In what is arguably the biggest blow to the country’s cultural development, the Bengal Classical Music Festival for this year has been cancelled, due to the unavailability of its venue, Army Stadium.
Bengal Foundation made the announcement in a press conference at the Hotel Westin in the capital today.
The press release says the Army Sports Control Board (ASCB) on August 31 had denied allotment of the Army Stadium from November 20-28 (with the event going on from November 23-27) to Bengal Foundation, citing the arrival of the Pope to Bangladesh at the time.
When it was known that the Pope was arriving on November 30 and his main programme would not be held at the Army Stadium, Bengal Foundation reapplied for the venue on September 9 but no progress was made in that regard.
Due to the stature of the festival and the extensive preparation required, the organisers have decided to cancel this year’s festival.
An illustrious lineup of artistes were confirmed to perform at the festival, including Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Asia’s first Grammy winner Vidwan Vikku Vinayakram, a Western Classical Symphonic Orchestra (to perform with Pt. L Subramaniam), along with festival regulars Pt. Ajoy Chakravarty, Ustad Rashid Khan, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan and Kaushiki Chakravarty.