Just a few hours away from the Capital there is a musical storm building up. Rajasthan International Folk Festival, which is among one of the biggest music fest in the world is just round the corner. Millennium Post speaks to Divya Bhatia, the director of the fest to bring you insights what to expect this year.
If you are a music lover take some time out in October and drive down to attend this year’s RIFF. The fest takes place every year on Sharad Purnima, this year it will take place at Mehrangarh Ford.
What should music lovers expect this year?
This year’s Jodhpur RIFF will bring together interlinked strands to create a captivating program built around the exceptional variety of Rajasthani music and countries rich tradition in percussion and the unique musical heritage of nomads. The multi-platform festival includes unique events from dawn devotional concerts to hip club nights; and exciting collaborations with musicians from across the globe.
What are the key attractions of the fest this year?
Our focus on the Manganiyar community, the Gypsy Allstars, a Rajasthani percussion workshop, Manu Chao’s set, the legacy of Bhikari Thakur by Kalpana Patowary, Daud Khan master of the roabab, collaboration between an Australian and Rajasthani artists, a special performance by the Manganiyar artists among others!
Tell us about the Jodhpur-RIFF from a director’s point of view?
It is a dream project for anyone to do, it gives me an unusual context to work in, a wonderful vision to evolve that can be measured in decades (not years), stalwart mentors to guide, a unique city and stunning location to animate. It’s extremely challenging and therefore very satisfying if done well. Most of all, work with and for some of the best musicians in the world.
Arranging the whole fest is a difficult task would you like to share any good/bad incidences that have taken place during the process?
They have been mostly good. Being invited to present legendary folk musicians at the Edinburgh International Festival and the visit of the Scottish Foreign Minister to RIFF last year; facilitating and enabling the collaboration with Dharohar project and Mumford and Sons and the royalties to the folk artists after that; being on a list of best international festivals for four years in a row.
Tell us more about the documentary Bidesia in Bambai?
Bidesia in Bambai is an unusual film by film maker Surabhi Sharma - about the mobile culture, migration to Mumbai and Bhojpuri music in the city. Surabhi’s explorations are postmodern and they provide a perfect counterpoint to our presentations of pure folk, while opening new spaces for dialogue on modernity and folk music.