#1 - Concept - Sparsely populated gig centred around two hillocks with a day stage ( acoustic/earthy vibe) and an evening stage (banging/headlining vibe)
#2 - Getting there - ( from the mainland) fly into Guwahati -book the dony polo express at 920 pm to NAHARLAGUN - proceed with sumos to the village. ( Extremely bumpy ride so drink heavily in the train so you wake up straight in ziro)
** You need an INNER LINE PERMIT for arunachal - DIY on the internet or your camp manager will sort you out.
#3 - Residence - camps all the way - I chose KITE MANJA probably 1.5km from the festival ground but the tents were neat , loos were clean and people were great - not endorsing kite manja but special commendation to Rahul ( fellow in charge ) , really neat guy.
** Fair warning - breakfast in all camps is crap - pack snacks**
*** A very very very good option is to pitch your own tent which is just by the festival ground drawbacks however are carrying your own tent and privacy***
#4 - Food - timing your meals is very important - 2 meals a day ( breakfast at camp and late 5:30pm lunch at ZFM ) with intermittent snacking is what I'd advise. FOOD STALL AMBOO ( Sikkimese place ) was the best food I had - highly recommend the shapta with Tmomo and the tongba.
#5 - Attire - Water proof shoes or gum boots are a must , I'd carried the prior and did just fine. Fortunately it didn't rain this year so a light jacket sufficed in the evening. I wore shorts on 3 of 4 days and they did well.
#6 - Smoke-ables - regardless of what people say you won't get no green at ziro - score in Guwahati.
** They check for green at the entry but it's very superficial**
#7 - Beyond ZFM - a list of 3 morning or day time activities you can do instead of the festival ( I basically attended the festival only in the evening and was able to do these trails)
#8 - Lake sikhe - a fifteen minute cab ride from the festival ,
One can boat in this man made reservoir - very fukn dreary though . We were a group of 8 very old friends who trekked to an isolate spot around the lake with a bottle of Jaeger , tequila and STOLI so we did well our experience was 9/10 but one should expect 6/10.
#9- Tao Tibé - trek to a 90 year old man's salt of the earth kind of a farm - in addition to an unimaginable life choice you'll see barley plantations , kiwi plantations , a small pig farm.
Camps will charge you 2600 for this which is RIDICULOUS - find a bike taxi and pay them 20 bucks/ kilometer to take you.
#10 - Hakke Taré - the furthest away might take you a full day and leave you exhausted ... Ideal if you want to stay on a day after the festival .
Internal transport - cabs are extremely expensive so go for bike taxis.
Super gem - in 2019 we found an under construction house still in the concrete stages rented by the apatani youth ... Banging music ranging from Metallica to Kishore Kumar till 5 am with RGB lights, only hurdle is breaking the ice with the apatanis.
Final piece of advice - please be very very very careful with your phone's at the above mentioned apatani paradise.
In addition to this I have food recommendation for Guwahati , bike taxi numbers and a few more miscellaneous recommendation .
Feel free to drop me an Instagram message @harsh647.