Shillong, Meghalaya – In a climactic end of melodies and flavors, The Hills Festival – Spirit of Meghalaya, concluded its fourth edition on December 1 and 2 against the picturesque backdrop of Umiam Lake in Umbir village. This annual extravaganza, organized by HYPE – Helping Young People Entertainment, in collaboration with Meghalaya Tourism, transcended
expectations, fusing the essence of Meghalaya's culture, spellbinding music, and delectable culinary wonders.
Rooted in the ‘Spirit of Meghalaya,’ The Hills Festival, has been a beacon since its inception in 2018. The festival’s heartbeat pulsates with a commitment to community empowerment, cultural awareness, and fostering youth employment, all while crafting curated experiences for visitors to Meghalaya.
Diverse Musical Odyssey:
The 2023 lineup showcased a captivating blend of modern beats and traditional tunes, featuring headliners like Nikhil D’Souza, Anoushka Maskey, and MTV EMA winner Tsumyoki. Tamil Canadian rapper SVDP brought a unique flavor, while regional talents like Reble, Dappest xadL, McLivin, and the dynamic duo Adiel Massar and Dappest from Shillong graced the stage.
The festival’s inaugural day witnessed an incredible turnout, with visitors of all ages immersed in activities and captivating performances by renowned artists. The Forgotten Folklore Project, in collaboration with the Sauramandala Foundation, hosted a reading session that had children dancing and participating in various activities.
Day 2 saw the stage lit up by Anoushka Maskey, Rudy and the Kool Kats, B4shan, Dappest & aDL, Tsumyoki, and performances on the Electric Stage by Emes, Nishant B2b Demiurgic,
Arpan, Varun, Nida, and Blot!
A Culinary Symphony:
As an independent music festival, The Hills Festival consistently shines a spotlight on
independent music, weaving in local elements each year. The 2023 edition showcased the lively Jaintia cuisine at the Forage Aisle, offering a delectable fusion of modern and traditional culinary wonders. Culinary experts from Jaiñtia Hills treated attendees to indigenous delights like Jaintia pumpkin soup, crispy Ianem in tempura batter with a special perilla seed sauce, and a salad of chayote leaves and chives with smoked pork or chicken.
The festival also featured the thrilling Pig Out Affair contest, a vibrant flea market, a dedicated kids’ play area, and reading sessions for children, fostering an inclusive environment. Building on last year’s success, The Hills Festival provided comfortable camping tents at The Hills Campsite for an immersive cultural exchange, complete with strategically placed water and charging stations. The eco-friendly stage design, incorporating bamboo and sustainable architecture, underscored the commitment to an environmentally conscious atmosphere.
A Unifying Cultural Phenomenon:
The Hills Festival, a harmonious blend of music, art, and community spirit, surpassed its role as a music fest. It created an immersive experience, drawing a diverse audience of all ages. With its unique fusion of elements, The Hills Festival continues to evolve into a cultural phenomenon, promising growth and a vibrant future.
In the heartland of Meghalaya, The Hills Festival isn't just a celebration; it's a journey into the soul of a vibrant community, leaving an indelible mark on all who join this extraordinary symphony.