As the sun sets over the lush landscapes of Sanctity Ferme in Krishnagiri, a unique gathering is set to unfold from December 15 to 18 — the Bloom In Green festival. Founded by Aswathy R, since its inception in 2018, this annual event has become a symbol of conscious living, uniting communities, fostering sustainability, and creating an immersive experience that transcends conventional festival norms.
“At Bloom In Green, we are believers in the power of mass gatherings, especially those with a meaningful purpose that can create a significant impact,” says Aswathy. This belief is the festival’s cornerstone, distinguishing it from traditional gatherings. Bloom In Green is not merely a music festival but an open platform prioritising learning, creativity, and community engagement.
The festival was born to provide an alternative space that deviates from traditional societal norms. Aswathy recognised the need to elevate mass gatherings for young people, infusing them with purpose and meaning. Learning content became a pivotal addition to the festival’s framework, focusing on simple, primitive activities that entertain and contribute to mental and physical well-being.
Beyond entertainment, Bloom In Green is dedicated to audience curation, bringing together sustainably conscious individuals. It serves as a space for communication, collaboration, and sharing experiences. The festival aspires to create a temporary city or society, operating on principles of inclusivity and sustainability. Participants are invited to live in this alternative city for three days, experiencing different rules and dynamics.
Drawing inspiration from global phenomena, especially residential festivals lasting 10 days or two weeks, Bloom In Green is a pioneering effort in India. While events like Burning Man have inspired the concept, Aswathy emphasises the importance of rooting the approach in an “Indian context.” The festival aims to cater to the specific needs and preferences of the Indian audience, drawing ideas from events like Envision and Bali Spirit Festival.
Music lineup: Kaya Project (UK), Shtuby (ISR), Prem Joshua & Band (GER/IND), Carbon (GER), Suduaya (FRA), Shanka Tribe (IND), Sitarsonic (GRE), Trance Fusion Music (FRA/IND), Martin Du Bois (FRA), Shekhar Menon (IND), Jeremiah De Rozario (IND), Manvantra (IND: Chill Out), Playing Mandis (IND), Brewed Awakening (IND), Mister K (IND), Greydient (IND), Psy-Didge (IND) – Mosaïek (IND), Dawn (IND), Anicca Project (IND), Yumvee (IND), Sanyas-i (IND), Ashil (IND), Floating Folks (IND), K35hu (IND), Teknot (IND), Invisible Motion (IND), Vairagi (IND), Organic Muse (IND).
Workshops: Ecstatic Dance, Cacao Circle, Sound Healing, Capoeira, Contact Improv, Yoga, Macrame Making, Meditation Breathwork, Poi Spinning, Dapostar, Slackline Juggling, Kombucha Brewing, Bird Watching, Mushroom Kit Making, Afro Dance Learning, Mouth Harp, Mongolian Throat Singing, Pottery, Board Games, Hemp Craft Making, Permaculture Live Project, Make Your Hemp Paper, Pranayama Sessions.
The festival’s evolution
“Not much has fundamentally changed except for the increase in headcount,” says Aswathy. The festival’s design, focused on bringing various elements together for three days, has consistently resonated with people.
Even in its small and intimate first edition, Bloom In Green received heartfelt letters and Instagram posts from attendees. The impact observed in the early editions has continued, reinforcing the trust in the festival’s design. Despite gradual growth due to the limitations of a residential event, the spirit of the people remains unwavering.
One remarkable aspect of Bloom In Green’s growth is the growing willingness of people to actively participate in the festival. The demand for volunteer positions is so high that the festival receives around 300 volunteer requests as soon as the event is announced. The festival’s community-driven nature sets it apart, with individuals from various backgrounds coming together for the love of the concept.
Challenges have been a part of Bloom In Green’s journey, with monetary constraints being the foremost. Aswathy acknowledges, “We must keep the ticket prices high as the event involves creating a temporary city for three days.” This approach is essential to address various needs such as accommodation, sanitation, and other essential services.
Finding a suitable space for the festival has been a recurring challenge. The unique nature of Bloom In Green, a residential festival, adds complexity to locating an ideal venue. Moreover, India’s lack of a prevalent camping culture poses additional hurdles. “Unlike events such as Burning Man, where attendees bring their RVs and set up camps, camping is relatively new to many people in India,” adds Aswathy
In addressing these challenges, Bloom In Green actively involves the local community. The community contributes to the festival’s decor, assists with food preparations, and plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth functioning of the event.
Sustainability is at the core of the festival’s ethos, evident in sourcing local materials and integrating regional art forms into the festival experience.
“Our goal is to incorporate local elements in diverse ways, fostering collaboration and mutual support with the community in various capacities,” affirms Aswathy.
Bloom In Green has not adhered to a specific theme for the past four years. However, this year marks a shift. “Our messaging centres around societal transformation through social gatherings,” says Aswathy. While previous editions focused on personal transformation, where attendees could come, learn, and leave in a better state, the current narrative extends to broader societal change. The festival aims to communicate to people unfamiliar with the concept that being part of such an event is beneficial and contributes to positive change globally.
Bloom In Green embraces innovative approaches to create connections among attendees. The festival experiments with a gifting economy, drawing inspiration from concepts like Burning Man, where transactions are based on sharing and gifting. The aim is to create an environment where attendees experience something beyond the norm of everyday society.
Connections are further enhanced through various learning activities and engaging sessions. The festival hosts an inaugural ceremony featuring a drum circle involving many participants.
One impactful initiative undertaken by the festival is promoting insect food as a sustainable protein source for the future. Insect food sampling sessions are held at the festival, introducing attendees to potential future food sources.
“Our approach revolves around creating impact for society by providing a non-judgmental space,” says Aswathy. “There is no separation between the community and participants; everyone is encouraged to treat each other respectfully, including the pets in our festival.”
For tickets and more information, visit bloomingreenfestival.com.