Music lovers in North Bengal will no more have to travel to Kolkata to be a part of the Bangla Sangeet Mela, as for the first time ever the state government has decided to hold the music fest in North Bengal districts as well.
This year’s Bangla Sangeet Mela in Kolkata will be held from December 14 to 21, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurating the eight-day extravaganza. In North Bengal, the Sangeet Mela will be held on December 16, 17 and 18.
The venues for the fest in North Bengal have also been selected. Artists from all the seven districts in the region —from Malda to Darjeeling — will be performing at the four venues, namely Kurseong, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Siliguri. Besides eminent artists, new talents will also get an opportunity to showcase their art at the Sangeet Mela.
According to a senior official at Nabanna, around 10 to 12 artists will be performing each day at each of the venues.
The initiative to organise the Sangeet Mela in North Bengal was taken by the Chief Minister. Sources said that in a meeting with some representatives from north Bengal earlier, she had directed that the Sangeet Mela will also be organised there at the same time when it will take place in Kolkata.
Folk artists from North Bengal will also get a greater opportunity to showcase and perform their art at the festival. Artists of the traditional dance forms from the hills, including Maruni and Kukri dance, will perform at the festival. Bhawaiya, Rabha and Gambhira will also be performed in the programme in North Bengal.
Each day, the performances would start at 4 pm and will continue for the next three hours. The timings of the North Bengal festival are a bit early due to early sunset in the region.
Padma Shri awardee folk musician, composer and lyricist Sonam Tshering Lepcha will perform at the festival in Darjeeling. Moreover, one artist from Kolkata will also perform at Siliguri every day.
Dinabandhu Mancha has been selected as the venue in Siliguri. The task of finalising the venues at Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong is in process.
In Kolkata, there will be 10 different venues, as it was the last year, and the venues include Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha, Mohor Kunja, Princep Memorial and Deshapriya Park.
There will be tribal dance and music performances at Mohar Kunja, while many bands will perform at Deshapriya Park.
The programmes at all the ten venues will begin on December 14, soon after the Chief Minister inaugurates the Bangla Sangeet Mela from Nazrul Mancha. Only the programme in Princep Memorial will begin from December 15.
According to the official at Nabanna, one after the other programmes like Push Utsav and Lok Sanskriti Utsav would continue till January 2.