Rajasthan International Folk Festival, Jodhpur Overview

The Rajasthan International Folk Festival in Jodhpur welcomes musicians from across the country and the world for the talent displayed in their heritage. The RIFF of Jodhpur is a great platform for folk artists to make noise with their performances to acknowledge the greatness of folk artists. It is a festival of joy and bliss with five days of continuous cultural performances.

The festival takes place in the Mehrangarh Fort which is the best fort in Asia and the festival takes place on full moon days which means “Sharad Purnima”. Even UNESCO supported the festival as a “People’s Platform for Creativity and Sustainable Development” due to its charm.

The chief patron of the celebration was Maharaja H. H. of Jodhpur. H. Gaj Singh is the international patron and Sir Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones. Since 2007, the fame and popularity of the festival have been increasing year by year due to the extreme celebration.

Jodhpur RIFF – 2020 Dates

This year, the festival will commence from 29 October to 2 November 2020 with full celebration. The event takes place in the Mehrangarh Fort and its surrounding areas. Here at this festival, you will be presented by folk artists from all over the world.

Credit Pixabay

About Jodhpur RIFF

The concept and initiative of Jodhpur RIFF (Rajasthan International Folk Festival) were launched in 2007 by the current Maharaja of Jodhpur, HH Gaj Singh II. The purpose of this festival is to provide a platform for the unmatched talented artists of Rajasthan and bring life and strength to the Mehrangarh Fort. Since then, the Mehrangarh Fort (Asia’s best fort) sees a confluence of around 250 artists and musicians every year.

Artists also come from Rajasthan and around the world to be a part of this ceremony. The Maharaja of Jodhpur is the chief patron of the festival, and Sir Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones is the international patron of the Jodhpur FIF. Along with the performances the festival also hosts interactive day-time sessions which are completely intriguing and enriching.

Let’s look at what makes each day of the fest special.

Kachhi Ghodi Dance

Jogi Kalbeliya dance is the most famous dance performance among all Rajasthan dance forms. It is a famous dance form which is worshiped and enchanted by snakes and their movements are the same as that of snake which is typical of dance form. Phad and Kavad are wonderful performances of storytelling. The fad is important by interpreting it with folk paintings according to drum beats. Like these, beautiful musicians from the Langa community topped this morning.


Residence at Chokelo Bagh (Mehrangarh Fort) from 11:15 am to 1:15 pm. It is known for Kashmir music by Shafi Sopori, Mohammad Munim and singer Vibha Saraf. They will perform beautiful Kashmiri traditional songs. The Living Legends session takes place from Dhan Bhiyan Chatri (Mehrangarh Fort) from 5:45 pm to 7:15 pm. The season will feature famous singers, Suguna Jogi and Dapu Khan.

Moody RIFFS stands for the main stage performance at Old Zenana Courtyard (Mehrangarh Fort) from 7:45 pm. The show will be celebrated with music by Kalbeliya by Mohini Devi, Shafi Sopori, and Makan Ashwani. The Desert Lounge will be held at Rao Jodha Desert Park from 11:30 am. Here you can enjoy the atmosphere of the desert with the traditional music composer of Rajasthan. In this way, the schedule for the second day will be determined.

Jogi Kalbelia Nritya

Opening Night-City Concert A wonderful concert outside the fort at Jaswant Thada from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm. The concert is open to all and no entry fees and the two-and-a-half-hour show will be glorified with traditional performances. The show or concert begins with a famous folk singer ha Lakha Khan Manganiyar and is known as a Sarangi player who will cherish the show with his performance.

Rao, a young musician from Jaisalmer and Barmer, will showcase his talent with his amazing short excerpt at Desert Lounge in Jodha Park. I Shafi Sopori is a legendary Sufi singer from Kashmir and his performance in the concert is one of the exceptional performances.

Finally, a group of drummers will rock the show with a stunning drum section with traditional war drums, two-sided drums etc. It is a day of 24 filled with performances and dance performances by traditional musicians.

30 October: Day 2 will start from 25 October and the entry fee is Rs.100 / – for non-pass holders and free for donor pass holders. RIFF Dawns belong to the Meghwala community performing a soothing song by Mahesh Ram, Bhallu Ram, and Tamachi Ram with Meghwal of Marwar. In the morning they will begin their ragas and hymns by praising their Guru Ram Dev Ji.

Dance Boot Camp will be held at Chokelo Bagh (Mehrangarh Fort) from 8:30 am to 10:00 pm. In this camp, separate dance sessions of Kabalia and Ghoomar dancers will be performed. Fort Festivities will run throughout the fort from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. In this session, many traditional dances will be performed and they are Chang dance, Derun dance, Mayer, Gawri, and Bhils of Mewar.

Music Performance

31 October: The three days will begin with Jaswant Thada from 5:30 am to 7:30 am with Hidayat Hussain Khan with RIFF DAWNS. The entry fee is Rs.100 / – for non-pass holders and free for donor pass holders. In this music session, Hidayat Hussain Khan has a glimpse of the song’s performance. Like Day 2, Dance Boot Camp and Fort Festivities processions will be like dance performances by Kabeliyas, Chang dance, Derun dance, etc.

