The Mad festival is in its infancy, but potential is huge. Here's why we think its got the ingredients to be one of the must do's, in your calendar:
1. Set 7,000 feet up in the famous old hill station of Ooty there is abundant clean air. When you live in any (major) metropolis in India, this is a luxury that you can't afford to miss out on.
2. The location is sensational, Ooty needs a seismic renovation; no-one is sending photo/ postcards of the centre of town back home, but the Mad festival have something special. They have teamed up with the Fernhills Palace to create a setting which is unique in India. The main stage this year was in front of the palace, a stunning English built building of over 100 years old. Walk through the woods to get to stage two, passing the flea market and art installations, there is a magical aura about the place. Look out over the valley on the side of the second stage and the reality of the location dawns, as you dance in the clouds.
3. There were nearly 300 artists that came to Mad festival this year; it's not a rock festival, it's not metal (thank god...), its a celebration of music, and arts. Talented young musicians from all over India, a smattering of international artists and music, from jamming groups, to a blues trio, or even an eccentric Swiss guy called 1001 Ways, who entertained 150 revelers with songs hilarious, in their idiosyncrasy. You can check him out here.
4. The organisers are what create a festival. The guys and gals from Cobalt are venturing into the music festival space for the first time (this is year 2 of the Mad Festival) and they have a good philosophy. Their efforts, and vision are true, and as a result, in no time at all we'll be cursing that the Mad festival is not the quaint little festival that it is today.