‘Long-term goal of music festival is to create a tolerant society’

KARACHI (Neo Web Desk) The first I Am Karachi Music Festival, in which more than 60 artists will take part, will be held on Aug 8 and 9 at Port Grand. Apart from the concert, dialogues on music and a mentorship programme for up and coming musicians will also be arranged from Aug 4 to Aug 6. This was announced by the organisers of the festival at a press conference on Monday evening.Nida Butt of the MAD school hosted the press meet. She thanked the media for its support to the I Am Karachi initiative.Jamil Yousuf said it had made him happy that such a festival was taking place; it meant that the city was getting back its cosmopolitan identity. He said Karachi had gone through and survived many tough times; it happened because despite everything the city had always had philanthropists who helped it get back on its feet. He urged Karachiites to take part in the festival because it would be held in a “clean atmosphere”.Musician Hamza Jafri said music was a vast and varied field. Given the current state of music in Pakistan it required a “cohesive action” so that its importance could be realised. He informed the media that the festival had three components. The first was to do with dialogues between those who were associated with the field (musicians, academics, journalists etc); the second was about a mentorship programme in which budding musicians would be guided; and the third was the concert on Aug 8 and 9 participated by industry professionals, who would perform a wide variety of genres.Guitarist Mekaal Hasan said while the concert would display musical talent of the country, its long-term goal was to create a tolerant society. He said it would not be a one-off event. He said in India (which he called parosi mulk) festivals were held on a weekly basis, and raised the question that why could not that happen in Pakistan. He was of the view that musicians in our country seldom spoke with one voice, which was why he and his colleagues had tried to bring all the stakeholders of the industry on one platform by virtue of the dialogues (at the Beach Luxury Hotel on Aug 4 and 5) and a concert. There were 13 topics for discussion, he said, ranging from the ability to understand music to how effectively music reflected what’s going on in society, to the issue of licensing. Talking about the concert he told journalists that there would be two stages, one for modern music and the other for traditional, graced by 60 plus artists.Emu of pop band Fuzon said he was born and brought up in Karachi, and struggled to become a musician at a time (in the ‘90s) when there weren’t any music academies or facilities like the internet. Therefore, he understood the significance of endeavours like the I Am Karachi Music Festival.Shahid Feroz said the organisers of the festival were unsung soldiers of Karachi and termed their effort a great initiative. He claimed that the impact of the initiative would be felt later.

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