City likely to get 9-day mega cultural festival next year | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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City likely to get 9-day mega cultural festival next year

Jun 26, 2023 12:56 AM IST

As part of the festival, Mumbaiites along with domestic and international tourists will be able to indulge in a number of activities such as cultural and music festivals, beach and adventure activities, harbour tourism, shopping and food festivals among others, according to officials involved in planning the fest

Mumbai: If everything goes according to plan, then the city will celebrate its biggest festival ever in January 2024 with a vast cultural lineup, music fest, fun, food and fiesta in store for revellers.

Mumbai, India – November 19, 2017: A man artists dressed as Charlie Chaplin take photo with family at Talent street art festival at Kala Ghoda, in Mumbai, India, on Sunday, Nov 19, 2017. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT)
Mumbai, India – November 19, 2017: A man artists dressed as Charlie Chaplin take photo with family at Talent street art festival at Kala Ghoda, in Mumbai, India, on Sunday, Nov 19, 2017. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT)

The state government is planning to host a nine-day ‘Mumbai International Festival’ on a grand scale to celebrate the maximum city as an international tourist destination.

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As part of the festival, Mumbaiites along with domestic and international tourists will be able to indulge in a number of activities such as cultural and music festivals, beach and adventure activities, harbour tourism, shopping and food festivals among others, according to officials involved in planning the fest.

The state tourism department is looking to make Maharashtra a compelling tourist destination and Mumbai will be its jewel in the crown which will display the diversity and unique culture of the state through various means during the festival. To make it unprecedented, the Directorate of Tourism (DoT) is also planning to organise all popular festivals such as Kala Ghoda, Bandra Fair, Banganga, Worli Mahotsav and Mumbai Marathon during the same period.

Even educational institutions would be asked to organise their popular cultural festivals during the same. St. Xavier’s College organises ‘Malhar’, SVKM’s Mithibai College organises ‘Kshitij’ and IIT Bombay ‘TechFest’ and ‘Mood Indigo’ and they all may be approached by the state government to organise their respective festivals during the same period.

“For a city that never sleeps, the Mumbai International Festival shall be an opportunity to welcome audiences from across the country and the world to immerse themselves in a week-long sensory indulgence that is possible only in a melting pot like Mumbai,” said Dr BN Patil, director, (DoT).

“The idea is to celebrate the spirit of Mumbai, to showcase unexplored Maharashtra and feature them before the best of the world,” he added.

The DoT has planned a nine-day festival between January 20 and 28 for which it will identify one big venue where food festivals, shopping festivals and other activities will be organised. Food lovers will get to see live cooking workshops, food markets and stalls showcasing local cuisine specialities from different districts of the state. To promote various arts and crafts from the state, there will be a craft bazaar where live demonstrations like Warli art, Himroo shawl, Bidri work, textile weaving, Ganjifa paintings etc. will be made.

Similarly, guided city tours, cycle tours, hop on hop off buses, harbour tourism, water sports, and beach activities will be organised during this period. Other activities such as heritage walks, nature walks, photography walks, mangroves park walks, and bird watching at flamingo parks will be conducted apart from yoga sessions among others. Multiple stages are going to be set up across the city that will highlight key tourist attractions such as Girgaon Chowpatty, Juhu Chowpatty, Bandra Fort, and Elephanta Caves among others.

“We have decided to rope in Bollywood to organise Bollywood nights, beauty pageants, live music and dance performances that give expression to the verne of the city. Cinema halls will be asked to make special screenings and theatre plays will also be performed. The educational institutions will also be requested to organise their cultural festivals,” said Dr Patil.

Tech travel is a niche but growing travel category and Mumbai’s intellectual capital is something that the city brand should not ignore thus science tours, tech meets, start-up catch-ups and drone shows will be organised. Besides, there will be exciting shopping formats, adventure activities on the fringes, and cinema screenings by the beaches.

To make all this a reality, DoT is engaging an event management firm to prepare a master plan and execute the same. It has also floated global tenders to appoint the firm.

“We will act as a facilitator and try to take help from all sections of society to make it a grand success. Accordingly, an organising committee has been formed to expand the vision, guide, identify resources, and monitor and lead the project. It will be headed by corporate honcho and chairman of Mahindra Group Anand Mahindra,” he said.

The committee will have two representatives from each sector such as corporate, Bollywood, and sports among others. It will help in bringing business houses as participants and sponsors.

Radhika Rastogi, principal secretary, tourism department, said, “The tourists in the state enter through Mumbai but do not stay for long. We want to show not only Mumbai but Maharashtra as a whole and promote the cultural heritage that we have.”

DoT has planned to allow everyone staying in Mumbai to participate in the festival by urging them to register for the same on its website. Individuals can run their stalls for food, handicraft items or others from their homes. They will have to register on their DoT website which will have an independent interface which will give details of who is offering what and where.

National and international bloggers, social media influencers, tour operators, homestays and Airbnb will be included to hold familiarisation (FAM) tours.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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