – both print and online – specific to the genre of metal. Its content covers everything metal-related from India and elsewhere in the world. Other metal-specific portals include:

Headbangers.in

Headbangers Kitchen

Metal Wani

NH666.net

MetalIndia Magazine

Streaming

Apple Music – Developed by apple inc. apple music is one of the most popular channels used for streaming music online.

Hungama – Started in 2009, Hungama is also one of the most popular streaming channels for Bollywood, international and indie music.

Saavn – Saavn, LLC is an American digital distributor of English, Bollywood and regional Indian music in over 200 countries. Since it was founded in 2007, the company has acquired rights to over 30 million music tracks.

OK Listen – OK Listen is a platform where you can discover, listen to and purchase independent music

The other streaming websites in India are:
Gaana
Guvera
Wynk Music

Newspapers

Most leading dailies – also, weekly newspapers – in India have either supplements or sections within the main paper that feature a range of cultural news, including music news, reviews, interviews and more.

Deccan Chronicle – Deccan Chronicle is one of the leading newspapers in southern India, and contains dedicated culture and entertainment pages that include various music features.

The Hindu – Published in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, among other cities, The Hindu is among the most respected newspapers in the country, and its supplement, Metro Plus, regularly features music-related articles.

Times of India – The Times of India, as well as the ToI owned Mumbai Mirror – and Bangalore Mirror, Pune Mirror and Ahmedabad Mirror – all include sections and/or pages that do features on music, art and culture.

Hindustan Times – An English-language daily, Hindustan Times is published in most metros across the country, including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, as well as a number of other cities such as Chandigarh, Amritsar, Lucknow and Patna. Its daily and weekly supplements contain entertainment and lifestyle news and features, which often includes music.

The Telegraph – The Telegraph was founded in Kolkata, and is now primarily published from eastern India. In Kolkata, a supplement called t2 regularly includes Bollywood, international and Indian independent music news, reviews, interviews and so on.

Indian Express – The Indian Express is an English-language daily published in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Kolkata, among other cities. It has a page dedicated to feature stories, as well as a weekly magazine, both of which include music.

Sunday Guardian – A weekly English-language newspaper published in Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh, The Sunday Guardian regularly includes features on music.

DNA – Daily News and Analysis (DNA) is published in Mumbai and Delhi, among other cities and contains a daily supplement which covers a variety of entertainment and lifestyle news, including Bollywood, international and Indian independent music.

Mid-day – Mid-day is a daily tabloid published in Mumbai and Pune, available at noon. Both editions of the newspaper regularly publish entertainment and lifestyle news, including music.

New Indian Express – Published in South India only – in Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad – The New Indian Express includes features in the daily editions, as well as a Friday magazine, Indulge.

Rolling Stone – Rolling Stone magazine’s India edition continues to be the leading print magazine focussing exclusively on music content, both Indian independent and otherwise.

Sruti Magazine – For classical performing arts.

There are also print magazines in India that often include features on Indian independent and international music. These include Platform Magazine, GQ India, Elle India, Vogue India and Grazia India.

 

Festivals

Pop/rock
The number of music festivals in India has increased exponentially in recent years, especially those that cater to independent music. There are a handful of college festivals programming indie rock music.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender – The inaugural edition of Bacardi NH7 Weekender was held in Pune in 2010, as a primarily multi-genre, indie music festival. It has become an annual festival and it has been held in Pune, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Shillong over the past few years. In 2016, it took place in Shillong, Hyderabad and Pune. The festival also travelled to five more cities as one-day “Express” editions in Jaipur, Nagpur, Mysore, Puducherry and Kolkata. The festival has multiple stages, depending roughly on genre. While the line-up continues to consist primarily of independent musicians from India and around the world, some hugely popular acts have played at previous editions of the festival as well.

Ziro Festival – Held annually in Arunachal Pradesh’s Ziro Valley since 2012, Ziro Festival has, in two years, become one of the country’s favourite destination/camping festivals. While primarily a multi-genre festival, the line-up mostly comprises bands/artists of the pop/rock variety.

Echoes Of Earth – Echoes of Earth is India’s 1st ecologically-crafted music festival. The festival is a hub for music lovers and those who care about sustenance and preservation of the Earth. The first edition of Echoes of Earth end of 2016 saw an artistic convergence of over 40+ Indian and International musicians and artists who came together in the lap of pristine nature to do what they do best.
Never before had the country witnessed a culmination of communes and concerts – all to encourage and support ecological lifestyles.

