I think the popular tourist destinations have become so commercialized that it’s no longer fun to visit them. There are so many blogs. documentary shows and youtube channels that walk through the cities in more details than you can yourself experience in your visit. So, I’ve started to prefer these digital tours over planned trips. And this digital content wave is only going to get stronger, covering even more remote spots as the creators look for novelty in their portfolio.
So, this page started as a personal note to list more interesting topics that take me out of my house. Long-range travel had already taken a backseat for me, even before the pandemic. So this list also explores other weekend ideas that are more like day trips and don’t need elaborate planning. Events such as marathons and literature festivals are now being organized in all big cities. There is usually one popular annual event that attracts crowd from other cities and many other seasonal smaller ones that’s aimed at local citizens.
But it’s a real challenge to keep track of these events. Such events are the common denominator that attracts a wide audience, but there are more niche events that are starting to gain momentum. I obviously only track the ones that interest me. I’ve tried following their newsletters, only a handful publish and maintain their calendars on websites! I’ve also tried scanning event platforms but there is hardly any standard of what events would get listed there.
So, yes, this list is my answer for now to not forget about these events, but I am sure this problem needs some attention. Larger platforms such as Insider and BMS can afford a team to track and curate a calendar for such events. Organic curation via self listing on Facebook Events worked for some time but now searching anything there is not worth the effort because no moderation and filters.
If you count the number of marathon events being organized per city region as an indicator for urban evolution, you’d see an intangible rank of cities where you’re likely to find more such cultural activities brewing in niche communities.
No surprises in the top 3 cities – Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore. These are the 3 major cosmopolitan metro city regions that are at par with other major cities in the world in the urban sense, surely with an Indian discount. These are cities with a 10 million population base and more than one nucleus. Citizens living in these 3 cities, of course, I am a fine specimen, are most likely to travel to other cities organizing similar events. Further, my guess is the organizers of events in these cities play an important role in catalyzing and organizing events in other cities.
A more recent phenomenon within the top3 cities, something that’s yet to reach other cities, is the increasing preference for a new class of urban events – indie music concerts and standup comic shows. This is visible from the popular events you’d find on the top platforms. These events are gaining popularity via social media as they are meant to be shared and attract people from smaller cities to the nearby big city.
But, it’s more interesting to observe what’s happening in the next 10 cities in terms of cultural dialogue. I’ll be looking at events being organized in these cities, and I have indeed traveled to join some of them in person. Hence the attempt to get out of my city and see what’s happening elsewhere.