Come November 23 and music lovers in the Northeast are in for a treat. The second Guwahati International Music Festival is back with a host of eclectic acts from around the globe. Speaking about the festival, German flautist Ralf Kamphius said, “I have been coming to Guwahati for more than nine years now. This region is an untapped resource of exceptional musical talents. Music has the potential to unite people across borders.”

Nagaland-based Nu-metal band Melodrama agreed with Ralf. “We feel more such festivals should take place in Northeast. There are lots of good musicians in the region but we are not recognised or heard in the national and international arena. This is a big opportunity for us.”

The highlights of this year’s festival are the opening act Symphony of 100 sitars, conducted by Hem and Subhankar Hazarika and Padmabhushan Pt. Buddhadev Das Gupta, international musicians such as Harish Khan, Debabratha Gupta and Snehasish Mazumder from New York among others.

Apart from Melodrama, other Northeast acts include Scavenger Project from Mizoram and North East Breeze, winners of the IndiEarth competition. In addition, rock lovers also have something to look forward to with ‘Rock Rules’, a competition in collaboration with AIMT, Guwahati.

More than just a musical festival, the GIMF aspires to bring hope to the youth of Assam who have suffered greatly due to the constant unrest in the region. The motto is ‘Healing through music’. As event organiser Aiyushman Dutta says, “We hope to fulfil a number of objectives through the event: promote Brand Assam, replace the present negative aura engulfing the state, promote tourism and instil a sense of opportunity and enthusiasm among youngsters.” Dutta also says there are plans to take it to an international stage in the future. But for now, all roads lead to Guwahati.

Bottomline: A local event with an international presence

The Guwahati International Music Festival

Where: Shilpagra, Guwahati

When: November 23-25