Kalyan: Devgandharva music festival only for a day

The renowned Devgandharva music festival of Kalyan city will be held only for one day this year rather than the regular three days, and entry will be free for the music lovers.

The organisers have requested the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) to give them the Acharya Atre play theatre in Kalyan for the same concessional rates that they offer for Marathi plays.

The festival, which has seen performances by many stalwarts like Zakir Hussain, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Rashid Khan, Begum Parveen Sultana, Hariharan and Pt Niladri Kumar among others in the past, is in its 19th year. Kalyan Gayan Samaj, the organiser of the festival, has decided to cut short the usual three days’ event to one and not to charge for the tickets. It is scheduled on January 24.

Prashant Dandekar, representative, Kalyan Gayan Samaj, said, “We have kept it free this time thinking about the hardship everyone has faced throughout 2020. We just want people to come and enjoy the musical night with their families. Also, we as organisers did not want to cancel the event as it is one of the most-awaited events of the city.”

The organisers, however, lamented that while the KDMC has announced concession in rent for drama events held in their civic-run theatres, on the backdrop of the pandemic, the musical events have not been included in this concession.

“The civic body should not just consider drama and theatre events for concession in rent but also the local musical festivals. Not just Devgandharva but other musical events too. We will be meeting the KDMC commissioner regarding this,” added Dandekar.

The KDMC decided to reopen its two civic auditoriums on November 26, with an exemption of 75 per cent discount on its basic rent for those organisers charging ticket fare ₹300 or less. The Acharya Atre and Savitribai Phule auditorium were shut since March 23 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

An officer from KDMC who did not wish to be named said, “There is no decision for musical events by the civic body yet regarding allotting concession.”

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