10 art and culture fests that should be on your must-attend list for 2017

The ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the Jaipur Literature Festival turns 10 this year. From Nobel laureates to Man Booker Prize winners to debut novelists, the festival brings together some of the best minds from around the globe under one roof.

This year, the festival (which takes place at Diggi Palace in Jaipur) will feature, among others, Richard Flanagan, Alex Ross, David Hare, Manu Joseph, Bruce Robinson, Mark Tully, Raghu Karnad, Swapan Dasgupta and Nassim Nicholas Taleb.


The annual Pushkar mela is one of the world's biggest cattle fairs. Held in the small town of Pushkar in Rajasthan, the fair, however, is far more than camel trading ground. Settled around the Pushkar lake, the quiet town, known for its temple, lake, ghats, and bazaar, transforms into a bustling centre of colourful events and a trading hub.

Hot air balloon rides, outdoor sporting events, handicraft, folk music, kite flying, spiritual walks, turban tying and a moustache competition are just a few highlights for anyone looking for a taste of the desert state.


Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), the film festival at the heart of the film city, is a cinephile's dream come true.

Featuring some of the best films — including features, documentaries and shorts — the festival offers a wide variety of engaging titles from across the globe. The only problem you might encounter is securing yourself a ticket for your favourite film premier.

From 175 films from  54 countries to Primetime Emmy award-winning Cary Fukunaga's maiden visit to India to the world premiere of some gripping films, there was much to devourer at the 2016 Mumbai Film Festival MAMI and the festival only promises to be bigger in the upcoming edition.


With music, theatre, literature, food, street stalls, cinema, workshops, design, architecture and heritage walks in store, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival returns this January.

The festival, which takes place in and around the vibrant art district of Mumbai, Kala Ghoda, promises something for everyone. Featuring some great art, the festival also boasts some great venues spread across a block, including the National Gallery of Modern Art, Kitab Khana, Asiatic Society Library, among others.

If you are in the mood for some art, music, food and a pleasant walk, don't miss this festival.


With twelve venues, 97 artists from 31 countries, the third edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale is all set to tap into your artistic cravings for 108 days. More than half a million visitors are expected and you should be one of them.

Sudarshan Shetty, the curator, has produced large projects at multiple venues.

"The curatorial difference can be found in the fact that the curator has consciously left open and empty spaces on the property," writes Shana Susan Ninan for Firstpost.

The country's only biennale, it's a gateway which brings diverse international art and local culture together under one umbrella. It's not one to be missed.


An Aditya Birla Group initiative, Aadyam brings together some of the best productions and actors together for some memorable theatre performances.

Held every year in some of the best theatres of Mumbai and Delhi and flaunting elaborate sets and costumes, Aadyam is a must for all the theatre lovers.

In 2016, the show lineup included I Don’t Like itLorettaLadies SangeetChakkar Chalaaye Ghanchakkar and 12 Angry Jurors. Come 2017, one can only hope for the shows to be even better.


Started in 2012, Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) brings together a holistic mix of Indian and international features and documentaries from India and countries around the world.

Showcasing a mixture of various cultures and traditions, DIFF brings together independent filmmakers, aspiring filmmakers, foreign attendees and film enthusiasts in the scenic Himalayas. And lest we forget, some delightful cuisines.

In 2016, films stealing the limelight included Highway (India), The Violin Player (India) A Korean in Paris (South Korea), Brothers (Poland), Victoria (Germany), The Last Dalai Lama? (US) and What's in the Darkness (China).


Acclaimed authors, both international and domestic, come together to deliver lively sessions, engaging the audience in the debate. From book launches to book signings to interaction between writers and readers in an informal space, the festival has everything a literati can ask for.

Launched in November 2010, Literature Live! is now one of the biggest literary festivals in the country.

In 2016, the festival's diverse lineup included Amitav Ghosh, Nicholas Shakespeare, Gulzar, Martin Amis, Shashi Tharoor, Ramchandra Guha John Gray, among others.


Some of the finest creative minds in the nation and globally gather at city’s magnificent heritage sites at the Kolkata Literary Festival (KLF) in a celebration of books, music, art, film, and more.

With events at the Kolkata’s heritage sites and the iconic Oxford Bookstore, some of the delegates this year include  Jerry Pinto, Anita Nair, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Prajwal Parajuly and Amit Chaudhuri.

The 2017 edition of KLF will pay tribute to eminent writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi.


Beginning as a small festival of 10-minute plays in Sydney, Australia, Short+Sweet has now grown into a global organisation.

The 2017 edition will take place at Gyan Manch, Kolkata and feature 10-minute (or less) plays in either English, Hindi or Bengali.

The platform features multiple performance mediums; from theatre to dance, cabaret to Bollywood, musicals to stand-up comedy. A unique experience not to be missed.



Updated Date: Dec 27, 2016 17:57:07 IST