Nariyal Paani – In a secluded little coconut wadi on the seashores of Alibaug, one hour by boat from Mumbai, Nariyal Paani plays home to a chilled out and eco-friendly 2-days music festival since 2015, with a line-up of 10 to 15 Indian and international bands, from indie pop / rock, funk, ska, reggae, beatbox, hip-hop to singer-songwriters.

Indie March – With the agenda of pushing all things indie, Indie March was born to celebrate the newer breed of musicians and artistes from across the country and abroad. Organised by CounterCulture, the festival had 4 successful editions since 2013 (with 5 stages and over 30 indie acts from all over the world in 2016), but didn’t happen in 2017. We hope it comes back!

Control ALT Delete – Control ALT Delete aims to bring back the live movement to where it belongs – to the artist and the fan.
Control ALT Delete is a crowd-funded movement that involves the whole ecosystem of the independent music scenario in the country to deliver a gig utilizing everyone’s strengths and contributions. It aims to make everyone right from the fan to the artist to the merch retailer, a stakeholder in the gig. The “pay what you want” initiative started in 2012 and presented its 10th edition in February 2017 in Mumbai with 35 live acts over 2 days across 5 stages.

Into The Void – Into The Void is Gujarat’s largest, first of its kind 3-day music festival. To be hosted annually at different locations and absolutely free! Its first edition happened in the desert of Gujarat in February 2017.

India Bike Week – The first edition of India Bike Week was held in Goa in 2013, and the second earlier this year. The festival caters primarily to bikers and biking enthusiasts, but also includes two stages for music. The line-up is largely multi-genre.

Escape Festival – Held annually in the picturesque hill station of Naukuchiatal, Escape Festival is a multi-genre music and art festival, and is widely considered one of India’s foremost camping festivals.

Sulafest – Held in Sula vineyards in Nasik, Sulafest is one of the biggest live music festivals in India, hosting bands of all music genres and from all over the world. It now also has an electronica music stage.

Ragasthan – The first ever edition of Ragasthan, a three-day camping music festival in Rajasthan desert, was held in Jaisalmer in 2012. The second edition happened early 2014. The next edition is under discussion.

Storm Festival – Started as a camping music festival in 2012, Storm Festival – held in Coorg for the first two editions and Bangalore for the third – is a two-day event that has multiple stages, presenting mostly rock and pop music and DJs.

Mood Indigo (IIT Mumbai) – Mood Indigo is the annual cultural festival of IIT Bombay, and has been held almost every year since its inauguration in 1971. Over the years, a number of well-known musicians have played at Mood Indigo, with line-ups including Indian independent bands, Hindi pop artists and a few international artists.

Great Indian Rock – Popularly known as GIR, this has been one of the longest running festivals (its first edition happened in 1997) and has played a pioneering role to promote independent music in India. The producers – RSJ ‘Rock Street Journal’– and its Norwegian partners helped create a productive tie-up with metal festival INFERNO in Oslo with artist exchange programs and other opportunities of performances and raising skills within the music scene in India.

Jazz/Blues
Mahindra Blues Festival – A two-day festival held in Mumbai every year, the Mahindra Blues Festivals has come to be regarded as among Asia’s biggest blues festivals. The line-up features blues and jazz musicians from India and around the world.

Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival – The Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival, started in 2012, is an annual fund-raiser organised by Genesis Foundation. The line-up primarily features folk, jazz and blues musicians.

The Jazz Fest in Kolkata – Held annually in Kolkata and previously known as the Congo Square Jazz Festival – that initially started in 1978, run for 5 editions and revived in 2003 – programs jazz acts from India and from abroad.

Delhi International Jazz Festival – The Delhi International Jazz Festival is organised by ICCR, Indian Council for Cultural Relations. It started in 2011 and is taking place at Nehru Park in New Delhi. The festival features jazz acts from India and around the world.

Goa International Jazz Live Festival – The first edition of the Goa International Jazz Live Festival was held in November 2013. It features contemporary and cutting-edge jazz musicians from India and from abroad.

