Art, Architecture, Design & Travel

The Happiest Music Festival

The Happiest Music Festival has just announced its much-awaited artist lineup for this year's Pune edition. The ninth edition of the festival is returning with some prominent global artists, including Joe Satriani, Hiatus Kaiyote, FKJ, God Is An Astronaut, Nightmares on Wax, sleepmakeswaves, The Contortionist and West Thebarton. The festival also features some of the best artists from India including Benny Dayal & Funktuation, Bhuvan Bam, Dualist Inquiry, Mahesh Kale, Ritviz, Shubha Mudgal, Salim-Sulaiman and The Local Train.

The festival is headed to the hills of Meghalaya – its fourth appearance in the state – on 2-3 November , before it heads to its home city, Pune on 7-9 December.  Since its inception, the BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender has featured over 540 artists from India and around the world, across a variety of genres, to over 500,000 fans. The festival has evolved to become one of the country's most beloved musical weekends as thousands of fans and discerning music lovers converge for an unforgettable experience.

Talking about the lineup, Supreet Kaur, Festival Director comments,”The core of our festival this year is variety and diversity, and the lineup is undoubtedly the most diverse it’s ever been. Over 75% of the artists performing at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune are making their Weekender debut this year. Listening to a thousand new artists each year is what keeps us excited, and we're thrilled to share our discoveries with the fans.”

Speaking about this year’s upcoming festivals,  Anshuman Goenka, Bacardi India Marketing Head adds, “BACARDÍ has passionately strived to curate innovative and immersive music experiences, over decades. Our partnership with OML, now its ninth year, to create the BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender, is an integral part of our legacy in music. This year we are building further on that endeavour and giving back to our indie artists as we bring winners of our campaign, Bacardi House Party Sessions, from across the globe to showcase their talent at the Happiest Music Festival.”

Following a successful Pre-Sale, a limited number of Phase 1 tickets – Season and Under 21 – for Pune are now on sale on

A quick glimpse into what’s in store this year :


Joe Satriani is one of the most popular and influential guitar players of all time and he's on his way to Pune. In a career spanning 4 decades and 16 studio albums, 'Satch' as he's known to fans, has enthralled millions with his ability to seamlessly blend extreme virtuosity and technique with emotion and feel. He's a 15-time Grammy nominee and is the biggest-selling instrumental rock guitarist of all time. A much-sought after guitar teacher, he has taught Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett of Metallica among others. A glittering career of collaborations has seen him playing with, among others, Mick Jagger's solo band, Deep Purple, The Yardbirds, Jordan Ruddess (Dream Theater), and his own touring G3 project that has seen him share the stage with guitar icons such as Vai, Eric Johnson, John Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, Brian May, Yngwie Malmsteen and more.

This two time Grammy nominee, 4 piece band from down under is all set to take the stage at Pune. With sounds that defy genres, their soulful sound has inspired some of the most respected names in popular music. From being sampled in Drake and Kendrick Lamar's albums to finding a fan in Metallica's frontman, this band has found a rabid legion of fans worldwide. And they're coming to a stage near you.

One of the biggest names in instrumental rock, this Irish band is all set to hit the stage after just having released their ninth, and what people say is their most moving album yet, Epitaph. What can you look forward to? A fusion of intense rock instrumentation, ethereal and emotional soundscapes, awe-inspiring dynamics and transfixing melodies.

From a sound engineer in cinemas to FKJ, the musician who plays the guitar, bass, saxophone, piano and more, this iconic artist is known for layering and detail in his music, that has tinges of jazz, with a touch of electronic, making him stand out in a genre of his own.

The Contortionist are a progressive metal band from Indiana. They wear their influences - ranging from Meshuggah to Pat Metheny - proudly on their sleeves. The band has released 4 studio albums and 3 EPs, seeing the band evolve from progressive deathcore to an atmospheric hybrid of prog-rock and alt-metal. Their critically acclaimed albums Language and Clairvoyant are regarded as among the finest in modern progressive metal by fans of the genre.

George Evelyn of Nightmares On Wax is one of the first musicians to embrace the downtempo and trip-hop style of music, and make it his own. His unique sound is a fusion of jazz, hip-hop, reggae and the early rave sounds that could be heard across England. This king of electronica chooses the couch as his throne, with his tunes that are meant for grooving as you relax.

sleepmakeswaves is an instrumental rock band from Sydney, Australia. They came together in late 2006 with a desire to write textured, dynamic and emotive songs combining delicate beauty with dramatic climaxes. Their bold approach to creating innovative instrumental music and their electric live performances has earned them high profile tours with the likes of 65daysofstatic, Karnivool, Tortoise, Mono, Pelican, Russian Circles and Boris. And now, Pune audiences will discover their beautiful soundscapes.

