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News |  10 Oct 2018 10:56 |  By RnMTeam

Sawai Gandharav in search of a venue

MUMBAI: A festival started 66 years ago and running successfully, is a phenomenon. Sawai Gandharav, started by Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi in memory of his guru Sawai Gandharva in 1952 has been a major attraction for many classical music lovers. Over the years it has garnered a cult audience. This year it will be the 66th edition of the Sawai Gandharv Bhimsen Mahotsav and for past three decades, this musical event is organised at the Deccan Education Society's New English School, Ramanbag. But this year, the Deccan Education Society has informed the organising committee Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal through a written communication, that the place will be unavailable for Sawai Gandharv Bhimsen Mahotsav, a major crisis for the organisers. For all the three decades, the venue has never even gone half empty and gathers the audience to its maximum capacity. This crisis is bigger as there fewer options in Pune for a large and big open ground that accommodate thousands of people comfortably. This is the second in past three years, Sawai Gandharav has met with a crisis, in 2014, due to untimely rains just a day before the three-day festival started, the festival had to be postponed by a month.

Not bound by one particular Gharana, the festival has become a platform for the best performers and artistes of various genres from across the country. During this five-day festival, along with live concerts, there are screenings of short films and colloquiums on music and exhibition of photographs of artistes, which have been added to the bouquet. The Mandal has also taken efforts to make the festival qualitatively better by offering discounted tickets to students and making special arrangements for the visually challenged.

While there is no confirmation of the next venue, the organisers have promised to intimate with developments as and when it happens. The classical music season is upon and the fans all over the world await the fest of Sawai Gandharav. Many NRIs plan their homecoming trips aligning to the schedule of Sawai Gandharav and over the years this fest has taken the shape of a major attraction during the holiday season for the audience.

Many stalwarts like Pandit Jasraj, Dr Prabha Atre, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia still perform at this event along with new talent.

The range of tickets starts from a couple of hundreds to more than a couple of thousands. Every year the public transport buses Pune, arrange for buses for easier commute within the city for commoners.

The final announcement of the venue is awaited.