Jazz Utsav – The first edition of Jazz Utsav was held in Delhi in 1984 and was called Jazz Yatra. For the last few years, the festival has been held annually, and rechristened Jazz Utsav. In 2012, the festival was also held in Mumbai and Pune, aside from Delhi. It is now organised by the event management company Teamwork and is taking place in Delhi as a one-day event.

Shisha Jazz Café Festival – Shisha Jazz Café, the jazz hub in Pune, also hosts its own jazz festival every year.

Electronica/EDM
Sunburn – Sunburn is a commercial EDM Festival that has been held in Goa from 2007 till 2015 and it is now held in the hills of Kesnand, near Pune. Sunburn has become Asia’s largest music festival and has, over the years, featured some of the most popular DJs from around the world.

Enchanted Valley Carnival – Enchanted Valley Carnival, held in Aamby Valley, started in 2013 and has become hugely popular. While the line-up focussed primarily on EDM/electronic music, Bollywood, it also featured some folk, pop/rock bands.

Bass Camp Festival – The first edition of Bass Camp Festival was held in 2010, and it has since established itself as the country’s premier bass heavy electronic music festival. In the years since, it has been held in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Goa and Kolkata.

VH1 Supersonic – VH1 Supersonic started in 2013, as a five day-long electronic music festival held in Goa. Some of the most popular DJs and producers from India and around the world featured on the line-up for the festival. It is now been held in Pune.

Magnetic Fields – Set within the historical & decadent Alsisar Mahal in Rajasthan, Magnetic Fields has become a fairly successful and well-reputed alternative electronica festival in the span of a few years.

Hill Top Festival – 3 stages with a selection of artists from abroad and from India. Each day presents DJ/Producers, mostly psychedelic, trance and techno.

CTRL ALT DANCE – CTRL ALT DANCE is an annual event presented and curated by AFE (Ankytrixx & Friends Entertainment).

GOAT – An immersive music and arts experience set on the sultry Goan beach of Ashvem. Launched in 2017, GOAT Festival has become one of the country’s most looked after music festival, presenting alternative live and electronica music.

Metal
Bangalore Open Air – Established in 2012, Bangalore Open Air has been held annually since, and has come to be recognised as India’s foremost heavy metal music festival.

Inferno Metal Festival – The first edition of the iconic Norwegian metal festival, Inferno Metal Festival, was held in India in 2014. This also marked the first time the festival was held in Asia.

Entombed Metal Festival – The first edition of Entombed Metal Fest was held in Pune in August 2012, followed by a second edition also in Pune, and the subsequent two in Mumbai. The festival primarily serves as a platform for young metal bands in the country.

Over the last few years, there has been a number of smaller metal festivals around the country, most of which feature metal bands from India only: Domination:

Domination: The Deathfest

Trendslaughter Festival

Doom Over Bangalore

Bollywood/Hindi Pop
Channel V India Fest – The V India Fest is held annually, with a focus on showcasing as well as finding new talent. The events conducted are over a variety of categories, including music, theatre, fashion, sports and more.

A number of college festivals are held across the country, with the biggest being at IIT in Mumbai and Delhi, and IIM in Ahmedabad.

Many college festvals program Bollywood acts. The biggest ones are:
Mood Indigo

IIT Delhi

IIM Ahmedabad

Traditional folk/world music/regional
Hornbill Festival – Hornbill Festival, held in Nagaland every year in December, is the most popular festival in the area. It hosts the hugely popular Hornbill Rock Contest, as well as a music festival featuring bands/musicians from around the country, and a number of traditional musicians from the area as well.

Jaipur Literature Festival – The Jaipur Literature Festival is held in January every year, and has grown into the largest literary festival in Asia. Aside from featuring speakers from around the world, the festival also has a music stage, which primarily plays host to folk, pop and classical musicians.

Jodhpur RIFF – Jodhpur RIFF is the Rajasthan International Folk Festival and is held annually in and around the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. The line-up primarily features a variety of Rajasthani musicians and dancers, among other aritsts.

Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival –This festival was established in 1992 by Dr. L. Subramaniam. It showcases talent from around the world and provides a platform for different styles of music from around the globe. Till date, the festival has been held in 55 cities across 22 countries and has received tremendous support from the press and public alike, hosting audiences of up to 200,000 people at a single event.