A garage rock band from Adelaide, this band has four guitarists in their 7 member lineup, and they sure know how to rock n’ roll. They describe themselves as "loud, proud, powerful" and with their music channelling the sounds of 90s punk rock and post-hardcore, there couldn't be a more apt description.


The Hindustani powerhouse bridges the divide between classical and modern. She's a versatile singer, switching between styles with ease, a celebrated composer and she's going to demand several standing ovations this year at Pune.

This celebrated composer duo has over 100 Bollywood movies, 1 Hollywood movie, musicals and several original records to their name, with cinematic, folk, electronica and sufi influences. They've definitely left a mark on Indian music and redefined the music scene in India, and will bring you a set full of soulful Sufi music at Pune.

Lose yourself in the raag, with Pune's own Maestro. Mahesh Kale is a brilliant classical vocalist, who is equally proficient at Thumri, Dadra, Tappa, Bhajans, Bhavgeet, and Natyasangeet. Over the years he has performed with world famous percussionists including Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtu and Sivamani, and instrumentalists like Pedro Eustache and Frank Martin, in fusion and collaborative works. He's a versatile singer and composer, and deftly treads the line between traditional and modern.

Arguably the new face of Hindi rock in India, The Local Train packs a powerful performance on stage. Their raw and honest lyrics stand out against a wall of sound with loud guitars and atmospheric electronics, to create songs that stay with you even after you stop listening.

Funktuation, fronted by Benny Dayal started out by playing funk covers from the 80s and the 90s and soon gained popularity through a series of stage shows. After a stint playing Bollywood music, the band switched over to creating original compositions. After being a regular on Weekender stages for years, Benny Dayal is joined for the first time in Pune by Funktuation. Get set for a mix of Alternative Funk, Alternative Pop, Disco, Soul and R&B, performed in Tamil, Hindi, and English.

She's performed all over the world, with music stalwarts including Plini, Marco Minnemann, John Patitucci and Abraham Laboriel, Dave Weckl, Jordan Rudess, Steve Vai and AR Rahman. And she's been making waves since she was 11. At the age of 22, India's bass prodigy shows no signs of stopping and returns to the Pune stage for another powerful performance.

You've seen him on Youtube, you've lmao-ed at his vines, you've helped his videos go viral. And now this talented entertainer takes to the stage to kickstart his music career. With original compositions and his trademark charisma, this promises to be an entertaining set.

Crowd favourite Sahej Bakshi returns to Pune with his signature repertoire of sounds that have left quite the mark on the Indian electronica landscape. Subverting the genre as a whole, he'll treat you to mellow electronica that'll get you to relax before pumping you up with to guitar licks and loud synths. You never know what to expect with Dualist Inquiry, except a big grin while you groove to his tunes.

Ritviz returns to Pune after bursting onto the scene last year. This 21-year old Singer, DJ & Dance Music Producer's music is bass heavy, and rich in eastern sounds owing to his training as a Hindustani classical musician since the age of 6. He was recently announced as the winner of Bacardi House Party Sessions India, where his latest single “Udd Gaye” was handpicked & released, along with a music video, by AIB & Nucleya.


Dualist Inquiry
Louise Burns
Aditi Ramesh
Fame The Band
Mahesh Kale
Saurav Mehta
Aishwarya Mohanraj
Mohini Dey
Shadow & Light
God Is An Astronaut
Navin Noronha
Alok Babu Aka All.Ok
Nightmares On Wax
Shubha Mudgal
Ape Echoes
Hashback Hashish
Nishant Suri
Aqua Dominatrix
Hiatus Kaiyote
Niveditha Prakasham
Ashish Shakya
Paper Queen
Jay Abo
Sonali Thakker
Azadi Records
Joe Satriani
Pineapple Express
Sumaira Shaikh
Benny Dayal and
Kaneez Surka
Prashasti Singh
Sumit Anand
Bhuvan Bam
Kavin Jay
Punya Arora
Sumukhi Suresh
Biswa Kalyan Rath
Kimochi Youkai
Radhika Vaz
Tanya Nambiar
Blushing Satellite
The Contortionist
Carl and the Reda Mafia
Kumail (Live)
Rahul Dua
The Kush Upadhyay Group
Cinema Of Excess
Kumar Varun
The LaFontaines
Corridors (Live)
Kunal Kamra
The Local Train
Kunal Rao
Rohan Joshi
The Twin Effect
Disco Puppet
Urooj Ashfaq
Ladies Compartment
West Thebarton
Sanjeeta Bhattacharya
When Chai Met Toast
Sapan Verma
Worldservice Project

Zakir Khan

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