Footfall up by 30%, Mumbai's Kala Ghoda festival draws to close

The Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, which ended on Sunday after nine days of festivities, was bigger and better in every aspect this year, hosting more events and visitors than ever before.
The 16th edition of the city’s well-loved cultural festival saw a 30% increase in participation across the 500 events, said Brinda Miller, festival director. “Every session was packed. Certain segments such as theatre have seen more participation than ever,” she added.
The number of theatre shows nearly doubled from last year, said Juhi Babbar Soni, who curated 60 shows in the segment along with her mother Nadira Babbar. “The response from the audience was overwhelming. Young or old, everyone came in to watch the shows.”
It was not just audiences who wanted more of the festival. The number of artistes who performed also swelled to 1,000 — another record for the festival.
Every segment had its share of star power, with heavyweights such as sarod maestros Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan, flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, dancers Mallika Sarabhai, Aruna Mohanty and Deepti Omchery Bhalla, along with writers Kiran Nagarkar and William Dalrymple.
“The festival has grown so big since I performed here seven years ago,” said Sarabhai, who took to the stage on Sunday.

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