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Mahindra Open Sky: Piyush Mishra, Ayushmann Khurana perform at first edition of cultural fest

They promised adventure, thrill, music and a weekend on the first dune of the mighty Thar. And they delivered. At least, 500 guests were flown into Jodhpur one November weekend to mark the inaugural edition of the Mahindra Open Sky — a cultural festival which took glamping to the next level. The first edition of the festival (of sorts) brought together the best of music, culture and adventure with a host of world-renowned artistes lined up for the next three days.

The stage lights illuminate the dunes

The stage lights and lamps illuminate the dunes

A two-hour drive from the Jodhpur airport, Osian is an ancient town in Jodhpur and is famous for being an oasis in the Thar — where Reggie's Camel Camp awaited revellers. From those looking to just sit back and enjoy the fresh village air and others who probably fancied a weekend of adventure in the desert to the rest who just came to experience the pleasure of glamping — Mahindra Open Sky had a share of everything for everyone.

Royal hospitality, luxurious tents and a stunning line-up of world-renowned artistes, along with unique experiences, marked the three-day two-night stay at Osian. While mornings began with wellness sessions hosted by master trainer and yogini, Deepika Mehta, afternoons were reserved for off-roading, which offered adventurers a true glimpse of the region — Bishnois and Bhils going about their daily lives; gazelles and foxes basking in the warmth of the sun. Visitors were spoilt for choice as the day activities ranged from camel races, champagne at sunset, sundowner sessions, romantic dinners on the dunes, bonfire and barbeque nights, star gazing, to film screenings under the stars, which provided for ample seduction.

The sprawling camp also had a crafts bazaar with leheriya dupattas, juttis and mojaris, lac bangles, puppets and the local pottery on display.

However, what made Mahindra Open Sky different from any other weekend getaway was its stunning music line-up. On the first night while the vivacious and popular Papon took centrestage and enthralled the audience with live performances (it was also his birthday) of his best folk songs from Assam, Nepal, Punjab and Uttarakhand, When Chai Meets Toast, an indie-folk-alternative band, charmed the audience with their 'happy' songs from their new album 'The Joy of Little Things'.


What made Mahindra Open Sky different from any other weekend getaway was its stunning music line-up

Coming all the way from America's Nashville, Sam Lewis, a budding new artist who has managed to stay under the radar, strummed lovely, soulful jazz and country tunes which blended right in with the balmy evening. Lewis' music, which was new for most of the revellers, set the tone for the evening, which saw the talented Piyush Mishra (and band) and Ayushman Khurrana (with his band Ayushmann Bhava) end the night on a different high.

Mishra's rendition of his famous 'Husna' and the powerful 'Kyon Aate Ho Uncle', which deals with the subject of child abuse, coupled with artiste's sharp verse, brought in a hush of quietude in the air which lingered long after the performance ended. But the night was far from over. The late night musical sojourn with Nikhil D’Souza, who captivated the audience with his melodic voice through the night, played a mix of classics and songs from his upcoming album.

The Mahindra Open Sky venue in the morning

The Mahindra Open Sky venue in the morning

November is probably the perfect time to visit Jodhpur. Mornings and early afternoon are crispy, and the strong sun is sort of a respite when you are not used to the cold. The nights had a ruthless chill to them but the heady mixture of music, distant chatter of revellers who want to call it a night but are still immersed in the frolic, and others who were resolute to be up and enjoy a night under a bright starlit sky — made it difficult to retreat to camps.

Mahindra Open Sky is scheduled again for November 2018. Log on to its website for more information. ​

Updated Date: Jan 09, 2018 17:01 PM