Kolkata International Music Festival – Organised by “Song of Soul”, the Kolkata International Music Festival saw its 5th edition in 2012, featuring primarily traditional and folk musicians.

World Sufi Spirit Festival – The World Sufi Spirit Festival, better known as the World Sacred Spirit Festival is held in the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur and the Ahhichatragarh Fort in Nagaur. The line-up features sufi, folk and traditional musicians from around the world.

Kenduli Mela – The Kenduli Mela is held every January in the district of Birbhum in West Bengal. Jaydev Kenduli, believed to be the birthplace of the poet Jaydev, is the location for the fair, which celebrates the music of the natives of that area – the Bauls.

Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival – The Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival is held every January in the town of Thiruvaiyaru in Tamil Nadu. The 171st edition of the festival will happen on January 6th 2018.

Blue Lotus Festival – The second edition of the Blue Lotus Festival will be held in Rajasthan in October 2014. The festival focuses on Indian sufi, folk, traditional, gypsy, tribal, devotional and spiritual music.

Udaipur World Music Festival – This 3-days free access festival takes place at two different venues in the city. More than 150 musicians from all over the world are invited to twinkle on the stage of Udaipur World Music Festival.

Contemporary/Classic
Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan – Shree Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan is believed to be the oldest Indian classical music festival in the world – it has completed 141 years on December 28th 2016. It is held every year at Devi Talab in Jalandhar, near the Samadhi of Saint Harballabh.

Madras Music Season – Madras Music Season is a six week-long festival held in Chennai from December to January. When it first began, the festival was about Carnatic music only, but over the years has expanded to include other forms of music as well as dance and drama.

Saptak Festival – The Saptak Sangeet Samaroh or Saptak Music Festival is held annually in Ahmedabad in January. The focus of this festival is solely on Indian classical music.

Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav – The Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav is an Indian classical music festival, organised by Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal every year in Pune since 1953.

The Dover Lane Music Conference – The Dover Lane Music Conference is an annual Indian classical music festival held in Kolkata.

Venues

Mumbai
antiSOCIAL Khar (Live / Electronic)

Todi Mill Social (Electronic / Pop / Rock)

Summer House Café (Live / Electronic)

Razzberry Rhinoceros (Live / Electronic)

Café Zoe (Electronic)

Kitty Su (Electronic)

The Daily (electronic)

Raasta (Electronic / live / reggae)

Playboy club (electronic)

Bonobo (electronic)

H2O (electronic)

Hard Rock Cafe (primarily rock)

Tilt All Day (primarily electronic)

Boveda (primarily electronic)

Olive Bar and Kitchen (electronic)

Mehboob Studios (live – rock/pop/jazz/electronic)

NCPA (Western and Indian classical/jazz)

Nehru Centre (primarily classical)

Asiatic Society  (classical/folk/pop)

Bandra Fort Amphitheatre (rock/pop/electronic/classical)

Ravindra Natya Mandir (primarily classical)

Shanmukhananda Hall (primarily classical)

Delhi
Raasta (electronic)

Hauz Khas Social / antiSOCIAL (primarily electronic)

Bandstand (Electronic / Live)

Zorba (Electronic / Live / rock / pop)

Kitty Su (Electronic)

T.L.R (primarily electronic)

I-Kandy (primarily electronic)

Moonshine Cafe (primarily electronic)

Summer House Cafe (primarily electronic)

Out of the Box (primarily electronic)

Turquoise Cottage (rock/pop/electronic/acoustic)

Hard Rock Cafe (primarily rock)

The Piano Man Jazz Club (jazz / live)

Siri Fort Auditorium (Western and Indian classical)

Humayun’s Tomb (classical)

The Peninsula Studios (classical/traditional)

India International Center (IIC) (classical/world/traditional)

Gandharva Mahavidyalaya (classical/traditional)

Nehru Park (classical/traditional)

Bangalore
The Humming Tree (pop/rock/electronic)

B-Flat (rock/classical/electronic)

Windmills Craftworks (classical/jazz)

Opus (primarily rock)

Hard Rock Cafe (primarily rock)

Indigo Live Music Bar (primarily electronic)

Church Street Social (primarily electronic)

Kormangla Social (Primarily Electronic)

Big Brewsky (Pop / Rock / Live)

Puma Social Club(primarily electronic)

City Bar (primarily electronic)

