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Review |  08 Feb 2018 12:32 |  By RnMTeam

Sula Fest 2018: A perfect weekend getaway

MUMBAI: For most grape stomping and wine tasting stays limited to the fictional world of cinema. An average man can’t afford a luxurious trip to pay for the expenses of these dreamy luxuries. But, more like Mr. Ambani’s affordable data plan, SulaFest’s festival plan just works right for many. You just don’t get music, but a package that you definitely cannot help but grab. This one of its kind festival in India has not just been serving the best wine, but also, an assorted set of music with its fantastic line-up over a decade. SulaFest 2018 was no different.                                                     

The 11th edition had a drooling line-up of over 100 artistes, with a pinch of what works best for the Indian veins, Bollywood music. And, that was exactly what got the Indian’s grooving even after all the exhausting grape stomping and wine tasting sessions. Not to forget the human body needs to relax after a fun-filled day, but the setting sun just set the spirits ablaze at the SulaFest. The music got the right response, but not all of it. There were definitely more feet dancing to B-town music than the well assorted musical line-up. Amit Trivedi got maximum screams and there were some electrifying performances by internationally celebrated artists including Gypsy Hill, electronic-folk band Crystal Fighters, Austrian music producer and performing artist Parov Stellar and vocal groove band Bauchklang.

Performances were divided on two stages one called the Amphi Stage and the other Atma Stage. The Atma Stage witnessed music by Leon, 8 Bit Culprit, Berny, Stefano Richetta, Bondi Live on day 1 and Tanvi, Sunjay Dutta, Jitter, Alex Ferrer and Phonique on day 2. At the Amphi Stage on day 1 performed Grain, Gypsy Hill, Parov Stelar and Crystal Fighters which were a big hit. On day 2, there were performers like Brodha V, The Beat, Amit Trivedi and Bauchklang.

Each corner was filled with colourful decorations and attractive photo booths. In addition to the finest food, wine and music, some of the highlights of the festival included games hosted by Tinder. Giving audiences the perfect weekend getaway, ‘Camp Tinder’ featured bonfire sessions.

Well, we forgot to mention that though, grape stomping was great, it did disappoint many on day one. It was pushed to day two dues to lesser footfall. But, to keep up with the merriment the session went on till evening for people who showed up late. There were also some wine experimental sessions that were left in the hands of the experts – the bar tenders. Some of their experimental drinks did make the drinking better. Not to forget the old days. Even Devdas liked music while he drank in sorrow. But, when happy it just lifts the mood and that was the vibe of SulaFest 2018.

Day two did get a bit gloomy for the free birds that had devoted two days of their busy lives to Sula. As the grape stomping all day can get a bit tiresome, but then showed up 'The Beat'. The band made the atmosphere livelier. The day saw more of localities who did not seem too interested in the previous acts than this one. They were busy clicking, eating, shopping or dancing on Punjabi and Bollywood songs near the grape stomping session.

In addition to award-winning wines from Sula (including the three recent Indian Wine Consumer Choice Awards 2018 gold medal winners) brands such as Beluga, Hardys, Mud House, Kumala, Asahi, Cointreau, Highland Queen and PituCachaca added to the soul of the festival.

Sula Vineyards CEO and founder Rajeev Samant said, “What an incredible weekend! Fantastic to see the vineyards packed with fest-goers yet again.  It is always such a delight to open our doors for SulaFest and seeing so many people having such a great time makes it all worthwhile!  I am immensely grateful to all our partners and the artists for the part they play in SulaFest but of course it is the audience that makes it such a great experience. I am sure they have all gone away with more SulaFest memories just as I have.”

Speaking about festival, Sula Vineyards senior vice president, marketing and international sales Ken Pritchard said, “What a great weekend! Another fabulous SulaFest which everyone enjoyed. A huge thank-you to all our sponsors and partners, we couldn’t do it without you!  The ultimate measure of success is happy fest-goers and I saw many thousands of those over the two days. The second decade of SulaFest has arrived."

Overall, SulaFest did offer what it promised, like every year, but the bar has been raised high for this wine/music festival. The audience definitely expect more than the usual and this very “expectation” did disappoint. In fact, there were also talks of how the previous year was grander, given its 10-year completion. So, probably it’s time for Sula to reinvent itself without losing on its core essences. We will definitely be waiting to experience more wine, music and a welcome change in 2019.