Music has been saviour, companion and solace through the course of these lockdown months. The rapid increase in coronavirus cases across India had forced music festivals to either be cancelled, postponed or turned virtual in 2020. However, artists are slowly returning to the stage and music aficionados, gracing the audience booths again.
For all those who have missed the magic of live classic and folk music performances, the day-long Classic Bagh Festival, which will be held on the grounds of Sundar Nursery, Delhi on March 21, is a must-visit. The festival, which is free and open to all, will be keeping in compliance with all COVID-19 related safety guidelines: open-air seating, social distancing, mandatory mask-wearing and sanitising.
Artists like Smita Bellur, Jasleen Kaur Monga, Ustad Saeed Zafar Khan, and the Warsi Brothers will be headlining the festival, which will be split into three sections:
The event will begin with a lakeside dawn chorus of vocal recitals from the Hindustani, Sufi, Bhajan, Shabad and Qawwali traditions by Smita Bellur and Jasleen Kaur Monga (6 a.m. to 8 a.m.).
The Langa Ensemble will kickstart this session held in the heritage monument-straddled garden north of the amphitheatre. This will be followed by Qawwali singer Dhruv Sangari ‘Bilal Chishti’ and then a series of classical-sufi-folk covers by Delhi-based artist Bawari Basanti (8:15 a.m. to 11 a.m.).
To close the evening, the Sundar Nursery’s amphitheatre will host first a special Jangda recital from the Manganiyar tradition led by Barkat Khan, then ghazals by Sraboni Chaudhuri and performances by Ustad Saeed Zafar Khan and Qawaal Bachchey Warsi Brothers (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.).
An initiative by Jodhpur RIFF and the British Council, in association with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the festival hopes to provide support to Indian artists and professionals who were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
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JodhpurRIFF: Facebook @JodhpurRIFF; Instagram @jodhpurriff
British Council India: Facebook @BritishCouncilIndia; Instagram @inbritish
is a writer, and also an unwarranted tour guide that people groan about on trips. When she isn't geeking out on travel and history, she can be found walking around the streets, crying for Bengali food.
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