By now, you can pretty much expect any music festival in a desert to draw comparisons to Burning Man. Still, in the case of Magnetic Fields (15–17 December), the likeness might just stand up. If not for size then definitely for spectacle. Now in its fifth year, the three-day event, which takes place at the Alsisar Mahal, a grand 17th-century palace-turned-hotel in the Rajasthan countryside, feels genuinely out there and almost certainly different from anything you’ll get in the West. And, yes, while the line-up shows serious weight (Four Tet, Ben UFO, Daphni), it’s more than just a rave.
Like Coachella, it’s a bit of a fashion event, too, with the international style press dropping in to see what India’s in-crowd are wearing. And that was very much the point, says founder Abhimanyu Alsisar, the dapper playboy owner of the hotel, affectionately called “the Prince” on account of his noble ancestry. “I came up with Magnetic Fields to put Alsisar Mahal on the map,” he says. With the hype around this year’s event, he might just have pulled it off.