Keeping up with my new year's resolution of discovering a new place/culture/way of life every once in a month, I happened to wander on many a websites until I found The Lost Party.
The site promised the return of The Lost Party which was conceptualized and executed for the first time in 2015. The festival promised an extravaganza of music and art combined with the delight of camping by the lakeside. Overall, the promises seemed to be derived from the idea of the Boom Festival
Dates: 26-28th February, 2016
Venue: Salter Lake, Amby Valley, Maharashtra
Major Airports: Mumbai/Pune
Price for tickets (without stay):2929 INR (for a 2 day pass) or 1919INR for a one day pass
Price for camping (Without access to tickets)3N/3D: tent for 2= 7777INR; tent for 4: 11111 INR, Maharaja Tents were 27,272 INR and 36,363 INR respectively
Return Ticket from Delhi to Mumbai/person: 7000 INR
Taxi From Mumbai Airport to Salter Lake: 3000INR (for 4 people),
Taxi from Salter Lake to Mumbai Airport: 4000INR (for 4 people)
Shuttle Service to and from the venue was available at 450INR/side approximately
Weather: Extremely hot during the daytime and pleasant to cold during the evening..to give you a rough estimate it was around 35 degree Celsius in the daytime to 18-20 degree Celsius in the night.
The site was chosen around Salter Lake, however, for some strange reasons, access to the lake was blocked to attendees of the Lost Party; sometimes on the pretext of safety and at other times using the excuse of alligators...Villagers enjoyed free access to the natural lake nonetheless.
I learnt from my friends, some of whom reached the festival on 26th, (considering it was the first day of the Festival) that no proper arrangements were made at that time due to which security guards and barricading was not present.
The campsite was being managed by Lets Camp Out who provided quality tents with mattress, pillows, blankets and a basic survival kit (including towel, toothpaste, toothbrush, hand soap, shampoo sachet, bathing bar, toilet paper roll and UNO!) The loos were well maintained and had designated shower cubicles. Western style commodes were available for everyone's convenience with ample toilet paper rolls ;) Being terribly terrified about festival washrooms (since it was my first time camping at a music festival) I was quite relieved by the arrangements!
Had I been a camping company at a music festival, I would assume I wouldn't have a say regarding weather conditions, however, for the sake of a better experience I would have afforded my guests adequate shaded areas with the presence of one of those huge mist fans AND arrangements of shade over the tents.
For the rich festival goers, the maharaja tents looked like this and basic exceptions other than the size of-course was the private washrooms and the presence of an in-tent fan :D
From 12 noon till 3 in the afternoon it was difficult to focus my attention to the music scene (which was hardly there at that time) or even wander out near the main stage of IDHAR and UDHAR. The heat killed my appetite, and the saving grace was only good old beer in the form of BIRA, which too was mostly not-so-chilled :P As such, I resorted to water drenched head-gear and the solace of whatever little shade was present outside the Maharaja Tent.
On saturday, the 27th, we considered ourselves lucky to have friends who introduced us to the secret/unauthorized access to the lake where we swam in the lap of good old mother nature only to be escorted out by authorities.
Plethora of artists who performed at the festival, from the musicians to the fire dancers;
People who thronged the festival-the crowd was relaxed, non interfering, extremely friendly and among those that I met were students,anthropologists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, pilots, and surgeons to name a few :)
Presence of chai-wallas right outside the venue who served egg delicacies, chai/coffee, fried rice and maggie of all sorts
The Not so Good:
Callousness over the timing of the festival considering the weather conditions due to which performances could start taking place only in the evening
The 'No access to the lake' policy despite having salter lake as a major marketing strategy
Little to no emphasis on releasing the schedule through proper channels due to which not many had a clue about where to head to and when
The food stalls were few and basic
Personally I found the art installations amateurish ( the ones found at local Chandigarh festivals, done by Art students from the Govt College of Art are way better) and somehow I felt that they were not adequately placed to attract attention (except a couple of them)
Although the festival promised a lot of attractions, the actual venue only reduced them to time-pass activities
Although I loved the festive experience as a first time audience, I realized that it was mostly due to the people I met. Major thumbs down to organizers and kudos to the marketing team who did an excellent job. The artists were all performers in their own right and deserve all the respect. However, for me if the party happens the next year around, I would give it a miss.