Showcase: Gulmarg calling

Already famous for its scenic beauty, Gulmarg, Kashmir is all set to host India's first ever Winter Music and Adventure Festival. Scheduled to take place during the full moon Weekend, March 9-11, 2012, this festival is organised by Soul Curators and is supported by Jammu & Kashmir Tourism.

“We chose Gulmarg after careful deliberation and planning. It's a beautiful and peaceful town. We also wanted to look at winter adventure sports, so snow is very important. And Gulmarg has some of the best powder for skiing, as well as the highest gondola ride in the world,” said Vivek Binepal, the Founder and Director of Soul Curators. “Another important aspect is the attempt to promote local artists and culture. This will be the first festival in Gulmarg after 30 years, and we hope that the place will benefit equally from the festival.”

A unique aspect is the attempt to be completely environment friendly. Along with a minimum carbon footprint by using local resources and sustainable production methods, GWF '12 will also be a zero-plastic event, with visitors being encouraged to choose jute over plastic. Lights will be powered by renewable energy sources. “Zero Residual Damage” is the goal.

The line-up of musicians includes Raghu Dixit, Rishi Inc., Half Step Down, Travelling Blues, Hashback Hashish apart from local artists. The performances range from classical music to soul, jazz rock and fusion. The festival also aims to promote international winter sports and adventure sports, with exciting exhibits and competitions. Along with the world's highest gondola ride that doubles up as a ski lift, there is snowboarding, tub-o-ganging, snow-peeps, the White-Flight Kite festival and the winter marathon. The festival will also host the first chapter of The Adventure Icons of India (A.I.I.), a sports community that aims to create a pool of athletes across different adventure sports. Other attractions include a short film festival, the Gulmarg Flea Market, the Kashmiri Food Fiesta and much more. With Gulmarg's pristine beauty as backdrop, the first year of this festival promises to be an iconic event.