Chowdiah Memorial Hall (primarily classical)

Pune
Blue Frog (rock/pop/electronic)

High Spirits (primarily electronic)

Hard Rock Cafe (primarily rock)

Euriska (primarily electronic)

Shisha Jazz Cafe (jazz)

Raasta (Electronic / Live / Reggae)

Chennai
Hard Rock Cafe (primarily rock)

Zara (primarily electronic)

Music Academy (classical/traditional)

Kolkata
Someplace Else (primarily rock)

Princeton Club (rock/electronic)

ITC Sangeet Research Academy (primarily classical)

Hyderabad
Hard Rock Cafe (primarily rock)

The Farm worl Café (Electronic)

BPM (Electronic)

Chandigarh
S Café + Gaah (Electronic)

Whistling Duck (Folk / Jazz / World)

Chowmahalla Palace (primarily classical)

Jaipur
Kawa Cultural Centre (primarily classical)

Ta Blu (Electronic)

Bar Palladio (Electronic)

Goa
Cotinga (Live / Rock / Pop)

Vaayu (Live / Electronic)

The 248 Collective (Rock / Jazz / Blues)

Ash (Rock / Pop / Live)

Chronicle (Goa)

Rock Water (Electronic)

Booking agents/Management

India has a number of booking agents/agencies, some who focus exclusively on the continually growing Indian independent music market, some on international music, some on both, and some on Bollywood. Some of these booking agents/agencies double as management as well.

Rock/Pop
OML

Krunk

Dream Makers

Ennui.Bomb

Gigmama

Blue Tree

Workerbee

Artistivity

Mixtape

Groove Temple

Jazz/Blues
Gatecrash

Jazz Goa

Teamwork

Electronic/EDM
Submerge

Krunk

Unmute

Mixtape

Inroom Records

Gently Altered

Slick

Deepsound Entertaiment

Regenerate

Wavelength

Ankytrixx and Friends Entertainment

Percept

Bollywood/Hindi Pop/Regional
Percept

Showhouse

70

Fountainhead

Traditional folk/World music
Earthsync

Indianuance

Kawa Music

Rhythm Riders

Teamwork

Spic Macay

Banyan Tree Events

Seher

Metal
Deamonstealer

Mixtape

Frameshift Initiative

Incanned Productions

Contemporary/Classic
Indianuance

Spic Macay

Record Industry

According to the KPMG India – FICCI media, the music industry in India grew from 9.6 billion in 2013 to 12.2 billion in 2016, with a growth of 13% from 2015 to 2016.

The projections say that there will be a 15.8% growth from 2016 to 2021, reaching 25.4 billion in 2021.

Major

The labels with the largest turnover, and with the biggest stakes in the Indian market continue to be those that release Bollywood/regional Indian music. The key labels are:

Bollywood/Hindi Pop/Regional
T-Series – T-Series has an annual turnover of over 300 crores and an 18% market share.

Saregama – Set up in 1901, Saregama used be owned by EMI, but was bought over by the Goenkas in 1985. It has an annual turnover of 150 crores and a 10% market share.

Sony Music – Sony Music has an annual turnover of 80 crores in the Indian market.  The label releases Bollywood, pop/rock, classical and international music, and is the licensee for Warner Music.

Universal Music India – Universal Music releases Indian (Bollywood, Hindi pop, classical and regional) and international music, with an annual turnover of 60 crores in the Indian market. The label also owns 400 film soundtracks from the 70s.

Times Music – Times Music releases Bollywood, Hindi pop, devotional and regional Indian music.

Tips Industries Limited – The Tips music label was set up in the 80s and releases Bollywood, regional, Hindi pop and classical Indian music.

Venus Records and Tapes India Limited – Venus releases Bollywood, regional, devotional, Hindi pop and classical Indian music.

Yash Raj Films – Set up in 2004, the Yash Raj Films label only releases only film music produced by Yash Raj Films.

Eros International

ASA Productions – ASA Productions distributes Bollywood music in India and the international market.

Music Today

Indie

Key independent record labels
Demonstealer Records – Demonstealer Records is an independent record label dedicated to the genre of extreme metal.

Dualism Records – Dualism Records was set up in 2013 by Sahej Bakshi (aka Dualist Inquiry) and his manager, Tej Brar. The label aims to serve as a platform for cutting-edge indie electronica from the Indian subcontinent.

