Orange Festival of Music and Adventure 2018 ended on a high note with a grand performance by Iron Maidens, in Dambuk. OFAM, the unique orange themed Adventure and Music festival held in Arunachal Pradesh, grew even bigger in 2018 with more than 10000+ tourists and 30000+ locals attending the festival. As compared to last year 18 bands, this year the festival was attended by 28 music bands, including international bands like Thundermother from Sweden and others.
The event was inaugurated by Honourable CM of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Pema Khandu where he mentioned that the festivals like OFAM, which he initiated during his tenure as tourism minister, aim to spur the growth in tourism in Arunachal Pradesh. He also mentioned that Tourism would be a game changer for Arunachal Pradesh and help the state to improve connectivity in the region. This would also benefit the locals economically.
The idea behind the festival as mentioned by Mr. Abu Tayeng, OFAM director, earlier is to bring in people from all over the world to explore the wild natural beauty of Arunachal Pradesh and experience the local way of life and culture in an untouched destination. OFAM has been growing bigger year on year and becoming a huge attraction for tourists planning to visit Arunachal Pradesh. He also hoped that the next edition will be bigger and grander than this year both in terms of visitors and participants. He also said, “We plan to take OFAM on an international stage and create a buzz on national circuit as well. The festival attracts visitors not only from India but internationally as well, which showcase its potential. We hope that upcoming editions will receive more attention and fame, thus ensuring a bigger tourists’ inflow in the region and better employment opportunities for locals.”
Apart from enthralling music by 28 bands which performed on stage, crowds also witnessed the thrilling JKtyres 4X4 Fury, enjoyed adventure sports which were organized in collaboration with NIMAS and the natural beauty of Dambuk. This year 25 Indian bands from all over the country and 3 International Bands from different parts of the globe made the crowds groove to their music. From local favourites Trance effect to Thundermother from Sweden, bands gave absorbing performances which kept the energy levels high through the evening. Rains battered the venue on occasion, but the crowds braved the weather conditions and made their presence felt. Lead vocalist of the Iron Maidens, Kirsten Rosenberg said, “I was surprised to see the enthusiasm with which the crowd turned up even after bad weather conditions. She mentioned that hers is a tribute band and was pleasantly surprised to see how many music lovers came together celebrated in this beautiful location. Iron Maidens, she said, surely look forward to visiting again.”
Festival Proceedings had begun with cultural events and the flag-off of the JKtyres 4X4 fury rally event. Local favourites the Manabhum Off-roaders Club of Arunachal won the title with a slender lead of 5 points. They hung on to the lead which they gained on the first stage. Last year’s defending champs Gerrari Off-roaders finished in a close 2nd.
The scenic lower Dibung valley was a perfect setting for adventure lovers to get their fill of adrenaline in this year’s OFAM. With mighty rivers like the Dirang and Brahmaputra flowing in close vicinity and rainforests covered east Himalayan ranges surrounding the vast orange orchards, adventure activities like zip lining, para gliding, para sailing, white water rafting, dirt cycling, speed boating and elephant rides were the popularly enjoyed activities at this festival. OFAM organisers collaborated with NIMAS, National institute for Mountaineering and Adventure Sports a MoD run institute, for arranging the activities on offer. Many adventure lovers enjoyed the para motoring which took flyers on a 20 min flight over the entire Lower Dibung valley. The landing among the orange trees excited many thrill seekers and nature lovers alike. Zip lines passed over the orange orchards which gave participants birds eye view of the trees below. Rapids of grade 1+K3 and 2+K2 on a 10 km long route kept the adrenaline pumping for the participants of white water rafting. These rapids flung many rafts across the river, but teams learnt how to manoeuvre this force of nature with sound guidance from the NIMAS instructors. Elephant rides gave a leisurely vibe when compared to other adventure activities.
With so many adventure activities, hungry crowds were treated to delicious food and fine music on the day and night stages. Food stalls by the locals served up local delicacies like orange pudding, Rice wine, variety of local beers, egg with ginger, farm fresh orange juice and all time favourite Momos to name a few. This unique one-of-a-kind orange themed festival also hosted an orange eating competition!! Stalls which showcased kiwi fruit and pineapple were also present in the OFAM.
@Orange Festival of Music and Adventure 2018 @CM of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Pema Khandu @Iron Maidens @Kirsten Rosenberg Iron Maidens @NIMAS @Abu Tayeng, OFAM director @H2O Communication @Varsha Purohit @Divya Bhatia
Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival of live music.