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Holi Day in the UK: music, dance and powder!

Indian girl covered in paint for Holi

Holi Milan, or the ‘festival of colours’ is celebrated the day after the first full moon in March. It’s a day of riotous celebrations with music, dancing, bhang lassi and of course, the fun of pelting total strangers in brightly coloured powder and water.

The festival has really taken off in the UK over recent years, becoming a popular family event with the emphasis on fun. At Matters Musical, we’ve got the musicians, dance acts, Indian DJs and more to make your Holi event the best in town!

When is Holi 2020?

In 2020:
• Holika Dahan is on Monday 9th March 2020
• Holi Day falls on Tuesday 10th March 2020

Great ideas for a Holi event!

Here are just a few of the ways our acts can help you achieve that Holi vibe at your event:

Dye, Dancing & Dhols

The Punjab Dancers are guaranteed to add a splash of colour and energy to any occasion. Their repertoire includes elaborate drum (Dhol) solos, ladies Punjabi dances (Giddah) and popular Hindi film songs. For a touch of sophistication, try Crishna and Camilita. These two lady dancers are ideal for clients seeking to intrigue their guests with more traditional dance styles. But if it’s banging beats you’re after, then look no further than Ministry of Dhol. Led by Prithpal ‘Funky Dholi’ Rajput, this troop drums up a cutting-edge style, based on traditional Bhangra roots.

Punjab Dancers, The

Crishna and Camilita

Ministry of Dhol

New Beginnings

Looking for a theme for a housewarming party? Or perhaps something to help you wrap up winter and sail into spring? Baluji Shrivastav and Jazz Orient take the spirituality of the sitar and the smooth syncopations of jazz, then fuse them with dance and improvisation. A mystical journey between the old and the new.

Baluji Shrivastav / Jazz Orient

Colourful Romance

The Holi festival is rooted in notions of love and fertility. So, show your love at your wedding party with romantic Bollywood songs and timeless classics. Sangeeta is a superb British Asian singer, especially popular for wedding parties and just as at home with Bhangra as Bollywood classics.


Holi events in the UK

With Holi falling on a Tuesday in 2020, the organisers of many Holi events across the UK have opted to celebrate on the following weekend. There are lots of Holi events across the UK: here are just a few to give you the flavour!

Magic of India Holi Festival • Sun March 15th, 2020
Like the idea of getting covered in paint but not getting rained on at the same time? The Holi Colour Festival 2020 is being held indoors for the first time, at the Harrow Leisure Centre. The event features live music and “dry colour powder play”. 

Holi Paint Party Tour • Birmingham, Mon 9 March 2020 10pm – 3am
A one-night only experience that fuses nightclub culture with the traditions of Holi. As the organisers says: “the event brings together party-goers from all backgrounds, inviting them to lose their inhibitions and embrace the colourful experience!”

Holi at the Oriental Museum in Durham • Sat 14 March 2020
This is an inspiring event put on by the Museum – a great idea to get visitors to the Museum’s galleries as well as reaching out across the community. The event is divided into five 45 minute powder throw events with live music, preceded by Holi-themed art and craft activities inside the Museum. You can also visit the South Asia and South East Asia galleries, but as the Museum says “We kindly request that visitors do not come back into the museum after the powder throw. This is to minimise powder on museum objects.”

Want to stage your own Holi event? Call us for authentic, vibrant and exciting Indian musicians and performers, ready to delight your crowds for Holi.

Holy cow! It’s Holi Moo!

One of the biggest and brashest Holi parties is New Delhi’s Holy Cow festival, known as Holi Moo. This year the festival celebrates its 11th anniversary and promises to be bigger, better, louder, and more colourful than ever before. Over 40 of the best independent Indian and international acts will be brought together in a fusion of tradition and techno across 4 different stages: World Music/Bolly, Indie/Experimental, Hip-Hop and Electronic music.

What is Holi dry powder?

Holi powder (gulal or abir) is usually made from cornstarch with a drop of food colouring, so it is non-toxic and doesn’t contain any gluten. It washes out, although the food dye can temporarily stain clothing for several washes. Many experienced Holi participants hydrate their skin before attending to aid powder removal afterwards, and protect their hair with hair conditioner too. They also pop their phones or cameras into a plastic bag to stop the powder getting into the electronics.

Most Holi Festival of Colours events are now billed as “dry powder” events. Most tickets include a packet of powder, with more available to buy at the event. “Outside” powder (i.e. not bought at the event) is not allowed. Organisers of events should provide participants non-toxic powders that conform to British Standards or are EU 71 Certified Safe approved powder. If in doubt, check with your organiser in advance.

Call us for music in colour!

So, if you’re planning an event where the powder flies and the music flows, you’ll find details of all our acts in our  Asian and Far East genre. Browse the artists Profile pages to find everything you need to make your Holi-day (or any day) burst into colour.