Qilla Records – Qilla Records was set up in 2010 by Madhav Shorey (aka Kohra) and Gaurav Malaker (one half of B.L.O.T.). The label publishes electronic music.

Knowmad Records – Formed in 2016 by Azin Printer and Kumail Hamid, the label publishes electronic music.

Consolidate – Bangalore-based record Label / Collective. It publishes electronic experimental music.

Soupherb – Started by Ash Roy and Ashvin Mani in 2013, the label has proven to be an international outlet, creating a platform for forward thinking and experimental music producers. The label publishes Minimal, Techno, House and their sub – genres.

There are also a handful of other independent labels that focus exclusively on metal. These include:

Transcending Obscurity India

Mahatobar Distribution

Incanned Productions

Classical/Folk/Traditional
Music Today –Established in 1990, Music Today is a division of the India Today Group, and focuses exclusively on classical Indian music.

Amarrass Records – Based between New Delhi and Wisconsin, USA, Amarrass Records is a label that publishes world music/traditional folk music.

EarthSync – EarthSync is a record label based in Chennai that produces/releases traditional music from around India.

De Kulture Records – De Kulture was established in 2005 with the aim to promote and preserve diverse traditional Indian music.

Beat of India (Shefali Bhushan) – Beat of India is a music label that focuses exclusively on folk music from India, with the aim to make it more easily available.

Free Spirit – Free Spirit is a music label based in Mumbai that releases traditional/world/folk music.

The Peninsula Studios – They encourage collaborations between musicians with the aim of popularising and modernising folk music.

Mystica Music – Mystica Music releases Sufi, devotional, meditation, classical and world music.

Underscore Records – Underscore Records was set up by musicians Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan, and releases Indian music.

Ninaad Music – Ninaad was set up to promote classical music and make it more available to people.

Distribution/Licensing

Hungama (T Series digital distribution)

Tech Zone

Spice Digital

Short Formats

Alpha Digi Tech

Digital

Most of record labels also do digital distribution.

Some of the biggest online platform for digital distribution are:

OK Listen

Artist Aloud

Hungama

Saavn

Copyrights

All record labels in India are also publishers, there’s no independent publishing company, except for “Turnkey Music and Publishing Pvt Ltd”, recently launched by Atul Churamani (ex-Saregama HMV).

Music industry networking arenas

IndiEarth Xchange – IndiEarth Xchange is an annual trade event put together by IndiEarth / Earthsync – a multipurpose platform to support India’s independent musicians and filmmakers – for independent music, film and media. The fifth edition of the event was held in November 2016, and brought together professional delegates from all over the world over two days. The agenda includes conferences, music and film showcases, networking sessions and international opportunities.

Music Connects – Produced by the Hong Kong-based Music Matters and indiantelevision.com group’s radioandmusic.com, MixRadio Music Connects is a two-day-long music and digital event for the industry and held its sixth edition in 2014.

India Music Week – India Music Week was established in 2011 by Amit Saigal, the founder of Rock Street Journal, as a platform that would give the Indian independent music industry the opportunity to interact with the global marketplace. The festival continues to be owned by Rock Street Journal Magazine. The most recent edition of the festival in 2013 featured a series of concerts and a two-day music conference in collaboration with Rikskonsertene – Concerts Norway and in association with the Mumbai-based True School of Music. Since then, RSJ organises “Focus Group Sessions” to connect young and established musicians and music professionals.

ADE Global Sessions – The yearly conference organised by Amsterdam Dance Event which includes various sessions and showcases held all over the city, attended by musicians and delegates from around the world.

The Coalition – The Coalition (TC) brings India’s creative community together with the aim of fuelling the next wave of creative ventures in the country. The festival when it started in 2014 was set up as a creative enterprise boot camp, a quick stop to learn how to navigate the business of creativity. It then gave way to a festival that spoke to both, creatives as individuals, and creatives as a part of an industry, a movement.

Over the last three years, The Coalition has hosted leaders, innovators and experts not just from the creative fields but also from new technology businesses, brands and media platforms.

INCA – India Nightlife Convention and Awards (INCA) is the first ever platform
specifically designed to experience, celebrate and recognize the providers of the night life entertainment in India. It is an event by the industry, of the industry and for the industry. A 2 day business convention for attendees from across India, followed by awards recognizing the best from the bar & nightlife industry. The event encompasses business and informational workshops with some of the industry’s most influential entrepreneurs.

