Within days of the conclusion of this year’s Lahore Music Meet (LMM), Lahooti Melo 2016 opened its doors to music enthusiasts in the city of Hyderabad. With the confetti from the festival yet to fully settle, the federal capital has already begun muscling up for its own edition of the event – the Music Mela.
Spearheaded by the Foundation for Arts, Culture & Education (FACE), the event is set to take place between April 21 and April 23 at the Pakistan National Council of Arts in Islamabad. While Lahooti Melo 2016 debuted this year only, Islamabad’s Music Mela will turn three this month.
Talking to The Express Tribune, FACE member, singer and activist Arieb Azhar said the phenomenal response to Lahooti Melo gave his team a renewed hope of successfully pulling of another edition of the Music Mela. “Approximately 20,000 people attended the festival last year. This year too we are trying to diversify and accommodate all kinds of audiences for which we have incorporated genres such as folk, classical, rock and pop,” he said.
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Despite being a pioneering event of the current trend of festivals, the Music Mela has no competition from other similar programmes. Azhar maintained that they are making no conscious effort to make the event different from other events. “We are really glad that others such as Lahooti [Melo], I Am Karachi Music Festival and LMM have also taken up this initiative; all of them are pioneers in their own right,” he shared.
Azhar expressed his happiness over the fact that the music industry has become active once again, owing to these very festivals. “Chingari se chingari, aag se aag jalti hai. It doesn’t matter who started it, what is heartening is that others are following suit as well. Just see how many festivals have taken place in the span of one month.”
More than anything else, the organiser is optimistic that such events are giving a new lease of life to musicians and the whole live performance culture. “An artist lives through live concerts. Our music industry cannot just keep running with corporate-sponsored shows only,” he said.
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The Music Mela will also comprise panel discussions and live performances. “It is imperative that the artist community gets together on a single platform to put their heads together and find a way forward for the industry. No other person is going to come and solve our problems for us,” he added.
Some of the acts that will head to the capital for the event include Zoe Viccaji, Javed Bashir, Abdullah Qureshi, DissBelief and Jasim Haider & The Pindi Boys, among others. Few international musicians are also expected to perform and participate in the event, however, an official confirmation is yet to come.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2016.
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