IN Residence II takes place at Chokelao Bagh (Mehrangarh Fort) from 11:15 am to 1:15 pm. The session will be accompanied by a poem by Meera Bai, glorified by noted folklorists CP Deval, Mahesh Ram, Sumitra, and others. A beautiful performance experienced at RIFF. The Moon Rise session at Jaswant Thada from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm is an experience-able night with a performance by singer Manisha Agarwal.

First November: Day 4 will be helmed by Pempe Khan, Asin Khan Langa, and Dharre Khan Manganiyar with RIFF dons. This spectacular concert will begin from 5:30 am to 7:30 pm. The show will begin with Pempe Khan welcoming the sunrise by his plaintiff notes. Seshan Khan Langra and Dharra Khan Manganiyar and etc. will sing beautiful devotional songs using various traditional instruments.

Belly Dance Boot Camp takes place in Chokelo Mahal (Mehrangarh Fort) from 8:30 am to 10:00 pm. Kathak and Belly Dancer, Ada Kayra entertained everyone in this session. The Fort Festivities will also be similar to Day 2 in a procession similar to Chang dance, Derun dance, etc.

The Golghar session will take place from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm near Dhana Bhiyan Chatri (Mehrangarh Fort). The highlight of this season is the Bush Gothic band from Australia. The audio saga of this band is unique and focuses primarily on the issues of criminal women and depressed men.

A main stage performance at Old Zenana Courtyard (Mehrangarh Fort) from 8:30 am. The major attractions of this season are Shubha Mudgal, Sindhi Sufiana with Sawan Khan, and Baramasa by Tankugueria. Mainly Shubha Mudgal’s “Baramasa” is an extraordinary show, part of the Breathing Life series.

The RIFF Rustle show will be held at the old Zenana Courtyard (Mehrangarh Fort) from 11:30 am. RIFF Rustle is the largest collaboration with Jean Peterson, international percussionist, Rajasthani artists, musicians, and singers. A great show to be seen at Jodhpur RIFF. It will be a schedule of day 4 with these performances and the entry fee for non-pass holders is Rs.100 / – and there is no fee for donor pass holders.

2nd November: The last day will conclude with Vidya Rao, our most recent famous Thumri singer with RIFF Dawns. The show will take place in Jaswant Thada from 5:30 am to 7:30 pm and the entry fee is Rs 100 / – which is free for non-pass holders and donor pass holders.

Rajasthani Artists

A splendid performance is expected from a large number of famous Rajasthani folk artists such as Chiranji Kanji, Shamsuddin (Mand), musicians Kamayacha Ghevar and Himmat Khan Manganiyar, and singer Anwar Khan Manganiyar. The Living Legends’ series will also be screened by four veterans — Millions Khan Manganiyar, Kade Khan Lang (Sindhi Sarangi, and singer), Pampa Khan Manganiyar (Shehnai and Murali), and Sawan Khan Manganiyar (Sufi).
RIFF 2019 will also feature some young talent such as the Dhu Dhu Group and Asia Manga along with Butter Manganiyar.

Davy Sicard

Davy Sicard is from La Reunion Island. Often referred to as the maestro of modern ‘Maloya‘, he is known for his unique music that is a mixture of African slave chants and rhythms, contemporary European instruments, and traditional instruments.

Jayateerth Mevund

An extraordinary singer, who hails from a grocery house and Santwani (words of saints) and Daswani (words of a devotee) head the music tradition of Karnataka and Maharashtra, RIFF 2020 will be an important attraction.


Sondaro, a band from Hungry is another highlight of RIFF 2019. The band plays lesser-known music from Serb-Croatian communities who live along the Danube River along the world’s gypsy and Balkan tracks. They play different styles of music with 17 instruments.


Robot Jodhpur will be one of the most special attractions of RIFF 2019 and will include master percussion with Ben Walsh. He is a master percussionist from Australia and will meet Rajasthani percussionist at the festival for the first time.

Maru Tarang

Maru Tarang is the Australian Rajasthani Music Association of Jeff Lang and Bobby Singh from Australia and Pap Lang and Bhungar Manganiyar from Rajasthan. He will present his debut album ‘Blue City’ and will also provide information about his upcoming ventures.

Bixiga 70

It is one of Brazil’s most liked contemporary instrumental music bands. His music is influenced by Africa and Brazil and therefore includes electronica, ethnic jazz, and carimbo along with samba and reggae.

Some Important Tips

  • Festival passes are non-refundable and non-refundable.
  • The ticket to the festival does not include the entry of the fort or any food and beverages.
  • Food and beverages have to be purchased separately.
  • Photography and videography are completely banned at the festival.
  • No alcohol inside the venue.

Thus, the Jodhpur RIFF showcases the cultural lifestyles of India and the rest of the world and provides an inspiration to music artists to showcase their unique creations. It is an excellent fusion of Indian and international music that binds together over 250 artists from all over the world. It has the highest sizing performance, attracting people from every field.

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