Kunal Lodhia’s Guide to Navigating Magnetic Fields Festival
Set in a 17th century palace in Rajasthan, Magnetic Fields is not your average music festival. The charming walls of Alsisar Haveli house some of the coolest names in music. Singer-songwriters, bedroom producers and electronic DJs spin fresh tunes against the December chill. As we prep and pack for the fest, we caught up with co-founder Kunal Lodhia and asked him what his Magnetic Fields essentials include.
How did Magnetic Fields come into being?
Magnetic Fields came about when we met with the Alsisar family in Rajasthan. We’ve always wanted to do a festival of contemporary arts in a historic setting with ancient roots. There’s a lot to learn from the ancient arts and sciences and a lot of our imagery and festival inspiration is drawn from it. The space is Alsisar Haveli, which was a battle-hardened fort claimed by the royal Alsisar family in 1737. Rajasthan has a very rich hospitality ethos and so do the Alsisar family; being a music festival and opening your palace gates to the world has to be done with elegance and respect for each and everyone attending. No better place than a royal mahal. You’ll find Manganiyar sufi singers in one courtyard and the world’s current acts in the next. Worlds collide here.
Who are some standout artists we can look forward to at the festival this year?
I can’t wait for French live electronica producer Superpoze, one of the stars of the new French electronic scene to make his India debut at Magnetic Fields. Looking forward to Floating Points, Roman Flügel and Helena Hauff who will take us on a musical journey under the starlit desert sky. I’m stoked for Turkish disco icon Baris K and his selection of cosmic Arabic influenced bedouin sounds — very fitting for our nomadic attendees.
What would you say your fashion vibe is when it comes to both everyday vs. Magnetic Fields?
My preferred style is always clean cut and utilitarian; I stick to a general uniform and colour palette. Magnetic Fields, being a desert festival, is all about camping and enduring some extreme climates. I dress for the desert and make sure that I’m well-prepared. I wear clothes that last — quality first in general.
What are the 5 essentials you need to survive Magnetic Fields?
My shades from Cutler & Gross/Maison Margiela sunglasses.
Clarks Desert Mali boots, high-top (sand is inescapable).
Norblack Norwhite custom made kurta/tunic, in a camo fatigue and handwork embroidery with Ikat lining.
Killion bomber Jacket — it gets cold!
Carhartt beanie, to stay warm at night
Lip balm (kissing game on fleek).
Disposable camera. Don’t stare at a screen. Take photos that will surprise.
What tips would you share with a first time attendee?
First off bring warm clothes for the night. Explore and talk to people; everyone is in a really open mind set at the festival. We’ve had people meet their future wives, future business partners and newfound best friends. Dance with strangers!
Your top three music festivals in the world?
I’ve not been to that many. Glastonbury was ridiculous because you’re basically seeing your entire headphone playlist live and catching 15 mins of every band you’ve ever wanted to see. I just came back from Burning Man, although not a music festival, it still has a strong cultural belief and community which is something that I’m aiming to hold on to for Magnetic Fields. Next up for me is Sonar in Barcelona.
Magnetic Fields takes place between December 9-11, Rajasthan. Magneticfields.in