Sponsors

For rock/pop/electro/jazz music: Liquor companies, Apparel & Lifestyle brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma, Vans and so on.
For classical and folk music: nationalised banks, specific patrons like Shri Krishna Sweets, Nalli Silk Saris, and brands such as Britannia and software firms such as Infosys.

Liquor Brand like Smirnoff, Bira, Jagermeister, Budweiser, Jack Daniels etc.

PR agencies

Gatecrash – Gatecrash is a consulting agency specialized in touring international bands in India, curating Indian and international acts for festivals and events and managing music-related projects. It also guides international bands on developing a fan base through social media and PR in India.

City Press

There are also a handful of PR agencies in India that promote music as one of their many interests. These include:

Perfect Relations

Hardly Anonymous

Visas

All foreign musicians performing in India are required to apply for a business visa at their local Indian Consulate. This needs to be done about 3-4 weeks in advance, as organisers in India who have invited an international musician to perform need to apply for an International Performing License (IPL) approximately 2 weeks in advance, for which they require to show the musician’s visa to the authorities.

Checklist

– The independent and mainstream (Bollywood/film) music scene is primarily driven by sponsors and works on a 100 % sponsorship model, unlike many European countries. This has helped in the rapid growth of the music scene in a relatively short period. A number of large-scale international companies have started investing in India, given the promise of potential in the Indian market.

– The past couple of years have seen a significant rise in nearly all components of the music industry – international and independent – from club gigs to festivals to venues to digital platforms to distribute music to media that’s covering this music.

– The music festival season in India is generally between September and March, but club gigs are usually organised all-year round. Most often, these happen on weekends – Friday and Saturday nights – but some venues programme live music on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well.

– Foreign bands interested in developing a career in India will, more often than not, need to make multiple trips to the country, foster a relationship with local musicians and promoters and do some PR for themselves – keeping in mind that social media and word-of-mouth are very efficient in India.

Sources

Sohail Arora (Krunk) & Emmanuelle de Decker (Gatecrash)

We would also like to thank the people who helped us to write this roadmap: Zaira Arslan, Aishwarya Natarajan, Atul Churamani & Sahil Makhija

Sohail Arora is the founder/director of KRUNK , an Artist Management, Bookings & Events Agency based out of Mumbai. Founded in 2009, KRUNK specializes in the finest local and international talent within the music industry. KRUNK’s wide roster of Artists include some of the most forward thinking DJs / Producers in the country. In addition to running India’s only Bass Heavy Electronic Music festival called BASS CAMP which pushes sounds like Drum N Bass/Dubstep/Glitch Hop/Garage/Reggae/Dub & more, KRUNK also curates festival stages for electronic and live music at festivals like Sunburn, Zima Fest and many more. Krunk runs many other properties like FAM JAM (House, Electronic), FLUX (All Dance Genres) and has been responsible for getting down quality international acts like DUB FX (Aiustralia), Alix Perez (UK), Mr. Bill (Australia), Calyx & TeeBee (UK), Lucy Swann (No), Mathias Stuboe (No) and many more.

Sohail is a full – time member of the Mumbai-based BBC (Bay Beat Collective). BBC formed in 2009 and was voted # 1 Drum N Bass / Dubstep DJ Collective by MyFavDJ.in for 2009 – 2010, BBC comprises of Sohail Arora & Kris Correya. They have opened for acts like The Prodigy, Noisia, Alix Perez, Nymfo, LTJ Bukem, DJ Marky, Pendulum & Klute. BBC has played an important role in the rise of the Bass Music culture in the country.

Emmanuelle de Decker is a French national who has been working in the music industry for more than fifteen years across different countries in Europe and in Asia. Emma handled live music programming at blueFROG in Mumbai & Delhi for five years, and founded GATECRASH in 2012, an agency for music projects management.

GATECRASH curates Indian and international bands for events, coordinates concerts for bands touring in India, facilitates artist collaborations, develops exchanges between Indian and international music professionals and conducts researches and workshops about the music scene in India.

The agency also launched the online resource platform jazzinindia.com to build a jazz community, support, promote and develop jazz initiatives in India.